3 things my diagnosis and college dropout experience taught me

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In 2014, I was diagnosed with amplified pain syndrome or fibromyalgia. I was 14 years old. Fibromyalgia usually affects adults later in life, not in high school. When I should have been enjoying my freshman year, I couldn’t leave my bed in excruciating pain.

It was clear that God was changing the course of my life, but I wasn’t ready to trust him and let him go. I began to wonder if he was good and loving because life wasn’t turning out the way I thought it would.

After a year of physical therapy, things began to fall into place. It wasn’t until four years later that I heard the audible voice of God say, “Tara, you shouldn’t be here” in the middle of my college biology lecture. Three weeks into my freshman year of college, I dropped out and went home.

You are not defined by your struggle, God will develop you through struggle. (iStock)

It can be said that my life has not turned out as planned or planned. I’m sure at least one thing has happened to you – a fight or an unexpected twist – that has also changed the course of your story. While it’s easy to think that our stories can’t be freed from it, there is hope.


Here are three things that God has taught me through the twists and unexpected turns of my story, and I pray that it will encourage you in whatever you are walking.

Your diagnosis or struggle is not the end of your story or the definition of your story.

My expectations for the “normal life” I had envisioned changed after my diagnosis. But what I learned was that my diagnosis was not the end of my story, but an essential part of God’s plan to accomplish so many things in my life.

You are not defined by your struggle, God will develop you through struggle. If I had never received my diagnosis, I would not have the testimony I have today. I wouldn’t have the faith I have today. Be encouraged to know that God wastes nothing and redeems everything.

It may feel like everything is falling apart, but God is holding it all together.

When the unexpected happens, when our plans don’t turn out the way we thought they would or when we encounter a struggle, life can feel like it’s falling apart. It’s easy to control where we can, but control is a false sense of security.

Surrendering to God and trusting Him to direct our lives, on the other hand, is freedom. Trust that even when you can’t see it, it’s all holding together, and always working for you behind the scenes. When life felt like it was spinning out of my control, I knew it was God’s way of reminding me that I depended on Him, not me.

Your weakness is not a burden or a deficiency.

The world will tell us that weakness or need is lack. The world will tell us that we don’t need any help because we have the power within ourselves to “manifest our destiny”. But what happens when we are faced with an illness, a struggle, or our own humanity?


The need for God and help is not a bad thing. It is a blessing. Let us not be burdened with the weight of the world. God wants to carry that for us. With your surrender and trust in Him, He will do much more than you had planned for Him.

Through it all, I wondered if God was really in control and cared about my story. But what I learned was that trusting God was the answer to writing my story and giving up.


Tara Sun passionately teaches women of all ages how to know, love, and live God’s Word for themselves through the podcast “Truth Talks with Tara,” her Instagram community, her book “Surrender Your Story: Ditch the Myth of Control and Discover Freedom in through Trusting”. God” and other resources. Tara is married to high school sweetheart Michael and is the mother of Hunter. You will find them living and serving in Oregon.

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