I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations.
Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty!
At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,
My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness.
Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness.
Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.
– 2 Corinthians 12:7
12 months now, it is the anniversary of an unwanted revelation: i have a chronic illness.
parts of me hesitate to call it that, because it is fairly common, isnt (directly) fatal, and isnt cancer. i feel like i am being dramatic calling it what it is, even though that is how i experience it. chronic; long-lasting and difficult to eradicate, persisting for a long time or constantly recurring. constant. and 12 months ago, when i felt like i was barely scratching the surface of my own existence, blood tests were ran, and results came back.
something that makes my heart come alive is health and nutrition, exploring ways to live the fullest healthiest life, through food, movement, and lifestyle. but i have grown weary trying every possible remedy, researching endlessly to find something that will relieve, in hopes of energy again, of what feels to me like abundant life.
what is the balance of heaven on earth? of Jesus not wanting me to hurt or ache or wrestle with disease, how much do i pray against it, as warfare and command healing and restoration? how much is the fall (all of it i suppose)?
this needing to know, figure out, understand, treat, fight adds to my chronic exhaustion.
one of my favorite ways of hearing God speak to me is in the morning, when my thoughts and heart ponder something foreign, sometimes for a quick moment, sometimes longer, and then later in my time with Him, He confirms it, through His word, a song, a daily reading, a speaker… it is like He says, “yep, that was from Me, you heard Me right, this is what I am showing you right now.”
one morning it was this verse from Corinthians.
later that day, it was reinforced, and then again.
i hesitate to accept it. it feels like i would be admitting defeat, just allowing this thing that i have been loathing and fighting and running from for so long. “glad to let it happen… appreciating the gift… take limitations in stride, with good cheer…”
but another part of me was a little relieved; if this is true, if this is a gift from my Good Dad, will receiving it, keeping it, actually be the relief, the counter-healing, the understanding i have been so desperately searching for?
how often i spend my energies, thoughts, attention, desire… fearing any and all complications to my life, illness, weakness… and therefore preventing them. and when they happen, being taken out. despairing, spiraling, fighting to get back up on my feet.
My Grace is enough. you have tried to self-protect, hide, put on masks, be independent, be self-sufficient… and now you need. how close I can come if you let Me. how My Strength and Power and Light can flow through you, when you allow yours to yield.
maybe i have a chronic illness that keeps me crucified, cruciform, die little deaths, where my flesh wants to escape, find relief, live in the easy, but my true self meets His Strength, and Presence, and Grace, and teaches me how to break and give myself broken to a broken world. maybe it is to show me more of the upside down Kingdom; when i thought He makes me strong and blesses me with what i think i want and need, then i can do this life. maybe it is Him always knowing what i truly need, knowing what will restore and renew my soul, my eternal true self that will never waste away, grace coming down, my thanks going up, and healing, gentleness, patience, a tender heart, grace flows through me.
He will redeem. He will resurrect and meet me there. He will keep me close to Him and needing him where so often i run and do my own thing in my own strength. in ways i never thought i would be thankful for. in ways i never saw coming. in His wonderful Kingdom ways.
maybe i can soon come to the place of thankful defeat, not my will, but for your Glory. Glorify your name.
after all, the thyroid is the shape of a butterfly.