My Testimony

Shontel Jackson-Taylor

​I was diagnosed with endometriosis in 2008, and that's when life as I once knew it began to go on a downward spiral. Just like that, my normalcy and quality of life changed in the blink of an eye. Now let me rewind a little to my endometriosis saga - I started feeling excruciating pelvic pain in 2006 and unfortunately suffered undiagnosed for two whole years. I was stationed at Andrews AFB, Maryland, and was referred to every (LITERALLY) military hospital in the Washington DC, National Capital Region. But every appointment ended with the same result: "Ms. Jackson-Taylor, sorry, I don't know what it is." It was a vicious cycle. I grew physically and mentally tired and discouraged. I was just about to give up when I was led to make one more GYN appointment on Andrews AFB. I was examined by a doctor who was newly assigned to the base, and just a few words in, she knew exactly what it was. She was God sent! I was diagnosed with endometriosis. Although I was elated to finally have a diagnosis, it was later determined I would be medically discharged. As if that wasn't enough, my body suddenly started to experience a different type of pain, and a few weeks before my discharge, I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia – another Chronic Pain disorder. I was distraught!

I went through a phase of questioning, "why me?" "why do I have to live like this?"  I struggled to adjust to the lifestyle changes of living with chronic pain and a career transition while simultaneously dealing with a toxic relationship;  I was later diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. On the outside, I kept pushing because I had no other choice, but inside I was quickly dwindling away.   

The above led to depression and withdrawal - especially the toxic relationship. I became socially withdrawn. I would pick my daughter up from daycare after work, go home and turn off my ringer. Isolation and privately internalizing my emotions were my ways of dealing with it. 
 
Until a friend recommended I go to church. I grew up in church as a child, but I didn't have a church home nor a personal relationship with God at the time. I was later invited to my now church by another friend. I loved it because it's a megachurch where I could easily get lost. By that, I mean having no accountability. I could attend at my leisure, get the good word, and remain socially withdrawn (internally hollow and depressed). Ha! But God had a different plan. I am forever grateful to my friends for that advice and invite because it forever changed my life. I am now an active church member, serving in ministry with several accountability partners. Now don't get me wrong. It wasn't the membership or the ministries, but the personal relationship with Christ that delivered me from that lingering relationship/strongholds, the depression, and negative thoughts. 

 

My medical conditions are still present, but they no longer have mental control over me. I found hope and love in Jesus Christ alone and although it wasn’t an overnight process, it was all worth it. And I’m eternally grateful! Now my question is “why me Lord?” You see, I wasn’t deserving of His love and protection, but He came and saved me anyway. Thank You, Lord! That’s just how good He is. 
   

My Reason: 

I was led to create this website and tell my story because God told me it was time. In the midst of coping, I hid my story, even from close friends and acquaintances out of fear of judgment and inadequacy.  I started to openly tell my story when I joined a Discipleship Ministry called, Queen Esther Ministry at my church. This ministry helped transform my life. It positioned me back in fellowship with others and helped me see that God loves me just the way I am and I am designed in His perfect image, flaws and all. He knew I would have all of these medical issues when He formed me inside my mother’s womb ~Jeremiah 1:5. See, it’s not that He gave them to me to cause me pain, but to birth purpose!