To the mom struggling with chronic illness:
You wake up every day hoping it is a good day. You see the tasks to be done and your inward and mental energy soars with ambition. Sometimes you breeze through your to-do list and end the day with sweet satisfaction. The list is checked off and you can rest knowing that you did your best for your kids that day.
Then there are the not-so-great days. You have plans laid out. You have every intention of getting right to them, but your body just won’t cooperate. Before you know it, you’re spiraling down the familiar pit. Your high expectations for fulfilling your role as a mom have faded. You accept the reality that today will be one of those dysfunctional, unproductive, sort of depressing days.
Guilt hits you as other people take care of your kids and responsibilities. I should be taking care of them. I don’t want people to think I’m just being lazy or faking it. I’m inconveniencing everyone’s lives.
Questions haunt you. Why would God give me these children when I can’t even care for them sufficiently? What if my life is like this forever?
I know what your mind does to you because my mind does it, too. There are few things worse than lying in a hospital bed or on any bed of illness, even at home, when you have small children who need you. You have way too much time to think and that is not usually a good thing.
If you are reading this and relating to what I say, please stay with me. I wish I had a fix-all for these struggles, but I do not. Rather, I can tell you what I do on the hard days.
I speak truth to myself. I believe that the Bible is true, and I am blessed to have a relationship with my Maker. He has provided so much goodness for us in His Word! Search the Scriptures. Earnestly seek comfort in the Bible. God will give you what you need for each moment. We may feel that God is silent because we don’t have all the answers. Perhaps God isn’t giving you a clear answer yet, but He WILL give you peace and grace when you need it. My God is not silent when my Bible is open.
I say “NO” to self-pity. It is easy to drown ourselves in negativity. Don’t let it happen to you! You won’t be a nice person to be around. Trust me.
I focus on God’s plan for today. What I mean by that is: take life one day at a time. He made you to be you for a reason! He made you to be the mother of those children for His plan and purpose. At this present time, you might be sick, but how can you be a blessing to your kids despite that?
Use the down time wisely. Pray for your children’s physical, emotional, and spiritual protection. Pray for their future spouses. Read your Bible and books that will enrich you spiritually or increase your Biblical knowledge. Compile recipes and meal plans on Pinterest that you can make for your family when you are better. Write emails to friends who you haven’t corresponded with in a while.
Watching an occasional movie or reading a fun novel here and there during my illness is great, but my personal limit is small. Despite what we think, binge-watching seasons of shows in order to take our mind off our present situation isn’t the most helpful thing. Those are hours of your life that you will never have back. Consider that maybe God gave you some quiet time to become the mom He wants you to be.
Okay, at the same time, I have to say that sometimes I get carried away and waste time when I’m sick. You really must be intentional to do valuable things when you’re in the hospital or whatever your situation is. I am trying. When the puking has stopped and the pain is manageable, I try to pick my Bible up. You know what? The harder I try to be intentional with my time, the more I sense that I have fulfilled God’s plan for me for that day.
Scripture to read: Psalm 77, Philippians 4:8
There might be more from me on this subject as my journey continues and as God reveals new truths to me. As time allows, I would even like to share my entire health story because I’ve had many people ask for this. Right now I am not sure if this should be in blog form or book form, though. What do you think? Your feedback is always appreciated. Until next time, have a blessed day!