“’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’” (Jeremiah 29:11).
My six-year-old son’s kindergarten class just celebrated 100 days of school by dressing up as 100-year-olds. We made him a beard, wrinkles, and he carried a cane. . . my cane and he was the only kid with one as an accessory.
I have honestly struggled with how my children’s lives are impacted because of my illness. Though I’ve had fibromyalgia for a long time, it still hits me hard when I see my kids affected. This isn’t the life I wanted for them: I wanted to play sports with them, teach them how to play guitar, and have lots of energy for them.
But, that is the life I wanted and not the life God wanted. Yes, the life I have hurts. It hurts incredibly, but if I truly believe what God’s word says, it is for His good plan. The Israelites, to whom this passage is written went through extremely difficult times. God was faithful even then and He is now to me and my kids.
This is the life God has for me and my family. Pain has a remarkable refining quality for our character and this has forced a lot of issues in our family that probably would have just been allowed to slide otherwise. Like my cane, it has given us a bunch of “accessories” for our characters: patience, gratitude, and empathy.
I used to focus on what my kids were missing and not what they are gaining. God’s plans sometimes hurt, but we grow. When the other day when my boys helped a lady with a walker in the grocery store pick up something, I realized that maybe they are getting something much better than the rest of the kids who don’t have a cane at home.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, please help us follow You and life the life You want for us. Give us the strength and courage to submit to You rather than holding onto our own desires for ourselves and our children. Thank you so much for being more concerned about our character than our comfort and for giving us hope and a future. Amen.
About the author:
S.L. Payne lives in North Carolina with her husband, three biological sons and foster daughter. She has had fibromyalgia since she was a little girl, but it thankful for God’s faithfulness. She loves writing, photography and laughing with her family. Her blog is The Proverbs 31 Project at adventuresofaneverydaygirl.blogspot.com where she hopes she can encourage others.
How has God used your illness to impact your children or family in a positive way for Him?
Being a parent means there are many days we must press on regardless of how our body feels or how our mind wants to rest. I hope you enjoy this song by Selah, “Press On.” When I heard it on the radio I made a point of writing it down to share with you. Those of us with illness press on every single day and not one moment goes unnoticed by our Father. -Lisa