I have just come out of an incredibly difficult season of struggling with my health. It has been just over a year since, I believe, I was miraculously healed. I had been tested positive for Celiac’s disease and the beginnings of what appeared to be Hashimoto’s, which meant that I was developing autoimmune problems- this is when one’s immune system starts (often, progressively) attacking your own body for no reason. Over a period of ten years, I gradually grew sicker until, by the end of 2015, and for a full year, I could barely get out of bed. The only strength I had (a few hours a day) was spent on homeschooling my son, before I’d crawl back into bed…but God! In September 2016 I was healed and even had the blood tests done to prove that what I believed had taken place…had indeed happened. That was over a year ago and the symptoms that I struggled with for so many years have not returned since that September day, but with that being said there have been new challenges to face this past year…reaffirming the truth for me that God is not safe…but He’s good!
In September 2016 I was healed and even had the blood tests done to prove that what I could feel (by my physical symptoms) had happened.
My journey with Jesus is causing me to recognise more and more that my idea of success and God’s ideas on the subject often differ radically. My ideas of a “successful” life looks like: having a clean, beautiful house that I’m proud to open my door to and invite people in; having the finances to allow my children the opportunity to flit from one extramural to the next, inspired by teachers who are professionals in their own field. I dream of having the time to regularly frequent my favourite gym classes- spinning, Pilates, functional fitness- the heady adrenalin rush of feeling fit- I love it. This kind of success is in fact often just as unrealistic as the pursuit of happiness for its own sake.
God’s definition of success for my life seems to be slightly different: choosing sleep over Netflix; choosing rest over social butterflying; going for a VERY slow walk with my daughter while she stops to smell every flower; encouraging my son in his maths when all I want to do is react in frustration and impatience; appreciating my husband instead of pointing out his mistakes; honouring the Sabbath- not as a religious weekly observance but as a heart condition. Constantly recognising that God is God- and resting (not laziness, but resting when I’m tired) shouts to the world that I am weak, and gives God the opportunity to show me and those watching my life, how good God is at showing grace and mercy, at intervening and blessing me in those “but God” moments.
So now, everyday I trust God afresh to help me choose contentment: when I’m trying my best and still: my house is messy, I’m snuggling up to a flat white to get through the afternoon, guilt is tapping at the window whispering to me that I could be doing better, could be doing more- if I just sacrifice some sleep, some time with Jesus, some quiet time, some peace and joy.
I choose contentment this new year as I choose to remind myself that God is enough. He has me and my family very securely in His hand…His plans for my life are in fact so far from mediocre, if I can just slow down enough to see His blessing, not in my strength, but in my childlike trust and obedience.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Abigail is married to Bret and makes up one half of Team Bevan, leaders within Joshua Generation Church, homeschooling mom of two (busy) young legends, a dreamer and most of all a lover of Jesus. Raised as a pastor’s kid, Abby grew up with a passion for the lost, the Word and a heritage of God-chasers to embrace.
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