Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Learning to love suffering (again)

I've come to realize that my pity parties are never profitable, 
and the sooner I turn them around, the better...

(a "mendicant" is a beggar)

    I stood a mendicant of God before His royal throne
    And begged him for one priceless gift, which I could call my own
    I took the gift from out His hand, but as I would depart
    I cried, "But Lord this is a thorn and it has pierced my heart.
    This is a strange, a hurtful gift, which Thou hast given me."
    He said, "My child, I give good gifts and gave My best to thee."
    I took it home and though at first the cruel thorn hurt sore,
    As long years passed I learned at last to love it more and more.
    I learned He never gives a thorn without this added grace,
    He takes the thorn to pin aside the veil which hides His face

When I posted this recently, I received this email in response:

"Such a romantic thing, to be able to be as she was... but is it even possible to get there?  I struggle so greatly with my life.. the pain, the constant loss. The feeling like I'm in a bubble and the rest of the world continues on... the emotional struggles of those around me in trying to deal with this new lack of function.  It's hard on not just me.   Do you think this can happen for everyone?  Can we all can get to the place she is at?" 

Here is my reply:

Yes, Sis, it is a road, but more than that... as you know, I'm so exhausted by noon every day, that I fall asleep... but when I wake up, most of the time I'm depressed rather than rested... I've always been so productive... but not any more...  I can be so hard on myself that I'm a pain to be around.

However, I've come to realize that my pity parties are never profitable, and the sooner I turn them around, the better... 

Philipians3:8-21  I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things (our sense of what we've lost due to our illnesses.) I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ— the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings,Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. [Sis], I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained. Join with others in following my example, [sis], and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body. becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.

 I always need to remind myself that in my loss, I've gained something so much better!


  1. You are such an encouragement to me. God knew I needed you!! Thank you for being such a good example to me, and for all the times when you have been so patient with my immaturity and self-centeredness - lovingly drawing my focus back to the Lord. You have always treated me with respect and kindness .. and for that I love and cherish you dearly.

  2. I think I miss your smile most of all. Is that selfish? I am looking forward to DBS too! We constantly pray that the Lord not only comforts and relieves you of the PD symptoms, but that your heart remains teachable--you have much to teach us and you do! You are able to comfort with the comfort which comes from God, and you are able to pass on to others that which the Lord teaches you through your suffering.

    I hope and pray the DBS/Stem Cell transplant will have miraculous results for you. I know this has totally sobered a normally jovial Merv, so I really want to see you smile and laugh again!! To kick up your heels and run!! How about snorkel and boogie board in Hawaii? I'm game!

  3. Praying for strength and healing. Knowing full well that He is able!
    Shaunna Jenks

  4. Merv, I think God loves our being able to share our emotions even when they are dark and grey. When I think about Job's friends they were good friends when the just sat, cried and spent time with Job. The nano second they started to speak their comfort for him stopped so let me learn and lets go and just hang together. Give you a call when I get off typing this!! David V