Thursday, January 5, 2012

My Biggest Challenge

One would think that having a chronic pain condition since childhood would be my biggest challenge but the truth is it's become so much a part of who I am that I don't even remember what it felt like to be pain free. The real biggest challenge for me is working and supporting myself financially. Because of the intense pain & fatigue I experience everyday I really only have 4 to 5 good hours a day to accomplish tasks. Because of this I have never been able to work full time. And I can't explain to you how monumentally difficult it is for me to get through a work day-even when it is only part-time. But when you are single and the only one to pay your bills, you have to do what you have to do. If it wasn't for the incredible generosity of my mother who lets me live with her for very affordable rent I don't know where I would be.

And while I continue to struggle through each work day all the while wondering how I will pay ever increasing expenses when I'm already working more than I should be, I feel a strange peace. God is with me in this challenge and through this challenge He's taught me so much.

I've learned to resist sin, specifically jealousy-I love being on twitter and reading my favorite blogs but the tendency is there for me to compare my life to others. When I read about a person with pain like me who doesn't have the extra burden of working too, I get a twinge of jealousy. When I read about perfectly healthy people and their seemingly perfect lives, I get a twinge of jealousy. But I believe that is good because it's brought me to the foot of the cross for forgiveness, for change. Which leads me to my next lesson.

I've learned to be content with what I have- I have a wonderful family, amazing friends, a beautiful, safe home to live in, opportunities and blessings that most people in the world would die for-when I focus on these blessings, the struggles and challenges become less of a big deal.

And lastly I've learned to rely on the strength of God in my weakness- I have to pray constantly to get through just 1 work day-I pray that I stay awake and alert, that my morning nausea/vertigo won't last all day, that my neck and back pain will stay manageable, and that I will remain happy & joyful despite the pain-literally these prayers are said countless times every day. At the cool thing is everyday I get to see God answer them and infuse me with His strength to get through the work day. Like Paul my heart says,

'But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me." 2 Corinthians 12:9

What is the biggest challenge in your life right now? What is God teaching you through it?


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