Breathe in deeply.
Over the last six weeks, what with pneumonia, then bronchitis, and menstrual flow for 22 days (and counting) I’ve been struggling. Being as small as I am (58 pounds) with a twisted torso from scoliosis and weakened respiratory muscles – oh, and that whole spinal-muscular-atrophy-never-walked-can’t-move-my-arms-anymore thing – everything is just harder. I thank God for the improvements, truly, deeply, and pray that no more difficulties may come – all the while knowing that there are so many people out there who have it so much worse.
And I’ve been thinking… Through the choking on mucus, pain and bleeding, shortness of breath… Don’t I believe in God’s will? I have prayed that only God’s Positive, Perfect, Holy, Ordained Will be done. Not God’s Permissive Will, the things that aren’t part of His ideal plan, but that He will make work out for the best, but God’s Perfect Will, what He ideally wants. If being sick is exactly what God intends for the perfection of my life-never-ending, then so be it. God sees the Big Picture, which I cannot, as I’m stuck in the little details of the day – and the Big Picture is an exquisite Masterpiece.
Now, I say, “So be it” or “Thy will be done” – but, do I mean it?
If I mean it, then I should not only thank God for the times of improvement – pneumonia cleared up, the bronchitis gone – but also thank God for the new difficulties: the ongoing cramping, bloating that makes it hard for me to breathe and causes my heart to race, the loss of blood, the anxiety that there may be something terribly wrong in my reproductive system, whatever new cold might pop up. I should groan and nearly scream in pain, I should struggle for air, and I should say, “Thank You.” And I’m serious here. I’ve tried it, and I have to say, it’s much easier said than done. I believe in the principle, I believe it’s a good thing to do, to be grateful for God’s Perfect Will… But, it’s another struggle.
I am trying to learn everything that I can from this trial and these tribulations. I really do believe that there is a treasure here for me to discover, that there is richly useful knowledge and experience for me to gain. As a character said recently on a television program called Nashville, “Pain is valuable.” That’s true for country music writers, but it’s also true for all writers and artists. Perhaps, it’s true for every human being. I know it’s true for me. All of this will bring me closer to my Creator, into a more deeply and personal and intimate relationship with my Savior. Thus united and connected with God in my heart, I can then better be inspired and guided by the Holy Spirit to receive God’s love and wisdom and to be creative, to share the reality of Christ and the glory of God with others.
Being grateful for pain is extremely difficult and, being only human, I don’t know if I can really do it. But, there is another little lesson that I have learned in all of this, a practical one that is slightly easier to do, but no less important…
Even though it’s more difficult to breathe because my body hurts so much, I have to take good care of my lungs and stay healthy. So I have learned, and I continually remind myself, that, even when in pain, I must breathe in deeply. And this does feel something like gratitude…
That’s the lesson I’m sharing here in this post today:
Even when in pain,
Breathe in deeply.
© 2017 Christina Chase
Although crippled by disease, I am fully alive in love. I write about the profound wonder and terrible beauty of life while living with physical disability and severe dependency. Unafraid to ask life's big questions, I was briefly an atheist and considered other religions before finding, in God's choice to intimately share our humanity, what it truly means to be fully human. A revert to the Catholic Faith, I blog weekly and have written a book called It's Good to Be Here.