Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Turning Your Disabilities Into Abilities

I have several new readers, so I thought I would revisit the topic of how I feel about having so many chronic illnesses, and I've had a particularly rough couple of weeks, so I think I need to be reminded of my mission for myself as well.

I've always looked at my having so many chronic illnesses as a blessing, a gift from God, a way to give me experiences so that I could help other people with chronic illnesses stay positive and uplifted so that they could get through their times of turmoil, suffering, and uncertainty. Back in November of 2011 (which was only about 3 months into this journey at such a severe level), I wrote this in my blog:
"I am so blessed that He chose to make my life fall apart. I am so blessed that He chose me to be sick and He chose me to lose my job. Because I was complacent in my faith, I didn't know it, but I was way complacent in my faith, and now I'm not. Because now I see Him in everything...even the small things. Now I am blessed, my life is a mess, but I am blessed and I am more beautiful because of it."
Some people think I'm crazy and out of my mind when I talk about my crazy life of chronic illness as being a gift from God. But to me it makes perfect sense.  The Bible tells us that no matter what we are doing, we should do it as if we are working for God and not for man. And what I happen to be doing right now, is being sick. So I'm using my work of being sick, and working with it with a full heart, because I'm working for God. I'm helping to fulfill his commandments of me. 

We are commanded to use our gifts, in the best way we can, and to help people while using them.  So I've sort of seen it as my mission to take my passion of teaching, life long learning, empathy, medical knowledge, and compassion to help others with chronic illnesses understand their illnesses and be able to better cope with their illnesses as well. This is a way where I can use gifts God has given to me, to help others in similar situations cope well and it also benefits me too, because I feel like I'm helping to some extent and I also develop friendships with these people and gaining life long friends. So the relationships are mutually beneficial. 

You don't have to be the world's largest authority on how to deal with chronic illness. Or how to counsel people out of depression. Or how to tell people to live every day like it's your last, because it might be. In order to help people and inspire people with chronic illnesses to live their best chronic illness life well, is to live your chronic illness life well to let others know that you can get through it. It may suck right now (and coincidentally I've been having a horribly symptomatic 3 weeks and I have to keep verbally repeating to my self 'you can get through this, you make it your goal to inspire others, you are not listening to your own advice to everyone else') but you will survive and you will adapt and it will get better. I promise. You can learn how to use your disabilities to help others with their disabilities from your experiences. That empowers you, and makes you feel that your suffering isn't for nothing, and actually has some type of purpose. It's almost like God is using your suffering and bad experiences to do amazing things for other people. 

We also have to remember that God doesn't make ineffective/useless people. He makes everyone with a purpose. He makes everyone with a plan. He makes everyone beautiful in His sight. He makes everyone perfect for Him and that means that you should think that you were made perfectly too. No matter how sick you are or despite what you can't do. No matter how broken you are. No matter how much suffering you've gone through. God made you perfect. You need to never forget that. He made you for a purpose. You need to look past your disability and find out what abilities you have within your disabilities to help others along the way get through some of the same struggles you've already conquered. You are beautiful and perfect to Him! 

There is nothing that says that we have to do the best all the time either. Even if we are seen as the ones that are always seen as the one offering support all the time. We are allowed to feel completely defeated and broken down. Dealing with chronic illnesses is debilitating to everyone at least once in a while. It's a lot to deal with and process. And sometimes we need to admit that we are defeated, we are broken, and that sometimes we tried our best for the day and even though it's not all we wanted to do, it's all that we could do, and that was just enough, and it's ok to get just enough done. We shouldn't have to explain ourselves. 

We have to keep believing that the Lord will heal us one day. Even if that day is after we have left this world. Healing will happen one day. And that is the only way I can personally deal with my chronic illnesses, is to know that my God will heal me one day. And it will be a beautiful healing and everything will be perfect, pain free, no more tears. There will be no more suffering when I'm healed. And I truly believe that. And I try to tell others with disabilities the same thing. 

But the most important piece to turning your disabilities into abilities is to always have a hopeful attitude. Always look on the bright side. See the grass as greener. The glass as half full. Make sure positivity is prevailing in your life. Because if you are going to turn your disabilities into abilities you need to believe with your whole heart that you have something to offer. You have some kind of wisdom or ability or piece of advice that will help others with disabilities improve their quality of life. And the more and more positive that we are, we know that the whole point of having a chronic illness is knowing that we are just supposed to hold on and fight for your life. Because how I mostly turn my disabilities into abilities, is not just by helping people find solutions to their problems or offering nutritional or tube feeding advice. No, I turn disabilities into abilities by always, always knowing that the whole point of life is to know that we are aiming for a chance that maybe we'll find better days. And hanging onto that hope, with all that knowledge...is imperative to the cause of turning disabilities into abilities because you can't have abilities if you don't have good days. 

But I truly believe I was given all these crazy medical conditions, and the passions for healthcare, teaching, advocating, and "fixing" things because God wants to use me for a purpose. He knows that I will fight for the rights of others. He knows I will advocate for the least of these. He knows that I will set things straight. He knows I will educate others. He knows that no matter what hardship or disability He gives to me, I will turn in around and make it an ability. Because I am too positive. And I do not let these diseases win against me. I am stronger than some stupid diseases tryting to kill me. I am an overcomer. I have so many new abilities from being disabled it's not even funny...which is why I am so fond of the phrase 'differently abled'. But for right now, I'm just using my talents and abilities to the best of my abilities and will continue to do so, until there is no fight left. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Meg! I just stumbled across your blog and wanted to know if you would be interested in talking more. I think we may actually attend the same university...I recognized the name of one of your committee members from a previous post. I would love to get in touch if you're interested! kyper27@gmail.com