Mary Kate Robertson, sister-in-law to Duck Dynasty’s Sadie Robertson, joined the reality television family back in 2015 when she married eldest son John Luke. They seem to be a match made in heaven:

But trouble has been looming beneath the surface.

In a recent post on her website, “The Little Duck Wife,” Robertson reveals a secret she’s been hiding for over 10 years — she’s suffered from Lyme disease.

And she’s been struggling to reveal that news:

[It’s hard] to talk about the things that are still very real and very present…the things you are still struggling with that make your heart ache pretty deeply.

The 20-year-old revealed that she was first introduced to the illness in fourth grade after her father was diagnosed during a trip to Disney World. She explained:

He felt like he had the flu really bad and he’d also been having a lot of memory problems. All the doctors he saw just told him he was getting older.

But none of them truly knew how serious the disease was. A few years later, the Louisiana native revealed that her and her sister were dealt the same diagnosis.

The diagnosis weighed heavy on her psyche, her mental health worsening day by day:

Those last years two years of high school I struggled with some depression but didn’t owe it to Lyme. I just didn’t want to believe that Lyme was a big problem in my life. I thought if I ignored it, it would just go away. So dumb, but I just didn’t want to believe it.

The disease has permeated several aspects her life, she added, including her marriage:

“[Lyme disease] just kept taking and taking and it just keeps taking and taking. It’s stolen so much.”

The one thing Lyme disease couldn’t take? Their love.

Robertson owes her daily determination to a little bit of spousal support and a lot of faith. For her, love of God remains a constant in a world so full of chaos.

Her Lyme disease, though a struggle, seems to be part of the plan that God has laid out for her:

Amongst the confusion and uncertainty I know the Lord to be constant. […] We’ve prayed for healing for years, and just because God hasn’t answered our prayers in the way we would like for Him to, doesn’t mean that He is not at work. I have to believe He has a plan.

And for Robertson, that’s enough.

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