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Meet Kimberly Emmert

Meet Kimberly Emmert

When I was sixteen, I learned that I have a genetic, degenerative, peripheral neuropathy called Charcot-Marie-Tooth, CMT. I had a number of surgeries as a teenager in order to address a few issues associated with the disease as they arose. Those surgeries coupled with the natural recovery time and time in physical therapy shaped my teenage years to a large extent. My mental and emotional strength was fairly maxed out, allowing little room for other more normative teenage worries. However, once I was past all of those surgeries, I felt very optimistic that CMT would be no more than a nuisance for the remainder of my life.

But, that has not been the case. In my late twenties, I realized that the disease was causing the muscles in my hands to atrophy, slowly but progressively. By my mid-forties, I knew that leg braces would become necessary, and, in fact, I’ve been in leg braces for a couple of years now. At this point, there is no cure nor is there any effective pain management for CMT.

And yet… God is good. He has given me a husband and children who are all very aware of and sensitive to my needs. He has given me faithful friends who help me without ever diminishing me. He has even given me the kindness of strangers.

Most of all God has given me Himself. Physical pain is very isolating; there is no way to share the pain… with other people. I’ve come to understand that the physical pain is an invitation to an intimate moment with my Lord. He is the only One who can really be in it with me, and He is. He never leaves me alone and isolated in my pain; He faithfully bears it with me. CMT might be deteriorating my body, but it has also given me more Jesus. So, it is a distinct possibility that CMT is one of the kindest gifts the Lord has given me.

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