And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
Do you remember the blog I posted about Blessings? That was one of the first blog posts I ever wrote. In that post, I shared with you how I sat down and listed all the blessings I could think of that have come out of having fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Some readers were amazed that I could actually list ANY blessings. That was my effort to trace God’s hand within a trial and also to make myself aware of how God can take a seemingly bad situation and use it for His glory. I was able to come up with fifty things on that list.
We know that, “All things work together for good,” but it’s often easy to spew that verse with no real meaning behind it. And I also believe that the “good” may not necessarily be revealed to us here on this earth. It is my faith and trust in God that allows me to confidently believe that He can even use “bad things” for “good”, ultimately for His glory, even if we don’t understand or comprehend that possibility with our earthly minds.
So, let me share five things from my blessing list with you today. In no particular order…
1. I have five kids.
I have five precious children. I love them dearly with all my heart. They are a lot of work and keeping up with them is exhausting. It isn’t always fun, but they are so worth it! This is hard to explain, but I am confident that if I didn’t have cfs/fibro – I would not have FIVE children. Two or three maybe, but definitely not five. I enjoy spending time at home, however; I also have a very ambitious side to me. Fibromyalgia has necessitated a need to stay at home, to slow down and prioritize, regardless of children. I love performing, singing, and teaching classical music so much, that if I didn’t have the fibro to slow me down, I may have chosen singing/teaching over having more kids. I find nothing wrong with those who pursue a career AND have young children, I just know that for me, being “forced” to stay home has given me a different perspective. Knowing that I would have to stay home because of my health, that singing/teaching would be a hobby and not a career, (at least for now) it was easy to choose to just to have more kids surround me in my home, since that is where I would be anyway. And I love my kids!!! I guess you could say my ambition has translated into having a big family! 🙂 My heart has always been to be a stay at home mom, but I think I may have been extremely tempted to try to do both a career and be a mommy. God made that choice for me, at least for this stage of my life, and I am very grateful. I couldn’t imagine not having all five of these little blessings in my life!!!! 🙂
2. I cling to scripture.
I think it is so easy to “put God on a shelf” when things in my life are running smoothly. It is the “thorn in my flesh” that keeps me depending on God for strength everyday. This perhaps is not true for everyone, but for me, illness keeps my focus on the Lord. I find comfort in His words, which leads me to reading, meditating, and memorizing Scripture. Without that hope, I am emotionally miserable.
3. I eat better.
When I was in college, I lived off of carbs – white flour carbs – the bad kind!!! LOL : ) I was about 30 pounds overweight. When I got sick, it was fast and furious. I lost that 30 pounds in about 6 weeks. It was drastic and noticeable. I lost my appetite and was constantly nauseous. After I started coming out of the worst of it, I started paying more attention to what I ate. I was glad for the weight loss and didn’t want the weight to come back, but I also knew that my broken body would benefit from making healthier choices. I still love to bake and indulge on sweet treats, but I balance it with healthy meal choices and fruits and veggies. This awareness first began with my illness.
4. I pray more.
I have heard so many of you say, people just don’t understand! And you’re right. Most people don’t get it. And that is hard. But there is ONE who will always hear me, understand me, and I can pour out my heart anytime to my Saviour. I find that my prayer life has increased with having fibro. Chronic illness keeps me running to Him with words of hurt, seeking His comfort and strength. And words of praise, for His grace and mercy. He always hears me and I find great comfort in that!
5. I plan, prioritize, and try not to waste energy on things that don’t really matter.
I’ve written about this before, but chronic illness robs me of the freedom to frivolously do whatever I want to do in a day. My day needs to be planned and prioritized. And sometimes that plan needs the flexibility to be abandoned because I woke up in a flare. Having focus on things that are important in life weeds out the “stuff” that really isn’t. I don’t have it all figured out all the time, but illness constantly reminds me of the things in this life that truly matter. When the flares come and things need to be weeded out, my relationship with God and caring for my family take priority. That clarity is a blessing. (If you have trouble with this, read my post about Learning To Say No.)
Can I challenge you to think of things in your life that have changed for the better since being diagnosed? It may be very challenging, but I hope you are able to find some blessings. These are just five out of my list of fifty. I will share five more with you next week. (Don’t worry, I am not going to share all fifty!!! LOL 🙂 )
Hope you all have a blessed week!