I was diagnosed with SM in August of 2014, but I began to notice symptoms of pain and weakness in January 2014. My body just didn’t have the same energy level I was used to, which was about 9,000 mph. I was substitute teaching, leading children’s ministry, volunteering for EVERYTHING at my kids’ school, directing the Christmas program, having extra kids over all the time, running a couple of 5Ks, advocating for Compassion International, as well as taking care of my 3 young boys and all my household responsibilities – laundry, cooking, cleaning, homework, discipline, all-night-barf-duty, etc. (my husband traveled very frequently for his job at the time)
Now I’m not listing all of these things to impress the reader or sound boastful. Just the opposite. I mean there is something called “a servant’s heart” and that is wonderful. But I was just an idiot – plain and simple. Especially because, aside from the babysitting required so that I could go out and perform these tasks, I did everything pretty much WITHOUT ANY HELP!
Just wanted to make sure you understand that I was a performance oriented person with pride issues. Not saying I’m perfect now or anything like that but God has brought me a long way from where I was just a year ago! It’s so easy to only see illness and disease as ugly and painful and disturbing. And in so many ways it is. But there is also something beautiful about it that God uses to soften the hardest edges of our hearts.
Little by little and piece by piece, I am giving over areas of pride in my life, mostly concerning accepting help, where God is gently and lovingly pushing me to do something. Not to “swallow pride” because what does that even mean anyway? Pride is ugly – I don’t want to swallow it, gag on it, puke it back up. Sorry but I’m trying to create a picture of a vicious cycle. If we “swallow” or cover it or ignore it or “whatever” it, we’re bound to repeat it. I think the only option is SURRENDER to God, who is able to work it to our good. (And we know for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28)
Now there are many ways a person can be prideful and not wanting help or accepting help is just one example. I am grateful that I am a work in progress and I look forward to other ways God will reveal HIs work in my life.
Just a few day ago, a sweet friend offered to come over and help out. I was in a lot of pain that day and feeling really weak. I thought about how much I really needed to be in bed, instead of pushing through. As I listened to the whir of the vacuum, honestly I couldn’t believe I was lying in bed while someone else was vacuuming my house! But once I got past that, I thought – my friend will be blessed for her servant’s heart! I’d have been a real jerk to say no.
Journey with me.
“…we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our heart’s through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”