As a chronic illness warrior, there is a lot on my plate. Normal life responsibilities, additional medical struggles that most don’t have to worry about and the desire to enjoy life and all that it offers. The last thing I need is to do more than what is absolutely necessary and to do things that don’t really carry any weight in improving my life.
With that said, I recently sat down and thought about what needs to go, and I want to share those with you today!
I know I fall prey to this often, and I’m sure you do too! Worrying has become a common mindset and we are daily replacing faith with fear. I heard it said that F.E.A.R. is False Evidence Appearing Real. We are afraid of things that haven’t even happened, and worry about the outcome. I do this with my health, finances, future and so much more.
Let’s adopt Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Ooh! This is a big one! How often do we look at other people’s picture-perfect Instagram marriage, life, family, health etc. and wish we had it like they do? We see their best and compare it to our worst; believing still that they have it better than we do.
STOP! This is a horrible trap that the devil puts in front of us! (Instagram is not the trap, how we decide to process what we see, is!) The only person we should compare ourselves to is God. We should strive to model our lives after His and use Him as a measuring tape for our spiritual growth. Galatians 6:4 says “Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else.”
TRYING TO DO IT ALL
Here’s a little PSA for you: You are not going to be able to do it all. There are 24 hours in a day and with sleep and work taking up most of those hours, you’re not left with many more. So stop trying to do it all. You’re probably driving yourself crazy, which makes you even less efficient.
As someone with a substantial amount of physical limitations, I have found that there are certain tasks or responsibilities that I must be okay with letting go for a day or two until I have the time or energy. Let’s be realistic and identify what we are truly capable of completing in a day and give those tasks our best, just like Ecclesiastes 9:10a instructs: “Whatever you do, do well.”
FEELING GUILTY FOR SITUATIONS WE CAN’T CONTROL
This is the hardest one for me. I frequently, maybe even daily, struggle with feelings of guilt. Guilt for the financial strain my inability to work full-time (or even at all) brings. Guilt for the restrictions my health puts on the activities I’m able to participate in with friends or family. Guilt for “holding my husband back” from the dreams he has/had. I could honestly go on and on with reasons I feel guilty and I’m sure you can add to the list as well.
Here’s what I have to remember, and so do you:
- We didn’t choose these illnesses — we were hand-picked by God to carry them because He trusts us to remain faithful amidst the trial and ultimately give Him the glory.
- Our lives are not over, they just look a little different.
- Most of our friends and families are understanding of our situations and don’t blame us for the “inconveniences” we feel like we cause.
This type of guilt is not from God. He doesn’t want us to dwell on the negatives before us, He wants us to see the blessings amidst the storm and focus our minds on that.
Phil 4:8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”
I am working to remove these things from my life — will you join me?
Emily enjoys the opportunity to “do life” with other Christians who love God and worship Him. Emily battles four auto-immune diseases, a few other medical conditions and seven food allergies, and she loves all things beach! So, sunny Florida is a perfect place to call home. Emily blogs at Beyond the Noise.
Ours is an age of anxiety. We worry about our children, jobs, homes, health, and finances. News and social media feed our fears. Even the fear of missing out leads to anxiety. The solution isn’t to rid ourselves of the sources of anxiety but to recognize that anxiety originates from a spiritual influence–and then use the weapons of power, love, and a sound mind to fight back and live in God’s peace.
Cindee Snider Re
This 10-chapter study powerfully reminds us that our value isn’t found in what we can or cannot do, but in Christ alone. Regardless of what we’ve lost through chronic illness, this isn’t the end of our story, for in spite of our circumstances, in the midst of the hard, when we’re not sure we can take even one more breath, God is still good.