Living with chronic illness has progressively meant accepting limitations. Some have mostly accepting an adjustment in life such as eating a strict gluten free diet or using the elevator at the school where I teach in the mornings. Sometimes it has meant not joining activities like playing volleyball at a picnic. Due to fatigue being a constant issue, I always have to consider if I will have the energy. That has been on my mind as I think about visiting friends in Canada in July whether I should drive 11 hours or fly there.
God can create opportunities for us that allow for us to live with in our limitations. At picnics with friends from other cultures, after accepting that volleyball was no longer a good idea for me, I began just sitting at the tables with whoever was there. Those moments often have been divine appointments to share Jesus with people.
At first I was concerned about explaining my need for gluten free food to my refugee and immigrant friends when they would invite me to their homes. I have found that when I explain why, they have been very willing to accommodate my needs. Not only that but by explaining about my life with chronic illness, it has led to opportunities to share with them.
My prayer life is the key to living within my limitations. I have had mornings that I wake up, drink coffee, and while drinking coffee barely pray-“Lord I am so fatigued today. Please help me be a blessing to my students and fellow teachers.” Those are often mornings that turn out to be some of the best in class and in interacting with my fellow teachers. It has helped me to accept that I have limitations and give them to God.
I still have my moments such as thinking I could dig my car out of 14 inches. After 10 minutes of trying I realized it was not a good idea. So I am not a perfect role model of accepting limitations.
However, by inviting Jesus into my life with limitations, it has created many God opportunities. Paul wrote about his experience in 2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
Jesus reveals himself through our limitations. Joni Erickson Tada is a classic example of this. After becoming a quadriplegic, God raised up so many ministry opportunities for her. She has written books, spoken in large meetings, had a radio show, and more.
So if you are living with a limitation or one is new to you, give it to Jesus and day by day see what he does through you.
Thank you for reading. God Bless.