“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”
~ Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT
In my mid-forties, I grew a goose-egg sized knot out of the center of my chest.
(You guys, I can’t make these medical oddities up.)
But here it was, protruding inches below my neck for all to see. And of course, I wasted time imagining this growth was another tumor, since it was directly above where my first growth had mushroomed back in 1998. The good news is that after another CT scan, my cardiologist diagnosed my hard lump as a cyst that formed above the wire suturing my ribcage together after my open-heart surgery.
My sicknesses are not a trophy I hold high for the world to see, but ones I desperately desire to hide from, because I’ve always wanted to be the normal girl. You see, one of the most profound quotes I read after an illness was by a Hospice nurse who said,
“Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it.”
~ Bronnie Ware
“Oh,” was the only word I sighed out after contemplating this semi-truth. Because during my weaker days, there was a time when I wanted to temporarily transfer my pain with a simple handshake and tell those complaining about their job or their marriage or whatever non-health related struggle they were facing saying, “If you can somewhat jog without gasping and never have felt a day of debilitating bed-ridden fatigue, you have nothing to complain about.”
But I would never say this.
The truth is, we all have things we face. But in medical situations, I’ve found that non-sick people rarely understand their gift of health until the day their energy wains.
I surely didn’t.
At least, that was the way the 25-year-old me felt.
It has taken many years, but I’m still learning that what I can do after facing so many illnesses is empathize with others crawling through an ailment, and maybe help alter their perspectives a tad as they learn to trust Him more.
Sickness is a cruddy place to be…until the day you realize it isn’t.
There is a different type of freedom that surfaces when we start to understand that our life really isn’t ours, regardless of how we feel. That each morning we wake, we have a choice to wallow (which there may be days like these, so we allow ourselves extra guiltfree grace), or seek out God’s goodness that He desires to show us.
The truth is, we’ll never have this day again with our spouse, children, or friends.
What if we woke up and knew our loved ones only had 12 hours left to live? Would this change our thoughts, reactions, and how we spent our time?
Each morning, we decide how we live for that day. Whether we’re a seeker of joy, or grumbling in grief, we all choose.
Who I have believed that I am for so long has only been a tool He has wanted to use. Because honestly, if I wasn’t diagnosed with a football-sized tumor in my chest with my first baby, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. My sicknesses saved my marriage by softening my stubborn heart.
My illness also opened my eyes to adoption, because if I wasn’t told I couldn’t have more children after the many months of chemotherapy made me infertile, we never would have adopted a sweet baby girl from China.
And if my sickness wouldn’t have made me so fatigued and concerned, wondering how many days I had left on this earth, I never would have stayed home with my kids and homeschooled them.
As a result, teaching them to read and write gave me time to learn how to craft the words you’re reading right now.
This life wasn’t a path I picked, but one I’ve learned to appreciate.
I simply wish I would have altered my attitude sooner. This way I could have enjoyed more of my days believing the Lord, along with cherishing my loved ones.
It’s all in who we’re trusting.
Our circumstances will let us down.
I promise. (See the goose egg story above.)
Instead, if you’re sitting in a place of uncertainty, can you try something different today? If you haven’t already, cry out to God.
Really, it’s biblical.
Maybe even say, “Lord, show me how to have hope when I don’t feel any right now.”
Just ask. He wants us to.
This is leaning.
Handing it over.
Today, choose to trust in the Lord with your whole heart. Choose to silence those disgruntled feelings. And choose to become a seeker of His will as you believe that He will show you each day what path to take.
I think I’d like to alter Bonnie’s quote from above:
“Sickness brings a freedom very few realize until they walk through it.
It’s the freedom to trust God as He shows them how to spend their time each day.”
Who or what have you been trusting?
Seek God’s wisdom today by asking Him what you should do:
“Not once in the Bible does it say worry about it, stress over it, figure it out.
But over and over it clearly says trust God.”
~ Author Unknown
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.”
~ John 14:1 NLT
“Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered
them from their distress.”
~ Psalm 107:6 (NIV)
“God says, “Because you are devoted to me, I’ll rescue you. I’ll protect you
because you know my name. Whenever you cry out to me, I’ll answer. I’ll be with
you in troubling times. I’ll save you and glorify you. I’ll fill you full with old age.
I’ll show you my salvation.”
~ Psalm 91:14-16 CEB
Sweet readers, we only have 4 more days to go until this devotional is finished! Ack! All I can say is that a ruthless being does not want this job completed, does not want me to offer this as a simple download. I feel his oppression. And you know what this means, right? I must be doing what the Big Man wants me to do.
So thank you.
Thank you for your prayers, and for your ENCOURAGING emails and comments you send.
You’re the ones helping me to push through, to run this race!
In His hands,
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Best. Gift. Ever.