I am taking a break today from food and recipes to share from my heart. I have been no stranger to difficulties with health and mobility. I find my strength, peace, and hope in my Lord, Jesus. I write with one purpose today: to encourage you to find your strength, peace and hope in difficult times.
Dear Fellow Sufferer,
I am writing today to those of you, who are like me, a fellow “sufferer” in this life’s journey. First, let me say this, You are not alone. There are many of us who battle each day, just to make it through the day. We live one day at a time, one moment at a time. Can we ask for anything more? We look at life in a different way, after struggling in the way that we do. We have chosen to rise above the difficulty and keep marching forward. Even if we technically can’t muster up the physical ability to even walk, much less march. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t ever expect anyone to paste on a smile and pretend that everything is okay, when it isn’t. I believe in being real with others. Not harsh, but real. We may all suffer in different ways, some of us in ways similar to each other, but we have a common bond. We may not be close to each other in physical distance, but we can be close to each other in heart and soul. Many of us understand a new kind of compassion and empathy after our life’s trials. We march to the beat of a different drum, because we have to. We need to. We are often misunderstood, but once again, we rise up above the adversity or judgement of others. Sometimes that means we have to choose to not get easily offended at what someone said or rather didn’t say. I know, this isn’t easy. I’ve been here many times before. It happens with chronic illness. When we feel abandoned by friends or family, we choose to look to our Heavenly Father for His reassuring love and comfort. There will be times when we will feel lonely or that no one truly understands us or what we are going through. God knows. He understands. He has promised that He will be our comfort, if we ask Him to be. Other times, that means we continue to live out our daily lives in the only ways that we know how to, one breath at a time. When we are faced with disappointments and devastations, we may need to stop and just inhale and exhale for a while. That’s okay. We are human. We have feelings. That’s how God made us. Many don’t understand, that is okay. God knows your situation. He knows you. He understands you, when others don’t. He knows the plans He has for you. Even when you don’t understand “the why” of your situation, He does. I believe He has a purpose within it.
I am no stranger to a difficult physical life. That’s why I reach out to you, to encourage you, to keep going, keep inhaling and exhaling and growing. Even through the pain. Even through the difficulty. We will make it. Even on the days that we feel we won’t. Reach out to our Heavenly Father and ask Him to carry you through. I know He has carried me many times. I am also no stranger to Jesus’ supernatural miracles. He has touched my body before and done the impossible. He has provided the finances when we didn’t know how we would pay the bills. He has provided comfort and friendship and many things we didn’t even know how to ask for. Although I do not pretend to know the purposes of one’s suffering and difficult life, I do know it is a chance to get a closer glimpse at Jesus. A closer glimpse at our Heavenly Father. A closer experience of seeing the Holy Spirit in action, working out the daily details that we couldn’t possibly do on our own. At the risk of sounding crazy, I’ve wondered if it is a certain mercy of the Lord to allow us to suffer, if only to stop us in our tracks and be able to witness His greatness, His gentleness, His comfort, His beauty, His tender love. I could go on and on. It’s been in my most difficult of days, that God has shown sides of His character to me that I probably wouldn’t otherwise see. It is hard to put to words what God can do when we will simply surrender our wills to Him and let Him lead us. I will not pretend to have mastered this. It is one day at a time, learning to live this life, learning to trust the One who loves me beyond my wildest imagination. He is teaching me how to walk again in more ways than one. I hope that I will learn His lessons and be a better student.
I once heard it said, “If you must suffer, you do it well”. You do your best at what God has given you in your current situation. If that means you must sit in your recliner all day or lay in your bed, you do it well. If you are slower than usual at accomplishing your tasks of the day, you do it well. If you must swallow your pride and use an assistive device, you do it well. Whatever it is, wherever you are at in this season in your life, with God’s help, you do it well. What does this mean? I believe it addresses the attitudes of our hearts. Will I surrender my will and be willing to trust God in this season of my life? Will I trust that He is bigger than my situation and has a plan in all that is going on in my life at this moment? Or, will I whine, cry and complain that life isn’t fair? Will I harden my heart and get bitter? Or, will I choose to let the Master weave the tapestry of my life and chisel away at the dead places in my heart? Will I chose to see His hand moving in my present situation, providing for me? Or will I only chose to look at the broken places?
I write this as a reminder to myself as well. On the days when I am frustrated that I can’t walk about freely or have the physical energy to accomplish the tasks of the day, I sometimes need to be reminded to “do it well”.
My hope for you today and for your tomorrows is that you will be renewed and strengthened from the inside out.
“…My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness…” 2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21 NIV