I have a scar on my chest from having an ICD pacemaker implanted. Someday, I will likely have a scar from where the doctors have put in a new heart. It always amazes me how many people ask me about my scar –the checkout clerks at the grocery store or bank, moms at the pool, girls in my Bible study group.
A personal object lesson
When someone asks, I instantly have a platform. I can give the “I have heart problems” line. Or I can take my opportunity. In just a few sentences I can remind them that life is short and unpredictable, even when you are young. And I tell them that I have a faith that has been strengthened, not weakened, by trials.
And I can tell them of my God, who loves me and died for me, and that they can know too. I know that we can witness any time. But I am often asked to tell. What an opportunity and a gift!
I have walked there too!
I have also found with believers that having long term health issues has given me the right and the depth to speak. I have not experienced the same things that my friends are going through; however, I have gone through deep waters with God over the long haul.
The principles, disciplines and perspective that those trials have developed in me are the same that He is developing in them through different circumstances. As a result, we can walk together in understanding and companionship even though the struggles are very different.
This is one that I have touched on a few times, but it’s one that is easily forgotten. As I have mentioned in earlier posts, I have a son who is 4. When he was 18 months old, I spent some time in hospital and we were confronted with the reality that the condition I have would not be going away anytime soon.
As I grappled with the reality that I would likely not see my son reach adulthood, I cried out to the Lord. I’ve seen children who have lost a mom go far off the rails. I’ve seen the pain and aimlessness of their lives. I don’t want that for my son. What could I do, as a mom, that would endure for him?
A solid foundation
The answer that came back was to build the Word of God into his life and to make positive memories. Those two things have shaped the pattern of our family over the last 3 years. At 20 months, our son could sign and say Psalm 119:9-16. At 2 ½ he could sign and say Psalm 1. At 3 he could say Psalm 91.
Christmas, birthdays, Easter, Thanksgiving, Valentine’s, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and graduations are all celebrated with planning, excitement and meaning infused into them to create memories that communicate eternal truths.
I have many girlfriends with children the same age as mine, and I can’t count the number of times that the Lord has given me an idea about making memories and they have rejoiced over it and taken it home to do with their families. God has certainly set eternity and an eternal perspective into our family through the terminal illness He has given, and we are the richer for it.
Should We Pray for Healing Series by Anne Griffiths
Read all the current articles on prayer and healing.