“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. I have taken an oath and confirmed it, that I will follow Your righteous laws. I have suffered much; preserve my life, Lord, according to Your Word. Accept, Lord, the willing praise of my mouth, and teach me Your laws.” (Psalm 119:105-108)
I like some surprises. I love looking at a present or two on a special occasion and wondering what is inside the package. I enjoy receiving an unexpected gift or a letter in the mail.
But surprises don’t always thrill me. My 50th birthday is forthcoming and the last thing I want is a surprise party. I despise that much attention. This got me thinking about chronic illness and how many surprises it creates. And while I believe God has plans for us all–as I have seen my life evolving in the last three years–I think the waiting to find out what exactly the plans are is the most difficult part.
How long will I live with this Lord? Will my condition deteriorate or improve? What will happen to my family? . . .
Will my doctors stick with me or decide I am too complicated? How about my pacemaker, will it always work? . . .
Will I have a good day today or will I crash? Will I be able to get out of the house or be stuck at home? Will friends and family stay for the long journey or vanish?
These are all valid questions that we all may in some form ask about our illnesses. But answers may not come immediately.
But we do know this:
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8).
Eventually, doors open, options are given, answers crystalized: God’s promise to us.
Prayer: Dear Lord, Help us to embrace the surprises that we encounter through our lives living with chronic illness. Guide us, Lord, to do Your will despite our difficulties. Amen.
About the author:
Laura Seil Ruszczyk lives in New York with her husband and three children. She is a retired elementary school counselor who discovered her love of writing about 35 years ago. Laura is the disability/chronic illness advocate for her church and also enjoys running a HopeKeepers group. She is writing a book about her illness, dysautonomia: the deregulation of the autonomic nervous system. She had a pacemaker implanted in October 2013 as a result of dysautonomia slowing her heart rate.
What surprises has chronic illness created in your life?
Do you take time to look around you and see ways that God is offering you little surprises throughout the day? Just last week during a moment of stress my son said, “Mom, there are 2 doves outside.” This has a special meaning in our family and he knows it is a reminder from God. I hope you love this song, “God Speaking” with Mandisa. Another beautiful reminder of how He speaks to us constantly. Are you hearing Him? -Lisa