“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5,6).
Throughout my almost-decade of being chronically ill, I have always struggled to accept my future as a chronically ill person. I always struggled to fight the disease and pretend like it didn’t exist or that it didn’t affect my life. But the truth is that I am chronically ill and God wanted my life to be that way.
I sometimes put on a front of being perfectly fine. I act like my life and my health are perfect sometimes. I am taking the most college-level courses in my class, striving for scores of high 90s, and doing every single activity I can. And all these activities make me stressed and cause migraines. Sometimes, it becomes a slippery slope to disaster. I purposefully overwhelm myself so that others won’t judge my illness or think I am weak. I try to do more than most healthy people do because I don’t want to feel inferior.
But I am learning that sometimes I have to let go. I have to say no sometimes. I have to accept that sometimes when my illness infers with my life it is ok. But I can’t go to the other extreme and quit doing everything. God doesn’t make mistakes when He plans out our lives. He has a purpose for our lives that is beyond our understanding. Maybe our plan for our lives and God’s plan are different things.
Don’t get me wrong–do what you can with your illness. But don’t stress out when your illness throws a curve ball and changes your plans. Accept that sometimes you can’t do everything. But also accept that your illness doesn’t mean you can’t do anything. Find a happy medium between the two. Sometimes it is okay to say no. You can do great things with your life regardless of your illness. God has a plan for you in your illness.
Prayer: Dear God, Help us cope with our illnesses. Help us understand that sometimes it is okay to say no when we have to. Amen.
About the author:
Brittany Alexander is a 17-year-old student with celiac disease, joint hypermobility syndrome, and migraines. Although she has been chronically ill most of her life she tries to make the best of it. She enjoys math, computers and clarinet.
Have you had to say no because of your illness?
This group, 7eventh Time Down, sings “Just Say Jesus.” Whether you are overwhelmed with your circumstances or wondering how to set boundaries without hurting others, you can rest in knowing that you can just say “Jesus” and there is power in His name. God knows your heart and He is ultimately the one we should seek. -Lisa