Assignment for day five
|I'm not sure how I feel about today's lesson. I'm pretty good at playing the martyr and being the victim. Asking why adversity shouldn't happen to me isn't an impossible problem. I do indulge sometimes, but I also try to think that I'm not the only one with struggles. I've read several times about the idea of trading problems with someone else. Supposedly, you find your own problems are easier than anyone else's. I know I wouldn't want to have the struggles some of my friends have. They're coping with sickness, mental health problems, single parenting, regular hospital stays, disabilities, addiction, and other adversities. I'm very blessed and profoundly grateful.
Yup, God can bring good out of bad. He's able to do that in a spectacular way, too. But who wants to wait for spectacular when we can have good enough right now?
One problem I am recognizing right now is that the attitudes that surround me have influenced how I feel about adversity. My family never liked to use the word epilepsy or seizures. I grew up hearing my seizures referred to as " attacks," and my epilepsy as a "problem." I equated my seizures as having some kind of fit and concluded that if I had a "problem," I must be a problem child. My mother became so upset by my seizures, that I knew at age five not to tell her right away if I had one. I received a lot of sympathy and pity, which made my epilepsy into a bigger limitation than it really was. I considered myself incapable, and risked little.
When I started college, I met people who thought I was capable and intelligent. I was startled and started to realize I could do more. My friends, husband, and children think I'm a whole person, not just an illness wrapped in a body. I didn't have to be the "good cripple" like Tiny Tim( for more on this, read the Nancy Mairs essay " On Being A Cripple").
So, how much thinking do I have to discard in order to see adversity for what it is---an opportunity? How much longer do I pretend I can't cope because I don't feel like doing something? My opportunities are there, always there. Why do I cripple myself by having the need to be perfect? If I'm perfect, than everything will be alright, and I won't need God. Bah! What stupidity! Of course I need God. That means I have to admit to my imperfections, which in itself can be adversity. It's like what my husband said about the further I stray from God, the worse my adversities become. I'm so tired of this nonsense. I am getting a little better about this stuff, but it's definitely a process and I think I won't ever be done with it. At least if I leave God out of the equation, there's no hope. My only real hope lies in Him. Overcoming obstacles comes from Him. Never feeling alone or misunderstood or not good enough, it all comes from Him. Now if I can only remember that when I have adversity, and rely on God, I'll be okay.