How do you want to be remembered? I know that is not a popular topic, especially in our youth based society but death is something that is a part of life. I remember when I was in school we had to write our own eulogy. I don't know what made me think of that particular assignment today, but it really made me contemplate my life. I don't remember what I wrote, but I am certain that it was very different than what I would write if I had to do it now.
As I am writing this, I am reflecting on a diagnosis that I almost received a few months ago. While I praise the Lord that the diagnosis was favorable, it caused me to really think about my life as a wife...as a mother...daughter, sister, friend...
...as a Christian.
While I am all of those things, I am a Christian first. It is my loving duty to live my life in a way that is pleasing to my Savior. When I allow the Lord's principles to govern my life all other relationships fall into place. You may have heard it said that when we are living for Christ, sometimes we are the only Christ that others may see. We are the first example to our children of God's love as our Heavenly Father. If we come to Christ later in life, we are an example to our friends and family of the wonderful change that can happen when we allow the love of Christ to enter our hearts. When we meet a stranger our open hearts and hands will encourage them to want the same joy and peace that we possess.
How do we impact others? I want to be remembered as loving wife, mother, etc. But most importantly, I want to be remembered as having lived my life for Christ. In the end that is all that matters. Sure, there are other things that we can leave behind that may make taking care of our loved ones physical needs easier, but what is most important? After the money is all gone what is it most that would be beneficial to leave for our loved ones....the legacy of keeping our trust in Christ.
The Apostle Paul commended Timothy's mother and his grandmother for teaching him in the way of Christ.
I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.
2 Timothy 1:5
Let it be said of me that I loved my family, I served others, but most importantly, that I lived my life for Christ.
Our Father Always Heals
We can never totally understand all of the ways of God on this side of life. We do know that if we trust Him, He will work everything out for our benefit, and ultimately for the benefit of His kingdom.
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
I often used to wonder myself, why are some people healed and not others? I have lost many people I have loved to horrible diseases. Patients whose files I handled when I was working outside of the the home, family, and friends. People who had what some would refer to as "strong faith" and were considered "good people". I still wondered why.
Many times when things don't go as we have planned and we suffer hardship, we begin our individual downward spiral into lifelessness. That is, until our
Heavenly Father reminds us that He is still there.
He has told us that He will never leave us. It is up to us, however, to spend time with Him through prayer and His word. My friends, God has given to every person all of the faith we need to make it through difficult times. We just have to tap into it.
God always heals us, but while we are still living in this world, the healing may not always come in the package that we want it to. Sometimes it is a complete physical restoration, but it can also be an emotional or spiritual healing. God knows the type of healing that we really need in order to fulfill the divine purpose that He has for our lives. Don't ever give up on trusting God to heal you, but while you are patiently enduring, use your situation to get closer to God, use what difficulty He has allowed you to have to help others. How encouraging it is for me, to meet someone who endures suffering yet they are still able to smile. There are so many people in this world that are hurting from all kinds of things. Remember something, He gives us good, not evil all the days of our lives. Diseases do not come from God. We live in a world full of evil, and are subject to living in an imperfect world. He does, however, allow things to come into our lives at times to accomplish whatever plan He has for our lives. What He does give us, if we will trust in Him and rely on Him is the strength to deal with whatever happens to us and to overcome whatever trials we may face in our lives.
Through faith in His son, Jesus Christ, we can overcome any trial.
One thing I love about the book of Job is that yes Job had full restoration of all that he had lost,
it is not written how long Job suffered his loss of family, possessions, and health before his restoration took place. I think this is intentional. Think about it. If the bible said that Job lost all of these things and then after 14 years he was restored, then we would all walk around holding the Lord to that timeline and growing more and more impatient with Him as the time approached. Or angry at Him if the that amount of time passed by and we still had not received restoration.
Lessons From Everyday Life
Life Lessons From My Children
As challenging as it may be at times, we mustn't rush things with them. They will be leaving the nest more quickly than we realize. I have learned to see the world through their eyes. Everything is new and waiting to be discovered. How exciting that must be! As adults it is easy to forget about enjoying life that way because we have to handle so many responsibilities,
Enjoy every smile,
Enjoy every hug,
Enjoy every kiss,
Enjoy every question,
Dance in the rain,
Enjoy life with your children!
...our little adults will be full grown and on their own before you know it.
Life Lessons From Multiple Sclerosis
My Spirit is Happy, My Body Not So Much...
I'd say a large percentage of coping with any disease is the attitude that you have while you are enduring it.
My family and friends call often and ask me how I am feeling. This is what I usually say because it is true. Never underestimate the power of a strong spirit. My spirit is happy especially when my body is not. More often these days that has truly become my song.
I can choose the praise I sing. I can praise the Lord in the storm...and I can praise Him because of it. What I mean is this. I am the person I am today because of the trials the Lord has allowed to come into my life. I am stronger in so many ways and I am able to comfort others that are going through similar walks.
Now, don't get me wrong, having MS has not been an easy battle. My walk has not been easy with this disease, and there are times when I need to be comforted. I would like to share with you my favorite scripture to read during those times:
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all of our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
2 Corinthians 1:3,4
Simply put, Multiple Sclerosis is a disease where the white blood cells that normally help us fight disease (such as when we get a cold), actually attack the body. Specifically, the coating that protects the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.
I like to think of it like an electrical cord let's say to a lamp. If you scrape off portions on the rubber coating in different spots, sometimes the lamp may work properly and sometimes not....if at all.
Such is MS. There are many different symptoms that a person can have. Its easier to understand when you think of it like the lamp cord. Some days I feel better than others, and what bothers me today may not bother me tomorrow. The symptoms can also vary from person to person.
Its more complicated than that, but I just wanted to give a basic understanding.
I was diagnosed 7 years ago, and my walk has been full of ups and downs. One thing is for sure though. It has not affected my faith. It is not an easy cross to bear, but my Savior knows I have it and that is enough for me. He will continue to give me the strength to endure. Whether He takes it away in this life or the next I will praise Him.
Want to learn more about MS? Checkout these sites:
The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America
The National Multiple Sclerosis Society