“Do ordinary things with extraordinary love.”
A few months ago, I sunk into the traumatic storm of a cerebral spinal fluid leak relapse, which triggered a major mental health crisis. I felt completely worthless. Stuck in bed, I felt my life had little worth, value, or purpose. I felt like a burden to the world.
In that crushing darkness, I couldn’t see how I could bless or help others. I felt like a negative influence, a drain on others, and even considered deleting my blog and public writing. What’s the point of telling my sad story when the world is already full of sad stories? In the end, I compromised, privatizing my blog for a few weeks, until my perspective grew healthier and more balanced again.
YOU ARE MORE THAN WHAT YOU DO
As the sun began to break through, I realized I’d fallen for the lie that “What you DO is more important than who you ARE.” The lie that if I can’t do anything then my life is worthless, that I am an insignificant nobody without the capacity to make a difference.
Why do we fall for the ageless deception that we ARE what we DO?
When such lies cripple me, shame consumes me, and I lose track of my identity, unsure where to anchor myself so I can move forward. But as my perspective improves, I remember that I am not what I DO! I am me, whether I am doing something or lying in bed.
WHO CAN I SHOW LOVE TODAY?
One day, as I was praying a ‘Psalm-type lament,’ I cried out to God, feeling I had no purpose anymore, so restricted by my physical condition that I questioned the point of being alive. In that moment, God spoke, “Precious child, your purpose is to ask yourself, ‘Who can I show LOVE today?’”
So simple, yet so profound. Even though I was stuck in bed, I could choose to love others from that place.
God’s words resonated, reminding me of the truth I already knew – LOVE is only love when it is given sacrificially.
DO SMALL THINGS WITH GREAT LOVE
Mother Teresa’s words, “Do small things with great love!” hang in our hallway. Acts of love don’t have to be big. We can love just as much through ordinary acts. What matters is the amount of love we offer.
“Who can I love today?” has become the daily question of my heart, helping me walk through what seemed like an impossible time to endure. On those days, when reality would hit me like a ton of bricks, I would try to accept where I was, grieve my limitations, and ask God to show me who I could show small acts of love and kindness to that day, and slowly, but surely, a sense of purpose, even amidst pain, was restored to me.
The more I loved, the more I felt God’s love, and the more love I had to give.
CHOOSE TO LOVE DAILY
Despite chronic pain, despite disabilities and limitations, despite whatever restrictions you are facing, there is purpose for your life – things only you can do, words only you can say, tasks only you will see need doing.
Being alive means there is someone to love, serve, encourage, or bless today.
Choose to love daily. It is the highest purpose of your life.
“I was broken so I may understand the broken, so I may reach out to the hurting, and comfort the wounded.
I have the capacity to bring hope and love and healing – a once fractured mirror finding new purpose,
because I am no longer reflecting myself, I’m reflecting Him.
This is my reason for living. This is why I was created.”
Published at beckyhillblog.com on 10/12/19.
More Posts from Becky
Grief Doesn’t Just Come When People Die Yesterday was a hard day – a day when pain and nausea nagged and taunted me the whole day, a day when grief in waves washed over me, reminders of loss, of restriction, of the shackles of chronic illness. Grief doesn’t just come when people die,...
Shame In 2016, I realized how much shame I was carrying because I was still unwell, over 20 months after a ladder fall left me with a debilitating spinal fluid (CSF) leak. Reading Brené Brown’s book, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and...
Chronic Joy® Contributing Writer
Becky lives in Leicester, UK and is a wife to Matt, mum to two girls, and a pursuer of Christ. Becky and Matt love the local church and have been involved in pastoral ministry for many years. In January, 2015, Becky fell from a step ladder causing a debilitating cerebrospinal fluid leak and chronic arachnoiditis which means over the years she has had to spend much of her time in bed. She also lives with severe daily neurological pain. Becky loves words and writes to connect, encourage, share her journey, and inspire others facing suffering, chronic illness and pain.
Matt Chandler and Friends
We all wonder how we will cope in times of terrible suffering, and how we can best support others who are suffering. And we all ask the question: how does suffering square with God's character and purpose? Matt's story of his battle with a potentially fatal brain tumor and the stories of those who taught him, and teach him, how to walk with joy in sorrow.
Cindee Snider Re
What if purpose looks different than we believe?
This 10-chapter study invites participants to release cultural and traditional definitions of purpose, and instead, to embrace God's - a timeless definition rooted in His Word and as refreshing as a gentle spring rain.