Going from seeing myself as a wonder woman, believing I could defeat the world in single-hand combat, to a chronically ill individual who cannot hold a long conversation without passing out, has not come without anger. I have had a sparky temper from the day I was born. Being saved at a young age may have prevented my parents from entering an asylum; still, the proclivity toward anger doesn’t go away, and I’ve found a debilitating illness to be a potential feeding ground for anger.
I feel angry that I cannot do this, go there, see them, pursue my dreams. Angry I have to take a million pills on time, that I have to wrestle with doctors and pharmacists regularly, that I cannot do things for myself, that I have to keep an insanely rigorous schedule, or else I feel EVEN WORSE.
I believe that illness, suffering of any kind really, also has the potential to display Christ in an extremely potent way. But it is a fight. Every. Damn. Day. Wake up, choose joy. Struggle through the day, pray. Try to see past my numerous needs to recognize other people’s. Try not to think about how others view me or perhaps judge me. Fight and strive to run the race well because that’s what it is—a race. Races have ends. Winners of races have celebrations. Celebrations with people they can talk to, food they can eat, an exuberance of energy that lasts for hours. Our future celebration will last forever, and the host is All in All, even if, for now, it’s hard to believe He loves me. The jubilee will be worth the affliction of running, the victory worth the battle.
Some days, the anger will be there, but I am learning to see it and address it. God has been showing me that anger stems from a sense of entitlement. I’m angry because I feel I deserve to be healthy, that I’m owed the common grace that most experience. But that isn’t true. Every good thing, big things like my salvation, small things like not vomiting today, is a gift from God. I don’t deserve these things; they aren’t my right. I challenge you to see those things in your life and be grateful for them. Only by living in gratitude will the turmoil of life not consume us. Only then can we experience the overflow of grace, live generously, and find joy.
Through this pain, around and in,
Amid the abandonment I feel,
The love You say you have for me
Doesn’t seem so real.
But will I make myself a god?
Demanding comfort and ease?
Or will I trust the one true King,
Though You’ve made me the ‘least of these.’
Will I believe that truth is truth?
Despite the misery I’m in?
Will I see I’ve been spared far worse,
My eternity that could have been?
If God will move heaven and earth for me
Then there must be a reason,
A reason for my here and now,
Being wretched for this season.
His ways are unsearchable
But it’s not for me to know,
What’s for me is to go run and fight,
And not bend beneath the blow.
I will not give in to anger and doubt,
But banish thoughts of self-pity,
I’ll live in the now that I’ve been given.
Noticing each ounce of beauty.
Beauty? What beauty, where?
I’m blinded and cannot see,
But they are there, everywhere,
Blessings to me fly free.
Family, friends, sunshine, pets,
Audiobooks and shows.
Kindnesses, smiles, laughter, and song,
Are but some that He bestows.
I will not linger on the hurts and strife,
Though many there may be.
I’ll dwell instead on the good things I have,
On the mercies that flood me daily.