You are Never Too Messy to Matter

You Are EnoughOver the last 10 years of chronic illness, people have told me that I will be healed if my faith is strong enough, that I am being prepared for something greater in my future, that all of this pain, loss, and disability will be given a special meaning some day. But, I believe that our lives are meaningful even in the midst of the darkest struggles. We don’t have to wait until life becomes perfect to attain purpose and perspective.

In the first couple years after I was diagnosed, college friends told me praying harder would heal me, one suggested the sins of my parents or grandparents may be expressed through my illness, family members sent me books about focusing on God’s healing promises, and I was prayed over for healing at church more times than I can count.

I was so angry and frustrated at everyone! God wasn’t healing me, I was getting worse! Why didn’t they understand? But no one did… I felt all alone to face this new monster eating away at my body and taking down my dreams and abilities one by one. I had such a strong confidence in my purpose, in my “calling,” and I didn’t know why those passions would be given to me, if only to be ripped away.

I do believe God has the power to heal my body. I also believe that healing can come in other forms as well. I used to pray and pray for my body to be healed, for the horrible pain to go away, and for my life to go back to the way it was. Of course I did. Of course I want my pain to go away and for life to be easier. Everyone in pain wants that! As life became a one-day-at-a-time struggle for survival, talking to God changed also. My heart desired to be of service to others (on support groups, online, in my relationships, etc.). Over time, I realized those prayers overtook the ones begging for physical healing. I believe there are different kinds of healing beyond physical wholeness that I hadn’t thought about before chronic illness, or during my first years living with it.

In each of the instances with my friends and family, they were showing up in the only way they knew how to offer hope and support. I’ve since learned that the people who show up are the ones to hold onto- sometimes they take some time and guidance to figure it out though.

During the storms in life, it is so common to be told that when the storm lifts, we will use what we’ve learned to help someone else, or we will have a greater sense of clarity. Well, when the rain doesn’t let up, when your body is constantly beating you up, if you are terminally ill, there is no waiting for healing to make use of your life today. Loss of health forces us each to look at our mortality and time in a new way. The desire to make a difference in the world doesn’t stop just because one’s legs, nervous system, or liver is failing. For so many remarkable individuals I have met over the years, illness can even inspire a new-found purpose, passion for growing in new ways, and redefining success based on what they hold most precious vs. what society has told them is of importance.

If you feel as though your purpose has been lost, and you don’t know why your life has taken this sudden detour, please know that you are not alone, and you are still on a path that is your own. You have not been forgotten. Your life still has meaning, even now- even in the mess you feel you are going through. You don’t have to wait for the perfect body and perfect life to be useful. If I had waited for that kind of moment, I think I would be waiting for eternity! Even in the middle of your struggle, your story matters. What you are going through matters.

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About abodyofhope

I do not know why it is that we must wade through tragic circumstances to find truth. We nearly drown! But under the water, there are pearls. I hope in writing this blog, more will come to the surface. Over the past 11 years living with chronic pain, patient advocacy has affected my life through so many remarkable young people, women and men: SURVIVORS. These individuals are HOPE personified. I wish to honor them in the same spirit they have encouraged me to press on. Four years ago, I became bed-bound from a variety of chronic illnesses after a procedure meant to help the pain condition I had been managing for several years- went bust #BIGTIME. In the last 4 years, my entire life has changed. I have changed, but I am still striving to live my best life possible. Along with sharing inspiring pieces, medical/holistic research, and awareness articles, this blog is also an attempt to put my own pieces back together. Welcome to A Body of Hope, and thank you for visiting. [Complex Regional Pain Syndrome/ RSD, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), Dysautonomia, Chronic Intractable Migraine, Cluster headache, Trigeminal Neuralgia, Occipital Neuralgia, Hypersensitivity to Sound & Light, Fibromyalgia, Cerebrospinal Fluid Imbalance......blah, blah, blah] >>> P.S. My headgear is protective for pain. I just rock it hard.

Posted on June 24, 2015, in Inspiration, Spiritual Journey and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. This was just exactly what I needed to hear today and is really meaningful to me, thank you so much for your inspired words and inspired timing x

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    • That touches me deeply. Thank you so much for taking the time and energy to leave this heartfelt comment ❤

      I used to write a lot of articles like this when I first started this blog if you ever feel like looking in my archives. It has been a while since I have felt up to writing this type of piece, but I think I needed it just as much as I needed to share it! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautifully written, thank you.

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  3. This post is so insightful, and so comforting. How precious to know – especially through eyes of tears – that we are loved, valued, and useful. Still effective, but in a different way. Your words and spirit continually bless me as you see God in all things. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Chronic illness in church often reveals how much Prosperity Gospel style thinking permeates even in people who think they disagree with it. There is an expectation of health wealth and happiness, which seems unhealthy at the best of times, but when bad times hit it becomes emotionally damaging as the only way to sustain it is scapegoating the individual as lacking faith. Many faithfilled Christians around the world experience extreme poverty, illness with no healthcare, and depression. If the miraculous was everyday it would no longer be a miracle. This may be scary to accept but I see it as a more honest expression of faith to acknowledge this and then try to find a small niche where you can bring healing.

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    • Absolutely! Thank you so much for this thoughtful comment.
      Even though it has become more “mainstream” that some ministers are focusing on happiness, joy, health, and wealth, that is a recent phenomenon among these upscale American mega-churches.
      The reality of life is people around the world can’t pay bills, feed their children, find clean water, shelter, are depressed as you said, ill, etc. I completely agree with you.
      Faith is a challenge in itself, even with all of the rewards it brings. Joy and Hope are found through faith; not by having an easy life (unfortunately). An easy life would be sooooo nice! 😉
      I loved your comment. Thank you again ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you so much for giving that love right back to me ❤
    I haven't been able to write anything like this in a long time, but I think I needed to hear this as much as I needed to share it/write it. I'm sure as a writer, you can understand that. I really appreciate you letting me know this resonated with you. God bless you, sweet friend.

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  6. I am writing you with a tissue in hand. Even in the midst of what you are dealing with you still inspire and spark hope in us. I have had similar comments in the last 14 years of my journey with CRPS.
    I am sending a gentle hug . Thank you for reminding me the detour right now and the hot mess my life is right now does not take away me having a purpose. It is there somewhere as is yours 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  7. And there is a time for every event under heaven ~
    …A time to be silent, and a time to speak.

    Most people don’t know when to keep quiet. Their many words just make it worse.
    Just know that you were seen and heard, and understood.

    Xx
    Diana

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is so well said and from the heart with beautiful wisdom and insight gained from going through chronic health issues. God uses us THROUGH all things. I’m a follower of Jesus, I believe in miracles and miraculous answer to prayer. I’ve had those miracle moments, but I’ve also prayed and the answer took years, or like you, I’ve prayed to get well, but I’m not yet, or maybe I will always have stiff painful gimpy hands. I don’t know, but I agree and know it has nothing to do with a problem with having weak faith. I trust God with the journey I am on. My health issues I am going through have blessed me with a heart that has become more softened towards others, empathy and mercy has grown a hundred fold, and judgment of others has faded away. I’m not mad or angry at Him for my current state. I still see and feel His love. You are doing a great work for God and others, hence loving God and loving people, precisely as He calls us to do. Our worth isn’t in what we do, it’s in who we are, who He created us to be whether physically whole or not. You matter. Your story matters. And I still pray that you are healed as I pray that for myself, but no matter the answer, we will always matter. Blessings – D.L.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What a blessing to know that you are able to see the ways God has worked through your life even in your pain. Thank you so much for sharing your powerful testimony.

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