I imagine God asking me, “Would you like an easy and beautiful life where your spirit grows a little, or would you like a challenging life that reshapes how you see the world? Either way, I’ll be with you.”
I’m fairly certain that I would have responded, “Easy is good. I can grow a little.”
Maybe that’s why this wasn’t my choice to make.
Sometimes, I want off this lifepath. I want my old body back with all of its freedom and abilities. Still, I know what’s more important than my physical healing is my spiritual healing. I feel Him with me on this journey. You see, no one truly understands what it’s like to live in my body at any given time except Him and me.
I live a life of paradoxes-but don’t we all? There are moments of total fear and complete surrender. Every day, I fail and succeed. I am weak and I am strong. I am mean and I am kind.
Being ill makes you reevaluate EVERYTHING. Especially who you are and how you interact with the world. Sometimes it can feel like your old life doesn’t make sense for you anymore. And the truth is, it may not, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing.
Before I became ill, I didn’t see how I could remove anything from my to-do list. My sense of self was dependent on how much I achieved and how well I achieved it. Now, there are days when I have to lay down to recover from showering. So, imagine how conscious I have to be in organizing my schedule to get everything else in: working, making meals, caring for my daughters, catching up with John… If something depletes me and doesn’t increase the greater good, I don’t have room for it. The result is that many of my past priorities have drifted away. My old sense of self is being redefined.
It feels like I’m cleaning my soul and making room for what really matters. In this season I’m finding spaces that I didn’t know existed and callings I didn’t expect. When I live like this, it gives me the energy I need for my new life.
Still, there are things that must be done that I have little energy for. That’s the reality of it. Sometimes it’s something as simple as picking up the girls from school. My body can become weak and I drape myself over the console to rest as I drive. We’ll do homework. I’ll make dinner, then remind them 10 times to shower. I push myself and become exhausted and cranky. I’ll become angry that what little energy I have is spent on mundane to do’s. Yet, aren’t these the beautiful moments I live for, the small interactions with the people I love most? In these moments, I need such grace.
I suppose there are parts of me that still long for control and for achievement. My body is slowing me down and maybe that’s what my soul needed.
My friend sent me this picture. It fits where I am so perfectly.
Okay God… you make the path, just keep walking with me. Life doesn’t have to be easy for it to be good.
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Here’s a little more about my story and how I’m coping with chronic illness.