“Hi! I’m Kiki, I have been living with and recovering from a #chronicillness for the past 10 years. With God as my healer, I am looking forward to a healthy life and to bring hope to others.”

This was what I wrote on my first instagram post nearly three years ago.

I remember waking up one day and a random thought, a direction of inspiration, repeated in my mind: “I am going to be instagram famous now.”

So I started my instagram account, @chronicallyhealed!

The previous ten years was full of illness, anxiety, isolation, fear, and exhaustion. But through the setbacks, and God’s prophetic word over me, I gradually regained my health and confidence.

I had been feeling better for the past three months. During this time, I was regaining all the weight I had lost due to the illness. Once I was back to a healthy weight, I realized something: I am feeling better! I am no longer experiencing symptoms!

However, I was not quite sure what to do then. For the better of a decade, my life was laying on the recliner and going to doctors. What am I supposed to do with my life now? I had reached my goal, my dream: to be healed.

During my illness, I was socially isolated and rarely left the house. This left a depression hovering over my mind. If I did not keep myself distracted from my zombie life, the depression would swoop down and try to drown me with lies: “You’re not good enough.” “You’re a loser.” “You will never amount to anything.”

One of my favorite distractions was movies. Specifically, Disney movies. The colorful cinematography, inspiring quotes, happy endings, and lovable characters helped keep my mind away from the temptation of feeling bad for myself. The characters became my friends, and I could go on adventures with them even in my disabled state.

I specifically related to the character Rapunzel in Disney’s Tangled. She was locked away, isolated in her tower. She filled her day with small distractions and wondered, “When will my life begin?” I dreamed with Rapunzel, wondering when it would be my day to leave my isolation.

Long story short, Rapunzel leaves her tower, goes on an adventure, and lives her dream of seeing the floating lanterns. “What do I do [now]?” She asks Flynn Rider. “Well,that’s the good part I guess. You get to go find a new dream,” he replies.

So here I am: I left my tower of isolation and fulfilled my dream of being healed of a chronic illness. What do I do now? I get to go find a new dream!

I decided I wanted to go into modeling. I had done some modeling in the past and enjoyed it. With my new life of health, I stepped into my new dream. I went on numerous modeling auditions for agencies and sent pictures to others, with the help of some photographer friends.

….And nothing happened. No callbacks and no contracts.

Having an instagram as a portfolio can help models get discovered. I thought about it and wondered if it was worth the effort. I mean, would anyone really follow me? I didn’t feel comfortable posing in bikinis and lingerie, like many instagram models did. I didn’t travel the world or own fancy cars that would get a lot of likes. Also, the “fame” didn’t appeal to my shy character. The doubt wrestled with me as I prayed about it. What did I have to offer to people, anyway?

But then I woke up one day, and all the doubt was gone. “I am going to be instagram famous now.” The thought confidently repeated in my mind. A feeling of hope swelled in me, a feeling I had only felt once before: when I was called to be healed.

I felt like this was my new calling in life! I was not just going to be an instagram model, I was going to be a model of hope for everyone dealing with chronic illnesses!

I was not quite sure myself if I was completely healed yet. I was definitely feeling better, but what if I hit another setback? Nonetheless, I named my instagram, “Chronically Healed.” I knew God’s plan of complete healing was for me and I identified with that healing.

A part of me was surprised when my instagram took off, quickly hitting 1,000 followers, then 2,000, then 3,000. People really want to follow me, a girl who was sick and isolated the past 10 years? But another part of me was not surprised. It felt like this was always meant to happen.

I believe that my suffering was for a reason. I believe that my healing was for a reason. To help others! God blesses us, not just so we can be blessed, but so that we can go out and bless others. God allowed me to suffer so I can better help those going through the same thing. Through living with a chronic illness disability and going through the healing process, God taught me wisdom. I feel utterly compelled to share this wisdom and insight every day.

My heart aches for the millions suffering from chronic illnesses. God gave me a new life, and with this new life, I had a new mission: To raise awareness, advocacy, and hope for people with chronic illnesses.

People from all over the world were messaging me, telling me that I had given them hope. These messages are worth more than gold to me. I suffered for ten years of illness and anxiety. But now God was using that to reach out to others. Just helping one person makes it all worth it.

Also, when God heals, he doesn’t only restore us to our original position. When God heals, he raises us to be more than we were before!

Yesterday, @chronicallyhealed reached 10,000 followers. I would have never imagined this! For so long, I felt alone, insecure, and forgotten. If you told me 10 years ago that I would be healthy, thriving, and a model with 10k instagram followers, I would not have believed it!

There is hope!

And this is just the beginning! God has so much more in store!

Thank you for following me, each and every one of you. Your support is greatly appreciated! You are the reason I keep reaching for my dream.

– Kiki

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