Days before Christmas I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). The relapse I was having prevented me from teaching. Extreme fatigue made it impossible for me to make cookies. They were gifts for my family. I had to give up that tradition.
I started a new tradition. Each year instead of baking, I create scripture calendars filled with photographs taken by me.
But MS still impacts everything during the holiday season. Will I have enough energy to go to parties? Will family members be offended if I have to leave early?
Enter illness, exit Christmas? It may seem that way. But actually, it’s the other way around. Enter Christmas, exit illness. Christ told of His second coming. At that time there will be no more pain. The end of illness.
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21:4
It’s some consolation that there will be no more pain in heaven. But what comfort is there now? How can I enjoy Christmas while dealing with chronic pain?
In a way, my pain and fatigue actually help me enjoy Christmas. I’m too tired to put up as many decorations. So, I have to carefully choose the ones that mean the most. Like the manger scene and the ornament my grandmother made for me.
Weakness prevents me from doing holiday tasks. Shopping till I drop is a thing of the past. Too pooped to even start!
My MS strips away everything that doesn’t matter. What’s left is what counts. The true meaning of the season.
Christ coming into the world has new meaning for me now that I have chronic pain. Jesus understands suffering. In fact, He chose to come into a world of suffering. He loved me so much that He chose to die a painful death so I could have salvation.
I would never have chosen to have an aching body. But He chose pain because He loves you and me.
God with us. Hope for the hopeless.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, Thank You for coming to earth as a tiny babe. You understand my frailties. Help me share the joy of Christmas with others.
In Your precious name I pray, Amen.
About the Author:
Vicki understands special needs as a patient, parent, and professor. She has had multiple sclerosis since 1993. Her 31 year old son was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. She’s taught special education as a teacher, administrator, and adjunct professor. Through her online community she reaches out to other parents of children with special needs. http://theblogfrog.com/1505794
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What new traditions have replaced former ones (because of your illness)?