"It is good for me that I have been afflicted that I may know Thy statutes. Thy words are better than thousands of gold and silver." Psalm 119
Being physically limited in normal daily life was not on my agenda for this year.
This isn't going to be a negative post, though, because the Lord's plans are far better than mine :)
"Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what He has done for my soul". Psalm 66:16
Scoliosis combined with stress, moving across country, not enough exercise, and well, life in general, has taken a toll on me. When one physical system has been depleted another tries to fill its place (we are marvelously made!) and round and round it goes, adapting to pain but never healing. I've had the blessing of being under a Christian natural doctor-chiropractor since January, and happily I'm on the slow mend! (The Dr. is practically convinced that I've been playing rugby on the sly...shhhh.) My energy level has increased exponentially, but the back pain (which can be intense) could take up to a year to disappear. Core strengthening exercises here I come.
To allow yourself only one major project (like shooting a wedding, or babysitting) per week is difficult if you're like me and want to help all the people do all the things. To rely on others to carry the heavy stuff requires patience (waiting until your friend has time) and humility. To say 'no' to activities and watch from the sidelines is not easy especially when joining in "just once" will put you in bed the next day.
However, keeping projects to a minimum has allowed me to be truly present for each one, to weigh the worth and effort of each. Relying on the strength & care of others has made fellowship sweeter for good friends love to help each other. Saying no to activities has given me more opportunities for candid photography of everyone who does get to participate!
My particular case could be worse, many people suffer much more. And getting a taste of suffering has helped me to be more aware of how much compassion is needed in this world, to be more careful of my health in the future, to pray more for fellow patients :)
I have yet to plumb the depths of why all of this is my lot and actually, I won't be doing that anytime soon. Knowing that He is glorified in all things, that He is teaching me how to love Him more, and simply watching Him work and lead me in the next step to take is enough for me.
This song by Bob Kauflin has a special place in my heart & mind this year:
When You lead me to the valley of vision
I can see You in the heights
And though my humbling wouldn’t be my decision
It’s here Your glory shines so bright
So let me learn that the cross precedes the crown
To be low is to be high
That the valley’s where You make me more like Christ
In the daytime there are stars in the heavens
But they only shine at night
And the deeper that I go into darkness
The more I see their radiant light
So let me learn that my losses are my gain
To be broken is to heal
That the valley’s where Your power is revealed
Let me find Your grace in the valley
Let me find Your life in my death
Let me find Your joy in my sorrow
Your wealth in my need
That You’re near with every breath
In the valley
The best part of experiencing all this as one saved by the grace of God? There is no pain or illness in heaven.
And you know what? We won't even care, because we will be seeing Him face to face forever and always.
How has the Lord helped you through trials, sorrows, and pain?