Perspective in Suffering

Today Shaun and I left church early. The smell was much to strong for me and I needed some fresh air to counteract the migraine that was starting. So we went for our usual Sunday drive to look at houses. As we were driving I was flipping through channels and came across Southlands sermon this morning. I only caught the end which was about struggling during your suffering to rejoice in others miracles.

I started to think about this in my own life. My health hasn't been the easiest go. I've been through months without breaks from vicious migraines. I've been frustrated morning and morning again when I wake up in the same pain. I've also rejoiced greatly in that one day where I was pain free. I have tried everything the doctor every suggested and then some. I have changed jobs, I have been to all the specialists, I have changed my eating. I have spent months of my life sleeping away my pain and barely living. I am now at a stage where when I get my migraines they are bad but they are coming much less frequently. I rejoice in this season of rest! But have peace that they may get worse again and I will be okay. I can live in this pain. He will give me the strength.

But while I was listening to Ray speak I was brought to tears. I am so incredibly grateful that God has allowed me such perspective during my pain in life. (I want to call it a season because that indicates that there will be an end but after over half my life I have accepted that this will likely be my thorn and that is okay) I cannot remember a time where I felt hatred or blame towards God for this pain. I rarely feel any bitterness towards those who don't understand the pain I go through. I have always known beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am blessed and they are many in this world who suffer through much worse than I could ever imagine.

As I though about my perspective I immediately thought about my Chelsea Beth. See growing up right next to someone who truly suffers, it allows you to realize how blessed you are to only have migraines. See I don't have cancer raging inside my body. Chelsea was never meant to live past six, so every day we get with her is a miracle. She beat the cancer she was never supposed to beat, and though it is back she still fights through chemo every day. But it's not just cancer. Chelsea Beth has epilepsy so as she fights through chemo her seizures get worse. In spite of all her pain and suffering Chelsea still has the most beautiful soul I have ever encountered. She is full of such joy and hope. She loves with such reckless abandon, we could all learn from how this beautiful woman loves. I never remember Chels complaining when we were younger, I`m sure it happened but all I remember is her taking needles and pain like a champ. I remember her smiling and laughing. I remember how she had a huge crush on my brother (and likely still does, he`s a stud!) I remember how she stole the affection of every one she encountered. So how could I think my life was bad when I grew up next to someone who suffered with joy better than anyone I have ever met.

God has also allowed incredible timing in my life. See when I went to Africa I was truly changed. My whole world view was transformed and opened. I never want to forget everything I learned while I was out there. It was only after coming home my migraines spiraled out of control. Through those months of darkness I continued to keep everything in perspective. I had a warm bed to suffer in, I had ice packs when I needed them, I had heat packs when I needed them, I had a hospital with drugs that helped when I needed it, I had a mom to give me countless massages to work out the tension, I had a husband who cooked when I couldn`t. See it`s easy to know that every day 30 000 children die of starvation or preventable diseases. But once you meet those children it`s not easy to forget. And once you know their names you will always remember that they are suffering with nothing and no one to help them. So how can I complain about my migraines when kids are dying in pain every day with no one who loves them.

Through this all I am so incredibly grateful that God has allowed me this perspective. He has given me this gift so I have no been bitter or resentful and so that I can still enjoy life and those around me. I truly pray that through all of our struggles our eyes will be opened with Godly perspective. Because when we keep it all in perspective it is so much easier to struggle with joy and hope. When I think of Chelsea Beth, or my beautiful children in Africa who I love so much I can handle that migraine. Because it is only a migraine and though Satan gives me that pain I won`t allow him to take my hope and joy with it.

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