I'm so thankful to Erin for this wonderful post! Check it out:
Hello readers of "Finding Purpose in the Pain", I'm Erin and I blog over at Chronic Christian Crafter. I'm a fairly new blogger, and I love Stacy's blog. Since I am also a fellow survivor of fibromyalgia and chronic illness, I sometimes blog about my daily walk as a chronic illness survivor and how I cope with a christian perspective. In addition, I post inspirational and encouraging posts; DIY craft and DIY home decorating posts; fave recipes; and other things that I find that might benefit my blog reader...would love to have you check me out. I thank Stacy for letting me share with you guys today.
When I began praying and thinking about what to write for my guest post here on Stacy's blog...my mind raced through so many topics...then, I settled on this one topic...PURPOSE!!! Part of Stacy's blog title..."Finding PURPOSE in the Pain". It was one of the main reasons I clicked over in the first place to read her blog...it caught my attention. Anyone who has suffered with a chronic illness for any amount of time understands what we mean in wanting to find "purpose".
Chronic illness can "rob us". Like a thief in the night...in a blink of an eye...life as we know it, our life with "purpose" is gone. You know the "purposes" that I'm talking about, the "purposes" that mainstream values and stresses (i.e. successful job, large home with picket fence, 2 1/2 kids, dog, etc.). None of these are bad or evil...but, once a chronic illness strikes, you soon realize that there are things much more important in life than climbing the corporate ladder and keeping up with the Joneses.
However, what if I can't work, and I truly enjoyed my job and found great satisfaction (and purpose) from it? What if I can't have children now due to knowing that I can't care for them (due to the fatigue, pain, etc.)...but have always longed for children? These are questions (along with many others) that I believe every "survivor" of chronic illness goes through. Each individual's modifications to their life will be different, depending on how they must modify their life to manage their symptoms...And, each individual's road traveled will differ (even though they may be similar). Although we can all learn from each other, one must decide what will provide them with the most purpose, pray about it...and, focus on the activities that bless them the most.
As individuals "surviving" chronic illness you cannot waste excessive amounts of time on activities that aren't PURPOSEFUL and bring QUALITY to your life. We already have limited amounts of energy...use it wisely and PURPOSEFULLY!!!
In these times of transition, we can trust a sovereign and loving God to order all of the events in our lives PURPOSELY.
Change is an inevitable part of everyone's life, not just chronic illness sufferers. However, when a Christian depends on our Lord for strength, consistency, and guidance during trials, tribulation, and times of change; we can trust a loving God who desires us to live a life according to his purposes. All changes can become positive, strengthening experiences for those following God's authority.
"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His PURPOSE (emphasis mine)." Romans 8: 28
While facing battles (financial, medical, marital, etc.), it is especially important to study the scriptures and communicate with our Savior. An inner strength from God during times of distress can deepen our relationship(s) moving forward...give us additional perspective some may never know! Trials we face can remind us that God is faithful yesterday, today, and forever (Heb. 13:8). In addition, they can widen, deepen and heighten our personal relationship with our God.
So...the road to finding "purpose" can be (and will be) different for each and every person. I know my road to finding purpose has been curvy and had a few loops and dead ends thrown in there...but, that is okay. As long as I keep God first...I can rest assured that although the ride might be quite the adventure and have some unexpected U-turns...he is with me yesterday, today, and forever. That provides me ALL the purpose that I truly need...my purpose is to live for and glorify him!!! In effect, my illness has allowed me to simplify my life so that I am able to do that easier...
Thank you SO MUCH, Stacy, for allowing me to share with your readers today. Hope you guys were blessed. Would love to have you visit me over at my blog @ Chronic Christian Crafter. You can also find Chronic Christian Crafter on facebook, Pinterest, e-mail and twitter (@chrochristcraft).