Sometimes I wish I could go back to the days I was fit and healthy. I would have been able to spend time with my children, maybe go abroad for a holiday, and been a better part of their lives. Sadly, they are almost finished with high school and sixth form and will be on their way to university and the life ahead of them. In a few more years, we will be empty nesters.
Today is one of those days. Sitting here alone whilst Mark, Josiah, and Joel are helping with Kids Alive at our church, the quietness is still, painfully still. Usually, I enjoy quietness. I am an introvert by nature, so I enjoy time by myself without all the background noise. For now, all I hear is the white noise of a fan.
As I sit here, I wish I was able to help with the kids. I loved working with children and running children’s programmes. I enjoyed helping the vulnerable and those who most other people would not bother with. I enjoyed teaching the Word.
I find it unfair at times. Yes, I have questioned God many times as to why all these things were taken away from me. I have learnt a lot since being ill. I have learnt who my real friends are, they are not many, but I am grateful for them. I have seen the kindness of strangers who are willing to hold open doors so my wheelchair can get through. I have seen my youngest become an advocate in his own way for disabled people.
I would love to have days where I am not in pain or completely drained with fatigue. So far, there haven’t been any such days. The recent heat wave has not helped.
I read several devotions each day and people’s blogs as well. I love to read. One of the devotionals was about suffering and how Jesus suffered not only in his death but in the 40 days in the desert (thank you Rebecca Brand).
No one enjoys suffering. We try to run from it. We try to cover it up and put on a happy face and keep moving forward. However, I have found I need to face the suffering head-on.
I never know what kind of day I am going to have until I get up and start moving in the new day. I just try to make the most of it when I start after breakfast. Usually, my morning consists of prayer, devotions, and posting on Facebook. When I get up early, 6.30 a.m. for example, I have a short nap to refuel myself for a few more hours.
I desire to use this time of what seems like suffering (if someone tells me constant pain and fatigue and loss of mobility isn’t suffering, they obviously never have experienced it) for God’s glory. Jesus did in the wilderness for 40 days. The wilderness in Israel isn’t just desert; there are many rocks, briars, steep embankments, caves, etc. He spent that time hungry, hot, thirsty, with God. I am sure he was tired, he may have had sores on his feet from walking on the hot paths, and feeling dehydrated. It was at the end of this time the sneaky devil tempted him.
When I am the most tired and in a lot of pain, the enemy comes in like a roaring lion attacking me. He mainly attacks my mind and tells me I am not good enough. I am useless. No one cares. No one wants to bother with me. I am a nuisance. No one wants to know what is going on with me. These lies run around my head, swirling, trying to burrow its way into my soul. Most of the time I can take those thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ. But, there are days, I repeat those lies to myself.
I know the words are not true. I say to everyone on Facebook encouraging words. I am good at encouraging others, but horrible at encouraging myself. I am so glad Jesus understands me. I am glad he knows what suffering is like. He knows my pain. I can lean on him in the midst of all the struggles I go through.
So, as I am sitting here in the quiet, I am reminding myself I still have a purpose.. I am able to spend time writing. I am able to pray for people and have the time to do so. I am able to write notes in handmade cards to people. I am able to share on Facebook. God is still using me despite of my limitations.
I still hate not being able to go out whenever I’d like or go longer distances so we can enjoy a holiday together. I still get frustrated when my legs won’t cooperate with me and causes me pain. I do wish I could be healthy again so I didn’t have to take so many tablets every day and could lose weight. I wish I could be an author one day where people can say, I relate to her and be encouraged that God is with them as well.
I just keep waiting. Waiting in the wilderness of suffering. Waiting for the lies to stop swirling in my head, especially in the quiet moments and in my sleep. And I keep waiting for healing. God’s timing is perfect. I trust him with my life. He has never failed me, despite how much I have failed him. God is so good.
Jesus quoted scripture to defeat Satan. I continue to hide God’s Word in my heart and when these negative lies attack me, I try to remember to hit each one of them with God’s Word. Jesus endured the greatest suffering known to man. With his strength, I can too. No matter what comes my way, I want to be more like Jesus. I want to be an example to others. I don’t want this suffering to be in vain. I want God to use me no matter what I am going through.