Sunday, September 4, 2011

God's Goodness In the Midst of Fibromyalgia

As I sit here feeling the cool breeze, staring at our flags whipping around in the wind, and look up to the gorgeous blue sky with the scattered white puffy clouds... I take a moment to reflect on my illness and God's goodness in the midst of it. 

I ponder. I think about what could have been. Confusion sets in as I contemplate why God would give me such a big heart to serve others and love on them, while giving me a physical limitation that means I can't do all that he's put on my heart.

I question why he'd give me a heart for kids but not allow me to have them {yet}. I think about my neighborhood and ask God why we had to live in the middle of no one who speaks our language, when I'm so ill-equipped to talk to them.

And he answers my questions in that quiet way of his, when we are silent and listening while the world around us is rushing by fast and loud.... 

"Be still and know that I am God." (Ps. 46:10)

I let that quench my thirst and give rest to my weary soul....

And as God quiets my soul, he reminds me of all the other people out there who are missionaries in foreign lands, allowing God to use them even as they can't understand the language of those around them. It makes me stop and pray for them. I cannot fully imagine that and really admire those who do it.

God reminds me that while I have a heart for kids, right now my body needs to rest, and that he's allowed this continued season of us not having kids so that he can teach me about more of who he is, and how little I really grasp of his love & grace. 

God speaks to me and tells me that I would not be who I am today without Fibromyalgia. It has opened up an entire arena of compassion and love for others that I never had before. The intensity of my love for people and desire to serve them actually came after developing the Fibro, not before. My sympathy for what others are going through was sparked by my own immense physical & emotional pain. The battlefield for my heart came through a gust of rebellion, resistance, and refusal. But was finally won by learning reliance on God's strength, not my own. By learning to trust in God, not in myself.

I sometimes long for who I once was. A thin, capable, active cheerleader, lover of volleyball and track, a person no females wanted to be up against in gym class because they knew I was so competitive and good at each sport. A youngster who excelled in AWANA circle events, and the 3-legged race. A fun, witty, spunky, ambitious, sometimes quiet leader. A person who was active at school, active in youth group, active at church, active with family & friends, and did stuff constantly. An imperfect, confused child. Someone who loved God and others with as much passion as I could muster.

But then I remember all my questions growing up. All the things that didn't make sense. All the fights I had with God and the doubt. The total misunderstanding of what the world was really like. The not fitting in. The not ever feeling like people really liked me. The not having a sense of being used by God because nothing had really happened to me. I didn't have a story to tell, and I always wondered.

And I'm so glad I'm not who I was. I'm so glad I am who I am now.  

Don't get me wrong, I still have a long way to go. But God has brought me so far, that I just truly cannot imagine being who I was before. Sure there are days when it's frustrating that I can't be/am not still that athletic or that I can't be that busy, running around like crazy anymore without a break. But there are so many more days when I see God's goodness upon my life, how well I am loved by so many, and how much of an impact he's allowed me to have... and I realize how very blessed I am to be where I am. 

Relief floods in. The waves of goodness and blessing are waging war over my feelings of uselessness and lack of strength. 

I sense that God is near and that he truly is my ever present help in times of trouble (Ps. 46:1). I know that despite the questions and doubts that creep in, he is using this for my sanctification and his glory. 

For that, I praise him. For that, I am thankful. For that, I look up to the bright blue sky as the clouds depart, and I anticipate his return. When I know that all my pain will be gone and all my questions will be answered.

I can truly say, without a doubt, that I see God's goodness in the midst of my Fibromyalgia. 

No comments: