What Really Matters
As I look back on my life, certain dates are imprinted in my mind - gold figures engraved on black marble; glittering, shining, sparkling.
12th May 1974 – the day I became a follower of Jesus.
9th August 1984 – the day I said ‘yes’ to my husband.
15th Feb 1986 – the day we got married.
1st April 1990 – the day our only child was born.
There are more special dates; some recent. Like…..
July 10th 2010 – the day my first book was published;
1st Oct 2010 – the day I obtained my driver’s license.
Sunday, 12th May 2013 is yet another of those special days – one which will remain in my heart for a long time. It was 39 years since I became a Christian that day – 39 years of experiencing the faithfulness of an amazing God. It was also Mother's Day, so I was pampered by my men & attended a special Mother’s Day service at church. All very special. That wasn’t all. It was also the day I was welcomed into church membership by my church family. Even more exciting was that I was commissioned for my new role at church as CareLink Director. I was energised and empowered; filled with God’s joy.
As if all of that wasn’t enough, God provided the icing on an already delicious cake. A worship song I’d composed was sung by the worship team as a special item. I flew on Eagles wing that day, God’s breath on my face, the sweet sense of His Spirit deep within. May 12th 2013 was also ‘World Fibromyalgia Awareness Day’. Interesting. Interesting to me personally because I’d been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia earlier in the year – a relief to have 7 years of symptoms and health issues given a name at last.
When I have a flare up of Fibromyalgia – life gets tough. Just doing the simplest tasks becomes too difficult. Getting through my day is very hard. I have been determined not to give into it. But there are days I struggle with unbearable pain and debilitating exhaustion. And so, I found it interesting that the 12th of May – a very exciting day for me in many ways was Fibromyalgia Awareness day. After all, that also applied to me.
But you know what? As I thought about it, there was a grand awakening. In the joy of that day – this undesirable part of me was minute. Not worth bothering about. It struck me with clarity that while health issues or any other difficulties in my life often take centre stage – the truth is, that in Christ – they have no power over me. I am not my illness. I am not my troubles. I am much much more than that.
The past few months I’ve struggled often with my Fibro symptoms which surfaced afresh 6 weeks after my operation. It seemed then that Fibro was stealing my life and my dreams and my desires. I took it to God. Faithful family and friends prayed. I told Satan that he could never stop me from following God’s plans for me. Yes, Fibro is only a small part of me. I will not allow it to dominate my life – even on my bad days.
God’s love for me, my love for God, my standing in Christ, my love for others, their love for me, my gifts, my calling, my passions in life – they take centre stage. Not my illness.
Perhaps you are facing a difficult situation or an excruciating illness? I know life can sometimes be too hard. Exhausting. Filled with mountains to climb. Obstacle courses to navigate. And everything gets too much. But…. please don’t forget that your present troubles or your current illness does not define you.
You are a beautiful person created in the image of God. Your life is more than the troubles that have beset you or the illness that may have consumed you. And so my friend, may this day be the beginning of something new. May God touch you with His love. May you be set free to enjoy life – knowing well that your nemesis is only a small part of your story. May you experience healing and strength; wholeness and blessing. This is my prayer for you today.
What’s important is the unique person you are – the special person God created you to be. Your smile, your heart, your love, your dreams, your gifts, your standing in Christ – they define you. Nothing - and no one, can ever take those things away you. What’s most important is that nothing will ever separate you from the amazing love of God which surrounds you now. It envelopes you every moment, every day, every hour and will continue for all eternity.
You are unique. You are special. You are LOVED.