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After two days of visiting friends and family in Oregon, two days packing up Josh’s life, and four days covering 2,098 miles across the U.S. we finally arrived back in Kansas City at almost 3am last night.

Joshua and I learned so much about each other on this trip. There were countless stressful situations we had to navigate; from when his car broke down last week and we had to get a rental car for the trip, to when we realized we had way too much to pack and not nearly enough time, to painful goodbyes to his family, to an unexpected panic attack from me, to surviving on 4-6 hours sleep a night, etc….

But nothing was like the last two days when I got hit with the worst Crohn’s attack I’ve had in 6 months — thirty-six hours of nearly non-stop, 10/10 pain.  Josh had to make the 17 hour drive by himself yesterday as I moaned in pain in the passenger seat and had to stop on the side of the road multiple times and vomit.  He’s never seen me so sick.

But despite the hellish Crohn’s attack, Joshua has never wavered in his faithfulness toward me, not even once this week.  Ever-patient and constantly in tune with me, he seems to instinctively know what to do to assist me; when to reach out and rub my back, when to whisper in my ear that the pain won’t last forever, when to pray for me, and when to turn on the audio Bible app with the Psalms playing so I can calm my pain-stricken body.

This morning I am still in pain and so I have to sit helpless on the couch as I watch him temporarily unload all his boxes into my apartment until his own apartment becomes ready in two weeks (meanwhile he’s staying at a friends house).  I feel worthless and lazy.  I *should* be helping.  And yet, Josh gladly takes the brunt of the work without any complaint and instead reassures me that this is not my fault and that I need to listen to my body and rest.

I still can’t believe that I’ve found a man who is not only committed in his love for Christ and who works tirelessly in his career and goals, but who also sacrificially gives of himself to me every. single. day.

Making a commitment to a partner with a chronic illness is no small feat; it takes daily sacrifices and steadfast love.  I’m beyond thankful to have found someone who is not only willing to rise to the challenge, but who also truly loves me just as I am.

I choose you, Joshua.  Every day.  Thank you for choosing me. ?

Welcome home. ?

~Em

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About the Author

Emily Elizabeth Anderson is a Christian blogger and rising activist for people who have experienced abuse within a Christian environment.

After growing up in a fundamentalist cult for 23 years and experiencing childhood domestic violence, Emily began her journey to recovery in 2015 and eventually found Jesus to be her ultimate healer. She soon turned her passion for writing into a blog and her story has since been featured on several media outlets including NPR.

She married her best friend, Joshua, in 2020 and together they are passionate about educating on the realities of trauma survival and recovery, as well as supporting survivors they meet through their online community.

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