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.
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.
That's sixteen years
may I share
a special secret
On every single
one of those
He NEVER once
"Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand."
"For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee."
I'd like to share a few things the Lord has accomplished over the past sixteen years throughout the journey of chronic illness.
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?
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!
to take time
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,
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."
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,
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May God Bless You,