“God’s will for us is generally for us to pursue that which gives us life (John 10:10) and to turn away from things that drain life from us and leave us debilitated.”
Ruth Haley Barton from Sacred Rhythms
I feel as if we are mildewing in these parts, rain has been falling for days. Still, I’m wowed by brilliant blooms, bird shenanigans beneath the feeders, and their singing in the rain. Captivated by unfolding grace on stormy days. Maybe we can find a bit of sunshine together? I’m sharing three questions most often asked about my wilderness journey. Three questions, I have wrestled with. The three answers I have found daily living with chronic illness.
One: How are you doing?
For those of us living daily with chronic illness, “How are you doing?” is a loaded question.
Not one I want to answer. I don’t want to be the person to drag you down. My inner critic wonders do you really want to know? Are you simply filling space with words? If I were to answer that question, I would drain myself when I can’t spare that kind of energy.
Thanks to a dear friend, I have come up with an answer. One I can live with and one that won’t drive you away. You can read about that here. You see, turning you away with complaints is one of my fears. I suspect many of you living with chronic illness fear the same.
Two: What do you do all day?
Can I tell you one thing I don’t do? I do not watch television. (gasp) No, I’m not a super hero, I struggle with faith, I harass God with all the “Why’s.” I sling unholy temper tantrums before the Lord and often my Sweet Man. I am a million and one layers of imperfection. So why? Why do I not watch television? I. Know. Me. I have a compulsive personality. I can’t watch one episode, or one season of a show. Rather, I tug a blanket over me and check out of this one beautiful broken story I have been blessed to live. It’s one way of guarding my heart against self-pity, focusing on the hard edges of my life rather than the beauty, His beauty around me.
What I do, is fill my space with reading, writing, listen to fun, uplifting podcasts (I will share my list soon), and make space for rest. I pursue the things which give me life. I search for provision, gifts of grace, and the Presence of God in the wilderness.
Three: Do you miss your old life?
Three and one-half years we have been here. Occasionally, I am prone to take a memory from the past, give it space to gently linger in my heart. Occasionally, I stomp up a fit over not driving a car. At my loss of independence. When the time was right, I grieved the old and let it go. Choosing to move forward one moment at a time.
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.
Avoid all perverse talk; stay away from corrupt speech.
Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you.
Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path.
Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.
Proverbs 4: 23-27 (NLT)
Gifts of Grace
PS: I’m blessed to serve you in this place, to share with you the Gifts of Grace as I journey through the wilderness. I picture you across the table, hands wrapped tightly around your cup, sharing life, and laughter, and tears. As I share with you my own daily struggles, I long to hear what yours may be. Sharing the realness of life. You can do that by commenting below or reaching out to me here.
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PSS: Have you read Whispers of Rest by Bonnie Gray. Read more about it here.