What am I thankful for?
- Modern medicine
- Quiet moments
- Hunting season
- Special music
- The Bible
Now, I know what you're thinking. What an odd thing to be thankful for. Can I say that I love the random aches and pains that come when the weather shifts or when I work too hard? No. Do I like that stress can trigger intense pain? No. Do I like that I get so fatigued sometimes that I can hardly lift my head? Absolutely not. Do I like that it robs me of being able to make plans or enjoying my family fully? Definitely not. Do I like being a Fibrowolf and having Fibro Fog? No way! So why do I say I'm grateful for this condition? Because I have learned so very much about myself from it.
I have learned what I'm made of, from the true condition of my spiritual soul to the quality of my relationships and the sincerity of my love for and my desire to help others. I have learned that God gives such grace just when you need it, strength at the moment you need it and joy and peace through the tears. He has taught me compassion I did not know I could possess through it. He has opened doors through it. He has taught me how much I need Him daily through it. He has taught me to appreciate any small moment of time that is spent without pain (or days without any real pain) and to see them as blessings and gifts. He has taught me that joy is not in your circumstances but in your perception, your attitude, through it all.
I have learned that true happiness is a choice. I don't have to like the pain, the fatigue, the brain fog and all the other things that go with Fibromyalgia, but I can choose to be happy anyway. I can choose to say, "I may not have this or that, BUT I DO have ____". Oh, I can fill-in that blank with so much; a home with Jesus when I die, a family that loves me, a husband who works hard, a good church, a roof over my head, food to eat, a doctor who listens... The list goes on and on. Those things alone are enough to make me smile and get my focus off of my despair. How can I be sad when I've been given so much?
Pain is not something that is looked at as a positive. It's hard to make it one. We rebel against that idea, I can attest to that firsthand. However, what doesn't kill us, makes us stronger, and that's true on so many levels. God uses weakness to show us His strength, and (sometimes) to bring us back to Himself. I know when you hurt, you pray...and a whole lot more than you do when you feel good. In that way, pain makes me grateful because it reminds me that I need Him.
Bad things happen to everyone. Hurt and despair find their way into all lives; poor, rich, young, old - pain does not discriminate. I am so thankful that I don't have to face mine alone. I have friends and family and (most importantly) God to help me through it all, and I feel beyond blessed for it!
I am thankful that the Lord has taught me that Fibromyalgia is not the end of my life, but (in some ways) it is the beginning. It is the beginning of a new me. I am so glad that I can say, "I have Fibromyalgia, BUT it DOESN'T have ME!" :)
To Fibromyalgia: I know you thought you had me whipped. I know you thought that I would gripe and complain and hate you, but I don't. Yes, I don't enjoy it, but I don't hate you. You have helped me grow as a person, and I'm thankful for that. Thank you for letting the Lord use you to show me how much I need Him and how much His strength is there when mine has failed. I am ever in your debt for your willingness to be my mixed blessing!
~ What "mixed blessing" are you grateful for today? ~
Share your story below or link it up on my Twenty-Two Days of Thanks page (it's the bottom link in the left sidebar). I'd love to hear from you!