Looking Back to Look Ahead!

Looking Back to Look Ahead!

This is a repost from a post which was published last year, with a few changes sprinkled throughout here and there.

I NEEDED to republish this particular post for myself. To help remind me just how far the Lord has brought me in my journey with chronic illness, and in doing so, I pray it will help encourage someone else along the way, whether it's a chronic illness, a "messy" marriage, a difficult job situation. You fill in the blank.  

We all have some very special days throughout each year that have personal significance in our life.

When that date rolls around each year, we may celebrate by going out for a delicious anniversary dinner, feasting on a mouth-watering birthday cake, or ripping into some amazing gifts!

Or perhaps it's a day filled with a touch of sadness, memories and reminiscing. 

April contains one of those memorable dates. I don't remember the exact day, it was around the first or second week of the month. It's when the symptoms of my chronic illness first began.

Just like I can remember the details of my wedding day or the day our son was born, I can also remember the exact details of that day, as well as the days and weeks which followed.

Brian, my doctor and I all thought it was going to be a matter of just a few tests, possibly a couple minor procedures and I would be good as new. However, within a matter of minutes, it became quite obvious it was not going to be a simple fix, nor was it the "piece of cake" diagnosis which the doctor was leaning towards.

If the Lord would have opened the window on my future, and I would have seen myself sixteen years later still wandering around in this world of chronic illness, I'm really not sure what I would have said or done.

opening curtain photo
Photo by siwiaszczyk

Oh, I would have loved to respond as some super spiritual saint and said something like, "Well, Lord, as long as You're with me, then bring it on!"

Some days I can boldly proclaim that statement. 

Other days it's barely heard above a whisper.

5,840!

That's sixteen years

broken down

into days!

But,

may I share

a special secret

with you?

Photo by Lisa M Photography

On every single

one of those

5,840 days,

the Lord

was nothing

but FAITHFUL

to me.

He NEVER once 

abandoned me.

"Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand."
Psalm 73:23

"For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee."
Isaiah 41:13

I'd like to share a few things the Lord has accomplished over the past sixteen years throughout the journey of chronic illness. 

ALL things

accomplished

for my good

and His glory!

  • Reminding me on a moment by moment basis just how much I truly need the Lord in my life.
  • Strengthening our marriage and causing Brian and myself to love, cherish and respect one another so much more with each day that passes!
  • Holding my hand through numerous MRIs, several spinal taps, surgeries to close up holes in my skull, detailed eye exams, many CT scans, ER visits, hospital stays.  
  • Speaking peace to my weary spirit when the lingering, ever-changing symptoms completely drain the life out of me.
  • Allowing me to meet people I never would have met (most of them not even in person!), but growing to greatly love and appreciate them!
  • Encouraging me from His Word when the nights are long and filled with pain and fear.
  • Being my confidante and best friend when all around is quiet and loneliness.
  • Filling me with joy as I have the privilege to sit on the couch or lay in my bed and worship Him just for Who He is!
  • Understanding when everything is just too complicated to explain to others.
  • Deepening my compassion for others who live with a chronic illness or are walking through any type of trial.
  • Teaching me to give thanks for the most simple things in life.
  • Showing me that my service for Him and for others does not need to be showcased, recognized or even seen by anyone else to make a difference. God sees and that's what matters!

Is it easy to remember these accomplishments which the Lord is bringing about due to living with a chronic illness?

NO!

Oh, on the "not so feel bad days", it's a breeze to give praise for the illness and all the Lord is accomplishing. BUT just throw one of those "head pounding, feeling horrible, terrible, leave me alone" kind of days, and it gets a bit tougher!

That's why

I NEED

to take time

to remember!

I'd like to share a few thoughts from a sermon I listened to recently.

I pray these words will truly be an encouragement no matter where you find yourself.

Whatever the trial, test or temptation may be which you are facing.

"The Lord sees far beyond us.

He knows us.

He knows where He wants us to be spiritually.

He knows how He wants to use us,

and so He begins to stretch us.

He brings trials into our lives beyond our control.

Usually our response is one of anger,

fear,

disbelief,

self-pity,

or any combination of all the above.

When the truth be known,

at the end of it all,

what the Lord is doing 

is desiring to build up our faith,

to make it pure,

make it more valuable,

so He can use us 

in even greater ways

for HIS glory."

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."
Romans 8:28

In closing, I know by first hand experience how difficult it can be to remember the good which the Lord is desiring to accomplish when we are smack dab in the midst of a trial. If this is you, may I please make a suggestion?

Grab a sheet of paper, find a place to be alone with the Lord, ask Him to show you personally all which He has accomplished in your life through the trial you are walking through. Write down on the piece of paper the accomplishments which the Lord shows you for future encouragement! 

Thank You, Lord,

for being

the God

of ALL

our days!


If you have been helped by this post and think it could be helpful to someone you know, please share this post on the social network of your choice for me.

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May God Bless You,

Barb

4 Comments

  • Zebra4Jesus

    April 25, 2018 at 10:17 am Reply

    AMEN, AMEN AMEN!!!! Love how you put it into words!!! God understands, has a reason and cares no matter what or how anyone else responds. So glad God doesn't show us the future but instead the little glimmers of hope that help us keep going one day, sometimes one minute at a time. And all the miracles see in each day if we just look. Thank God He is in control. May I ever remember that!!! He will never leave me. If He has it is me that has moved. So thankful for you my friend. Your Fellow Zebra

    • Barb

      April 26, 2018 at 12:36 pm Reply

      My Fellow Zebra, once again I thank you for your words of encouragement. You truly bless my soul! Praising the Lord that He used the words which HE gave me to write to encourage you! ❤❤ So thankful the Lord brought you into my life and I got to "meet" you and call you FRIEND! ❤❤❤

  • Linda

    April 28, 2018 at 7:49 pm Reply

    A slight aside, but your post brought this to mind. I was having a grumpy, complaining day recently, and thought "I've been on this journey with the Lord for so long - and I'm still giving in to grumps and complaining. " I thought about how messy my life still was. But then I remembered an analogy I'd heard - I was looking at the underside of a tapestry, full of the knots, threads everywhere - you know, a bit messy. But God (that wonderful phrase!). - He looks past the mess and sees only the other side of the tapestry - the finished side. So thankful that God doesn't throw up His hands in horror when we give in, yet again. Thank you for your post, my friend - a great reminder that He is accomplishing things in our lives and there are treasures even in the harder times.- and He is faithful!! Wish we could sit and chat in the same room! Sending love and hugs your way from over here❤️❤️

    • Barb

      May 1, 2018 at 9:45 pm Reply

      Linda, sorry it took me so long to respond. I absolutely LOVE the analogy of the tapestry. Our messy, tangled, knotted up life which we see, BUT a stunning, beautiful, colorful, grace-filled, lovely piece of art that HE is weaving together! Oh, I, too wish we could sit in the same room and chat .... how wonderful that would be!! Sending you more hugs and love then you can hold ❤❤❤❤ Love you my friend ❤❤❤

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