Sunday, September 9, 2012

Of Pride and Prejudice

     To be honest, I struggled as to whether I should even attempt to write this post. But after learning of the Invisible Illness Awareness Week and mulling it over, I was reminded once again, that this journey I have been on for 11+ years now is not about me. It is easy to think that it is, especially when I have a "bad" day. But then the small still voice I heard in those early days of my illness whisper to me once again that I am not alone and that there is STILL a purpose and a plan for my life.
     My journey began in January 2001. My diagnosis came in late April, 2001. Fibromyalgia. I had never heard of it. I was 42 years old at the time. My life as I knew it changed that January, sad thing is my whole family became affected. My husband often says when speaking of my illness that Fibromyalgia may not be life-threatening, but it is life-altering. My husband has been most directly affected by my illness as well as our three grown daughters and our eight grandchildren. No man is an island as they say. I try to make a conscious choice to be aware of this fact everyday.
     My struggle in the beginning was not only physical it was also spiritual. I was needing desperately to reconcile my beliefs and my circumstances and was led to John 9:1-3 NKJ.  When I read these verses I realized that I had viewed my situation legalistically. By that I mean I did not realize that deep inside of me I was thinking that I must have done something wrong (sinned if you will) and I was being taught a lesson as punishment from God. If you had asked me before I had read that Scripture if I thought that was going through my mind, I would have told you no, of course not!
     But God knows our hearts and I believe He was telling me through those three small verses that I was not being condemned, nor did I have the right to condemn anyone else for my illness. Better yet, that no one else had the right to condemn me for my illness! He allowed it and He allowed it for my good and His glory.
     John 9:1-3 also allowed my invisible illness to make visible my own pride and prejudice toward others. I cannot tell you how often I have reflected on these verses as situations have come up since I have been ill. Whether it be words or actions, omitted or committed toward me.
     The classic novel written in the early 1800's  Pride and Prejudice  by Jane Austen comes to mind. The two main characters had to come to grips with their own pride and prejudice in order to love each other. That still small voice reminds me that I too am guilty of jumping to conclusions and judging others and that I have no right to do so if I am to love them the way that Christ loves me. It is a humbling experience.
     It amazes me that the God of the universe would care enough about me to reveal Himself in such a way that I can discern His truth through all of the muck that someone with chronic illnesses goes through. He is with me and He is in control of my body, even though it seems my body is out of control. And I share just a glimpse of  my story with you in hopes that you realize that I am not unique by any means as is stated in I Corinthians 1:26-29 NKJ.
     These truths should be enough reason for all of us to have hope. He is our hope, He is the source of our joy, so we can indeed rejoice! Yes, even now in the midst of our daily struggles. This is my song and prayer for us all and it is why my blog is titled Songbird  and is offered as a source of hope no matter our circumstance.

May God bless you and fill you with His hope as you continue your journey,

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