As God has lead me, I have been open about my health issues and the hard in our lives, as well as the redemption. As I now struggle to digest information about my kids' health, I also struggle with what to share. After much prayer, it is clear to me that God doesn't want me to wait and share only when I feel good. He doesn't want me to hide out until I am a better version of myself. He wants me to be real and share when I struggle too. So, here it is...
I made it to church today, dragging my aching body. As the worship music began and each word spoke to me, the tears flowed. My kids asked why I was in tears and I told them I was exhausted - body, mind & soul. All of me. That was true, but a greater truth would have been "I am overwhelmed". And the next truth would be "...and that is ok!". I caught myself hiding tears and even running out after the Service, as soon as the last word was spoken, in an effort to avoid sharing my heart and explaining my tears. Although I know it's ok not to be ok, I wasn't ready for anyone else to know I wasn't ok.
As I process things about my health and my childrens' health, my mind and heart are being pushed & pulled.
What can I offer to God in this difficult space, a season i am still finding footing in? For years now, I have lived each day, seeking His will, serving the chronic illness community and sharing my heart openly even on the hard days. Now, worn out, emotionally drained and focused on my kids' health while mine gives me a hard time, what can I offer Him? That is the question floating in my mind...
After a hard week, I tried to praise God but if i'm honest, it wasn't real at first. It took an effort that shouldn't have been, but eventually true heartfelt words of praise came out, admittedly in a whisper. I felt a strange sense of relief, knowing I could still praise Him while in a season more emotionally painful than I had yet experienced.
I know this disease - i live with it 24x7. I know what it has stripped me of, things I weeped over for years. I know the fear that comes in waves when things progress. But now, several years later, I also know some of what God has used this illness for and God has given me so much more than this illness has stripped away. That I am certain of.
When i look at my children possibly having to endure this same disease through the eyes of a mom or a patient living with this rare autoimmune disorder, I feel fear, sadness, anger, heartache and all the emotions we don't want.
When i look at the situation through the eyes of a woman of God, who has faith in His plans for me AND my children, I feel joy. I simply feel joy, knowing we are walking in His will faithfully and that I can be sure something good will be born from it. I can be sure that the promises in the Bible are true.
Right now, I'm a bit jumbled up in my view, but I know as I take some quiet time over the next few days, God's grace and goodness will take over just as it always has.
Over the years of dealing with my illness, we have learned to live "normally", whatever that really is, lol. We have learned to lean on God first, and then each other. We are learning how valuable connections with other families in similar circumstances are and how wonderful it is to not feel alone. We have learned to appreciate people that are willing to dive in and be a part of our complicated and hard life. We are learning so much about priorities and love, serving & being served.
All i've learned and the ways God has grown me during the years since I was diagnosed hasn't gone away... as a matter of fact, I think I feel another spiritual "growth spurt" coming out of this hard circumstance, but not without growing pains.
So, the answer to "What can I offer God in this difficult season?" is my obedience to His calling and my faith in His promises! That is all I need to offer right now. Obedience and faith. God will know what to do with that!
It takes a village to raise a child and we are forever thankful to the people in our lives who have shown us such love and compassion and been the hands and feet of Jesus to us. Prayers are appreciated as we continue to learn and live well in challenging circumstances.
. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me;