Do you ever feel that is just too hard to live life the way God meant you to live it–abundantly? Laura explains how she treasured her choice to ‘live life’ on a recent anniversary.
“Sing to God, sing in praise of His name, extol him who rides on his clouds; Rejoice before Him–His name is the Lord.” (Psalm 68:4)
I dreaded the day–a year since last working as an elementary school counselor. I was employed 23 years in a job I loved but chronic illness would force an early retirement. So when the anniversary approached of the day I began a sick leave, I thought I would have a difficult time emotionally.
A remarkable thing happened instead. I miscalculated my anniversary date by a day and missed it. Phew, it was yesterday, I thought, and I had survived. Actually, I thrived. In retrospect I celebrated the day without even knowing. I did something rare for me–I went to a concert.
I saw Grammy-award winning singer Amy Grant on the spur of the moment. She played in a tiny venue of 1,200 people. With some modifications, I enjoyed the show. I found balcony seats on an aisle and when I became symptomatic my husband and I went out into the corridor to stretch my legs.
Much to my surprise we had the hallway to ourselves; acoustics were crystal clear and it was as if we had our own private concert hall. It felt like paradise.
We ate salted popcorn and I hung out enjoying the music–our first date in months. It was a glorious time to be out experiencing life. And the next day, I crashed; exhausted with all the symptoms of my disorder. But I didn’t care, I had a great time. I had chosen to live life.
I am choosing to live, to experience, to have fun and it is worth the pain that follows. And my anniversary ended up being just another day–well sort of–a glorious one filled with remarkable music.
Prayer: Dear God, how amazing you are to allow me to enjoy myself at this concert and forget about my anniversary. Thank you for the gift and for opening my heart to Christian music. Please help others who are struggling with illness to find ways to enjoy and live life despite their daily challenges. Amen.
About the author:
Laura Seil Ruszczyk lives in New York with her husband and three kids. She retired from her job as an elementary school counselor in July. She is writing a book about her struggles with dysautonomia _ a neurological condition in which the autonomic nervous system breaks, affected such things as blood pressure, heart rate, breathing and temperature regulation.
How have you handled important anniversaries and celebrations in your life since dealing with your illness? How do you continue to make the choice to embrace and fully live life?
Amy Grants sings “El Shaddai” in this video — one of her most-loved songs through the decades. She is joined by Michael W. Smith on the keyboards. As we live life, let us always know that through the ups and downs, God is always there, always the same. He never changes and never leaves our side. -Lisa