It’s been exactly one year now since we found out I that I have multiple sclerosis. (you can read more here) It doesn’t feel like it can be a year. I’ve mourned, cried, questioned, feared, and sat in a pit of despair. I’ve willfully trusted, looked to Jesus as my rescuer and hero, and worshipped in the midst of it. I realize it’s only been year, and there is far more to come, but I want to remember this: there’s far more that I get from MS than MS can take from me.
And so, as I reflect I can truthfully, although painfully, say: I wouldn’t change it. I wouldn’t change God’s plan for my life. Of course, I would never choose this for myself, which is exactly why I would never choose Jesus for myself! My flesh wouldn’t pick this. Any yet, my Spirit is resolved to God’s will and plan; even though that’s scary to actually write the words, “there’s far more that I get from MS than MS can take from me”. However, I am getting to taste and see that the Lord is good. I get to see Him in control. I get to see Him loving me. I get to see Him using me. I get to trade in my self protective “running and hiding” tendencies for looking at the new adventure straight in the face and seeing sorrow that is a servant to my joy.
I wouldn’t trade the scales of the eyes of my heart falling off to see His abundance, His power and His goodness. I’ve been awakened to pain, suffering, and questions. But, MORE than that, I’ve been awakened to God’s Word in new ways – it is alive, sweet and nourishing. Jesus – His Word – sustains my life. Knowing God’s character – His holiness, limitlessness, might, power, sovereignty and love – makes the questions okay, because I get to know and to see Him more fully.
What joy it is to say along with L.B. Cowman, “He has chosen me. Sickness you may intrude into my life, but I have a cure standing ready – God has chosen me. Whatever occurs in the valley of tears, I know He has chosen me.” (Streams in the Desert). I look back and see where Ryan wrote in my bible when we were at the hospital, “our theology must become our doxology”. And I see how much that has changed everything. If I didn’t believe God was completely sovereign over everything – from salvation to interruptions, to multiple sclerosis – I wouldn’t have been able to trust Him this way, because if He’s not sovereign over this, working all things for my good and His glory, then that makes him a little like me. And, I know that I need Him to be absolutely different from me – perfectly Holy, limitless, mysterious, powerful and good beyond imagining.
I want to experience this adventure in its entirety. I’m reminding myself as I write this, that this IS an adventure. What an adventure it is. I’ll close with what Russ Ramsey says: “I do not want simply to endure my affliction. I want to experience it – to receive it as an adventure and follow it to its end. Knowing that I come to this season having seen the world only through the eyes of the well, I ask God to help me see whatever this struggle might reveal.” (Struck) Amen, brother. Amen.