Friday, March 30, 2012
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).
Friday, March 23, 2012
First of all a big Thank you to Stacy, who has so graciously allowed me to be a guest in her space! I've been a faithful follower of Finding Purpose In The Pain for quite some time now, and I am honored to have the chance to share with you all today!
Because I have found much support and encouragement with my chronic pain reading this blog, I thought it was only fitting to share with you all what has helped me get through my days as a wife, homemaker, and homeschooling mother to 3 boys all while suffering with chronic pain.
My journey with chronic pain has not been near as long as Stacy's, but already I know that when you suffer from chronic pain it changes your life. My pain started around 3 years ago, but this was around the same time we had our third son who was born with a heart condition. The first year of his life was very difficult with heart surgery, long hospital stays, and a slew of other health conditions. I put my own health and myself on the back burner, to take care of him and our other boys.
Fast forward 3 years and you'll find a happy, healthy little boy but not a healthy mom...
To make a long story short (you can read more here) my pain got out of control. Before I knew it, my house was falling apart, school was becoming harder and harder to do, and I was an emotional wreck. How can I keep going when it's almost impossible to get out of bed? How can I have a safe, clean environment for my family to live in, when I can no longer follow my schedule? How do I prepare yummy, healthy meals for a family of 5 when I'm having a hard time pouring a bowl of cereal? And how can I educate my children when my fatigue is so much that I can't focus?
Clearly life had become out of hand in our home. And it is truly only by the grace of God that I pulled through. I had to do something that was really hard for me to do. I had to relinquish all control over my life... Not that I ever really had it! You see although I love Jesus, and am a believer through and through I was having a really difficult time trusting the Lord with my life. I was constantly trying to work through how my husband or I could "fix" things, or how the doctors would "fix" things. But those things didn't happen, my whole diagnosis is still a work in progress and it made me feel out of control and terrified!
But the time came where I finally realized what I needed to do; I needed to give myself back over to the One who can actually get me through. The One with a divine plan, much larger then I could ever imagine! The One who created me to start with!
You know, it's almost funny how quickly life in our house turned around once I had given up my illusion of control. My pain wasn't gone, but all of a sudden more manageable then it had been. I began spending a LOT of time reading the bible, and through the word started finding answers I didn't even know I was looking for!
Colossians 3:23 ~ "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters"
My cleaning and household schedule had to fly out the window! I had this illusion that in order for me to reach my goal of portraying Proverbs 31 women, I had to do it all. Well, my body wasn't allowing me to do it all. The above verse reminded me that working with all my heart didn't necessarily mean doing it all, it meant doing the very best I could with my capabilities. If God wanted more of me, he would have given me more. More importantly He wants to see me do the best I can with what I have and all glory to Him! So, my white baseboards sit dusty, my walls and windows have fingerprints, and some days my bed just won't get made. Jesus knows me, and He knows my heart. I'm not accomplishing things because I can't, not because I feel like being lazy. He knows that.
The slow cooker is my friend! It really only feels like I have about 4 good hours a day where my pain is manageable and my fatigue hasn't turned me into a brain dead momma! By the time the supper hour was rolling around, I was scrambling. It didn't matter that I had a meal plan; I couldn't execute it at by that time of the day. So, in the mornings when I still feel okay, I fill the slow cooker. Everyday. Yes, we have all gotten a little tired of the same types of meals but knowing that supper is ready everyday regardless of how I'm feeling is a huge stress relief! And I can always make enough food to yield leftovers for lunch for hubby and the boys! Plus, I'm sure to my family's dismay, I haven't found anywhere in the bible that says that I'm to make gourmet meals daily!
School can happen anywhere! We're new to homeschooling as of last September, and I’ve really had to change my approach for this season of life. I’ve had to learn to be much more adaptable when it comes to our school day schedule as well as where we do our learning! Jesus did not need a well-stocked schoolroom, or a table set up with a multitude of curriculum, experiments, projects, and games. He always taught, always loved, and always did it wherever he was. So guess what? Sometimes school happens on the living room sofa, or even (on a few really bad days) in my bedroom with all of us lounging in my bed! On those days, we don’t focus on structure. We read, read, read! Or maybe watch a documentary on Netflix, or play cards. And we talk, talk, talk! I was surprised at the amount of learning that can happen during those “bad” days.
It's OK to ask for help! This ones hard, I know. I don't like asking for help because I hate feeling like I'm burdening someones time. So I was much more likely to suffer in silence and do things myself. This honestly got me nowhere - fast! I know it can be hard to ask. And I know those of you who have suffered for years may feel like you've already asked too much, but you haven't. Do what you can, but ask for help. I had to start getting a lot more help from my kids in the house, and at first I felt guilty but it's actually been very helpful for both me and them. Learning responsibility in the home is a good thing! Plus, they've earned small allowances for some chores!
This might all be common sense to some of you, but for me it was difficult to make the changes. At first anyway... I have to keep changing the way I view or do things, but I'm using the bible as my example and everything is working out. Not only am I much closer to Jesus, but our days are running much more smoothly!
By His grace,
Corrine is a wife, momma of 3 boys, and a follower of Jesus Christ! Learning to live out her daily life as a wife, mother, homemaker, and homeschooler living with chronic pain, for the glory of God! When she can sneak away you’ll find her pursuing a new passion - blogging at: www.corrinesmeadow.blogspot.com
Sunday, March 18, 2012
Monday, March 5, 2012
If you have any posts on any of the following topics:
Living with Chronic Pain
How your faith helped you overcome a tough situation/what you learned
Frugal Living/Debt free Living
or Helping the Lease of These
then I want to hear from you!
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