Blog is Not Dead.
Hello dear fellow chronic illness warriors, it has been a long time. Over the past several years as my health has improved I have found less and less to write about in regards to the emotional physical and social experience that is long-term chronic illness.
I have walked through the worst of this; (unless indeed it is God’s desire that I have setbacks coming). I have spent the better part of my 20s and 30s walking this journey.
I know the loneliness.
I know the isolation.
I know the social and emotional ramifications of long-term illness that I feel are far more damaging than the physical.
I would still say to anyone that there’s nothing worse that a human being can suffer than the loss of hope. We can go through so much in this life, but even when our bodies fail, our friends and family walk away, whatever trauma we suffer, if we have hope we can go through almost anything.
I have not been shy about my faith and the fact that the focus of my life and what holds me together is my faith in God. I have written in the past about redemption. I have written in the past about God‘s will in suffering and what we are to expect as far as healing.
The blessing and promise that whatever we walk-through is for our good and his glory is a rich promise that holds hope for us when hope is gone.
I have often in the past referred to going through chronic illness as being on an eternal treadmill; constantly expending energy but getting absolutely nowhere. It is exhausting and frustrating.
Being on that treadmill locked in a dark room with a window to the world, running towards beauty, running towards life, running just as hard and as fast as the rest of the world, but for you, you get nowhere.
This metaphor is absolutely true.
But, what has struck me lately (and that God has placed on my heart), is the aspect of training. Remember I said nothing is wasted in Christ? Everything is for our good and his glory? What if I was never stuck? What if none of the energy and the time on the treadmill was for nothing? You see I thought I wasn’t getting anywhere, but in fact I was training and building and strengthening.
I have been blessed over the last several years to see my health improve, to see a new lease on life which I know not everyone with Lyme and other invisible illnesses experience. As I have written about in past blogs I have definitely had to go through my mourning and grieving, letting go of things that were dreams that at this stage in life are simply no longer possible. I have gone through a decimation and a rebuilding from the ground up of my hope tower.
There is a reason so many Christian songs include the words “Beauty from ashes”. Just like new growth and new life spring from the ash after a forest fire, so it is that God brings renewal and cleansing, new life and new hope from the ashes of our devastation; In his kingdom it is not a maybe or a possibility, it is a promise.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to miss out on a single blessing that God has for me, a single word that He wants to impart to me, a single aspect of his character that He wants to teach me in the lowly places as well as the high ones. Do I want to miss everything that He has for me because I’m busy looking down at the ground or at my feet? Absolutely not. I have a license to be tenacious when it comes to the promises in Christ.
Right now I am sick. This one is temporary, but it has driven me into a place of isolation for a time. So many things are striking me right now: Primarily that I have a choice; wallow or worship? I can be defeated. I can focus on my selfishness and everything I lack, and wallow. Or (as is always an option in Christ), I can choose to worship. To chase my blessings with tenacity. To ask God those fundamental questions that are always the right questions to ask:
What lesson do You want me to learn right now?
What do You want to teach me about yourself in this time?
What are you preparing me for?
What attitude and perspective do I need to have to be in alignment with You?
I don’t want to be someone who settles! I don’t want to be someone who sees only in the flesh.
If freedom and victory are mine in Christ, I don’t want them to be a vague concept that I “hope will happen”, or that I believe in my head, but do not believe in my heart as knowledge that I can stand on as a firm foundation in how I live my life.
God is looking for people of a different spirit. Like Caleb and Joshua, who saw with different eyes because they saw how big their God was, and in comparison to Him, everything else was small.
May the very universe itself be small in my eyes. May I be one with steadfast unshakable faith, with a vision for victory, and eyes and a desire for Majesty.
Yes I have failed time and again. Yes I will fail again, probably uncountable times, because I’m human.
But not by my might, but by His Spirit, may I get up again and again and again. Because I have greater things to stand on than my own understanding. Because with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible to those who believe.
May I face the darkness the same way I face the light, because my vision has nothing to do with my physical eyes.
Be strong fellow chronic illness warriors. Wherever your journey takes you, whatever place you find yourself in right now. The physical place you find yourself and your spiritual stance do not have to be the same. You could be lying in bed unable to move in your body, but you could be scaling mountains in the spiritual realm. Let us pour all things into the Spirit, for we know that faith the size of a mustard seed can move a mountain. What if the mountains you are supposed to move are not physical?