When our circumstances overwhelm us, it is easy to allow them to define us. Vicki asks, “who am I?”
“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21).
Finish this sentence: My life is all about. . .
When symptoms of my disease monopolize my attention, my life feels all about. . . multiple sclerosis (MS). Yuck!
Lately, my life has been all about. . . death. That’s because in one week we experienced two deaths.
It all started around Christmas. We noticed a cancerous tumor returning in our dog. Almost before our eyes, his abdomen expanded. His days were numbered. We agreed that the moment we knew he was in pain we’d put him down. During those days, my life was all about. . . bracing myself for our impending loss.
The day after Christmas my husband’s 93-year-old mother, Mary, suffered several mini strokes. We went to the hospital to visit her. She didn’t recognize us. After five days, she was transferred to a rehab. center. For two weeks my days were consumed with visiting her, speaking to specialists, buying her clothes, sending updates to family members. . . Those weeks, my life was all about. . . tending to Mary’s needs.
On Martin Luther King’s birthday, I took our dog to visit Mary. He brought joy to the residents. When we returned home, he curled up on his blanket. The look in his eyes said, “Please help me.” I gently stroked him. When my hands passed over his abdomen, he jumped. I dissolved in tears. I knew it was time. We put him down.
The next day, the first day without our beloved pet, Mary suffered a major stroke. It left her unresponsive. Two days later, she passed away. That week, my life was all about. . . funeral arrangements.
Those six weeks after Christmas were a blur. The physical demands required strength beyond what my MS would typically allow. Standing in the warm nursing home room would usually cause my aches to hurt worse. Normally, I’d weaken like a wilting plant. In the past, significant emotional pain has caused my symptoms to flare up.
But, during those six weeks, my life was about. . . God’s faithfulness.
He gave me endurance and physical stamina, while protecting me from a relapse. My heavenly Father led us to the perfect nursing home five minutes from home. God made it clear when we should put down our dog. And His perfect peace comforted us in our grief.
No matter what’s happening to us, life can be all about. . . God.
Prayer: Dear Father, Forgive me when I’ve allowed my life to be all about me. I’m sorry for letting my illness consume my thoughts. When details and death surrounded me, thank You showing me Your faithfulness. When energy is low and pain is high, captivate my thoughts. Help me join Paul in saying, “For to me, to live is Christ.” Help me live to glorify You in all I do. Use my life for Your kingdom. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
About the Author:
Vicki understands special needs as a patient, parent, and professor. She has had multiple sclerosis since 1993. Her 31 year old son was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. She’s taught special education as a teacher, administrator, and adjunct professor. Through her online community she reaches out to other parents of children with special needs. http://theblogfrog.com/1505794
What would your life be like if it wasn’t all about God?
There are times when the pain is not taken away, but He sees us through it. This is “Sometimes He Calms the Storm” by Scott Krippayne. Hope it blesses you. -Lisa