SOE Rachel Hutcheson 1-72516 I was born in California. I thought I was going to have a really easy and awesome life, and I wanted to go out and save the world. I didn’t look at it in the way that I should – in a sense, where God wanted me to go, as opposed to where I wanted to go and just invite God to go along with me. I figured, “Why wouldn’t God want me to do all of these super amazing things that I had chosen for my life?”

When I moved out here at eleven, I continually told God to do whatever He wanted to do with my life. I got sick at twelve with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. I couldn’t walk around for more than five minutes without losing my energy. It affected me mentally because the nerves in my brain weren’t firing as they should, so I had trouble concentrating and with memory. That put me in a really dark place to look at all I had assumed I would do in my life – I wanted to smuggle Bibles into China and go on mission trips and volunteer for soup kitchens and animal shelters, but suddenly the ability to do all that was taken away from me. So there was a period where I was about 16 to 18 years old where I really struggled with my faith. I didn’t know if God was still there. I had all this faith that He would heal me if I ever got sick, and he hadn’t done that yet.

SOE Rachel Hutcheson 2-72716I started going to Epic when I was about 16, and I couldn’t even go every time I wanted because I was sick all the time. I remember one day, there was a sermon where Paul prayed three times that God would take his sickness away from him, and God responded, “My grace is sufficient for you.” And that, to me, was really crazy. I had assumed I had to be strong to do all the things God wanted me to do and to live a life of servitude to God. Now He was telling me through Paul that in my weakness, He is made strong. If His strength is made perfect in my weakness, then that means that this is exactly where I should be and that I can do more this way than I can any other way. I had to give up my health, my mental abilities, my dreams of being a zoo keeper. He was breaking me down and rebuilding me. I’m not exactly sure what He is building me into, but it’s something much, much better than I could have been on my own.

SOE Rachel Hutcheson 3-72916So I really started letting go and seeing where God is taking me, as opposed to where I want to go. He’s taken me to a point where I don’t need a wheelchair anymore, I’m fairly stable with my health, and I even got to get my degree. It took me four years to earn a two-year degree, but it’s something I never thought I’d be able to do once I got sick. He was the one who set everything up, and pieces just set into place for me to get my degree. I’m at a really peaceful place where I’ve learned to just let go of my life and give it ALL to God. That means when something goes wrong, I don’t have to worry about it. God’s got that; it’s not on me. I’ve stopped expecting Him to tell me where to go twenty steps ahead and started asking, “What do you want me to do today, this week?”