Every group of kids I've worked with has known I'm sick. Although it's not a frequent topic of conversation, it is known by all that Ms. Erin has days she is exhausted and doesn't feel well. Despite knowing this, my illness isn't what children think of when they think of me. To them, I'm not a sick person - someone with a horrible disease. To them, I'm just me. They see me for who I am. Unfortunately, I can't say the same for most adults.
I often say I'm a work in progress. God is still working on me, something for which I'm grateful. The thing He has continually brought to my attention here in the past few months is the way I view myself and this sickness. My life may be challenged, but it's no less a miracle than of someone who is healthy. My sickness doesn't define me, no more so than my hair, eye, and skin color does.
When God created me, He didn't make a mistake. He made a one-of-a-kind original. There's no one in the world just like me, something for which I am thankful. When He formed me in my mother's womb, He knew my genes would line up in a certain way that would give me lupus and Crohns. And though I may not understand all of the reasons why I am sick, I know God sees beauty in every part of me.
Every one of us has something we would like to change about ourselves. We all have something we deem "not good." Some people may even go as far as saying they are deformed. But the truth I recently realized is this - we have a choice. We can consider ourselves to be deformed or less than others because we are sick, or we can view ourselves as special and unique. And whatever we decide will determine how we live our lives.
Being sick doesn't make us weak individuals. What makes us weak is when we choose to let our illnesses stop us from living our lives the way God intended for us to live. We may be weak physically, but true strength comes from within. It's when we recognize and accept who God created us to be that we find the strength to rise above our sickness. And more times than not, it's through our sickness we are best able to glorify God.
"God looked over everything He had made; it was so good, so very good! It was evening, it was morning— Day Six." ~ Genesis 1:31 (The Message)
(c) July 20, 2011