What I Love

Inspired by a blog post I was directed to on twitter today, I thought I would share with you what I love. But this is not your ordinary gratitude list. I am going to write to you about what I love about living with chronic pain and depression (among other things).

Yep, you heard me right. “What I love about living with chronic pain and depression.” What could there be to love you ask? Let me tell you . . .

I love the journey. I have been on this path to wellness for a long time, but the most challenging and revealing part of my journey did not begin until I developed Fibromyalgia. My journey is far from over. I can see a winding path ahead, over mountains, through thick vegetation, and across rapid waters . . . it won’t be easy. But on the other side of each challenge I will find myself a step closer to wellness and a life filled with peace. If I were not on this journey, I would miss the view from the top of the mountain, so I am thankful.

I love the connection. I am and have been connecting to people I never would have had the opportunity to meet if it were not for my illness and my life of chronic pain. I have met some people that amaze me completely with their strength and courage to face pain day after day, all the while keeping a positive attitude. I have met people facing adversity I never could imagine being able to handle and they handle it with grace. I have made life-long friendships, the kind of friendships that weather change, time, and distance, with people I have met through the internet (I truly never thought that a possibility in my life)! I continue to connect with other people who are suffering from similar challenges and I am inspired daily by them and inspired to continue sharing my story and what I am learning along the way. I am connecting with people all around the world, sharing stories, remedies and life. It is amazing and wonderful.

I love getting to know God. My relationship with God has become closer than ever before and continues to grow and strengthen with each day. I am coming to understand His faithfulness and love for us. I am beginning to grasp the concept of how truly magnificent and omnipresent He is, and I am awestruck. I don’t feel it every day or every moment, but I am feeling my connection to the Lord more than I could have imagined possible a few short years ago, and it is lovely.

I love me. Wow, that one is still hard to say. And I might even be “faking it ’til I make it” a bit here, but I do love getting to know me better. I have gone through some horrific times, but through it all, I am getting to know myself better. I am seeing some beauty underneath the veil of pain. I may not be the “ideal woman” but I am wonderfully made and I do have gifts to offer the world, gifts I never knew I had before my journey with Fibromyalgia began.

Certainly there is more to add to this list, but I think I have exposed enough to display that there are some pretty incredible gifts that have been offered to me as a result of my new life of living with chronic pain and illness. Some of these gifts I have to purposefully choose to accept. That isn’t always so easy, but since I am on a path to wellness, I continue to do my best and choose the right thing as often as possible. I hope you are able to identify some of what you love in the midst of the challenges you might be facing right now. As a good friend said to me last night, “as long as you can see the good that might come from your circumstances, you will come out on the other side alright”.

4 thoughts on “What I Love

  1. This is exactly how I feel about chronic illness, that you have two choices: battle against it or accept it and find the good. I choose to accept it and find the good in it. It is a constant struggle, and I have to be mindful of how I’m reacting to things, but I think that there are always good things to come out of bad situations. There are experiences and people and paths that if it weren’t for my chronic illnesses I would never have found. And I am thankful for that as well.

  2. I love you, kid!! You amaze ME with your courage and strength and the way you make the CHOICE to LIVE in spite of chronic pain and illness with an assundrie of other difficulties that plague your life…continually! I love the way you have chosen to love others even when they are not loving you very well. I love that you are seeking to be WHOLE ~ spirit, soul, and body!

    I love that you “push through the PAIN to get to the JOY!”

    I’ll tell you a story….Several years back I Pastored a women’s shelter, “MY FATHER’S HOUSE”, for those coming off drugs, out of jail or prison, and/or were homeless. I was experiencing my own personal obstacles, both emotional and physical (too many to list and not the point anyways), as well as those presented by the precious women living in the home. One morning while in Group Devotion and Prayer God just spoke to my heart in response to one of the ladies heart cries. “It is about pushing THROUGH THE PAIN to get to the JOY!” It became a common encouragement around the house for a long time!

    There is always JOY on the other side when we are willing to get beyond the pain to find WHOLENESS in Christ! The kind of JOY that you feel deep down inside you – not necessarily the “happy-happy-joy-joy” kind of JOY. It matters not if it be emotional healing or physical healing you seek…Joy does come in the morning! Doesn’t it my sweet friend?!

    And I love that you are willing to enter into COMMUNITY and truly become vulnerable with others so that you can experience LOVE and so that you can LOVE WELL! Being willing to push through the difficulties deep relationship with another human being isn’t easy. Often it is a “pushing through the pain to get to the joy” experience;) Thank you for being willing to do that with me.

    Kimberly

    Both Amy and I get to experience deep relationships with others who suffer with chronic pain, illness, and depression at “Living Whole with Chronic Pain Network” COME JOIN US at
    http://www.WholeLifeLiving.ning.com

  3. As usual Amy, you are writing wise, helpful words. Seeing the good, like seeing the proverbial *light at the end of the tunnel* gives hope, and even purpose. I try to keep my eyes transfixed on that light, no matter how tiny or dimly lit it might appear to me.

    • Ellen, as usual, you are so kind to me. My hope is that as I continue to write and search for ways to help others as we struggle with chronic pain that we will all get closer to that “light at the end of the tunnel”!

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