It’s always hard meeting someone for the first time. I might say, “Hi, I’m Ruth van den Broek. I’m 29 years old and have Cystic Fibrosis. I’m also a Christian.”

But that wouldn’t scratch the surface. Sure, it’s factually accurate but it doesn’t tell you anywhere near the real truth. It doesn’t tell you that I’ve always found Ruth an odd name. I just don’t get the ‘th’ sound. Ironically my middle name ends with ‘th’ as well.

I used to be a Field in name. Now just in nature. Introverted, book-loving, obsessive, impatient, suspicious of anyone who’s not like me. Your typical INTJer actually. Or Enneagram 5, if that’s more your thing.

It doesn’t tell you that I feel a lot older than 29. Since my life expectancy isn’t a large number, 29 is a fair proportion of it. I like to joke that I’m allowed to behave like an old person because I’m in my twilight years.

It doesn’t tell you that living with Cystic Fibrosis is a hard thing. It affects every part of my life. My ability to work, have children, walk across a room, take a deep breath. Everything really.

It doesn’t tell you that Christ changes my life. Day in, day out, life is better because He’s here and I’ve got Him writing my story.

You also wouldn’t know that I’m married to the most superb guy on the planet. Kind, loving, gentle, understanding, Godly, twinkly-eyed and fun, David makes my life more happy, more worthwhile and more Christ-centred. 3rd September 2011 was a good day with good choices. And I got to wear a pretty dress.

You still wouldn’t know about my odd sense of humour. I joke about death, folks. True story. My philosophy on life is that if you don’t laugh, you cry. So I generally laugh and then cry.

And after all that, you still don’t know that I love getting emails but am really bad at replying to them. Give it a whirl: ruthvandenbroek[at]gmail[dot]com. I’ll try and get back to you within a year.

Nice to meet you.