I get sad when people find out that I am "sick". It's funny because when I enter a new group of people or see people that I have never really met - I feel almost like a different person. I feel free from my pain if just for a moment. I feel like these people's view of me is wide open - they aren't seeing me with the narrow lense of my pain. I find myself longing to hold onto that first meeting - that time that I was just "Ali", or "Josh's wife" - not "Ali - the one with health problems". I feel like it helps me believe that I be more than just my health problems, that I have something to give other than being a living demonstration of "strngth in illness". I hate it when people tell me that I have more suffering in my life because of my constant battle with pain than anyone they know. I hate that people sometimes think of me as someone who has the market cornered on pain and illness. I hate it because it isn't true. EVERY person has some kind of pain or suffering in their lives. EVERY person. I hate self-pity, and I think when others pity me it makes it harder to fight against. I want to be more than just this!
BUT - all that said, I know that "this" is part of my life. That illness and physical pain are something that God has allowed in my life. I know that because of that it isn't something to be ashamed of - it isn't something to hide. God wants to use me just the way I am - sickness and all - to bring glory to HIS great name. Not to draw attention to myself at all - but to show people that I serve a good and strong God. I want to be willing to be that light in the world that God has called me to be - that God has called EVERY one of His children to be.
So - social situations should keep me on my toes. I should take every new meeting with someone as an opportunity to share the love of God into their lives. I guess the challenge that I am facing is how to be honest with the world and yet not just have the world hand me a label and think that I fit into a box. I want people to give me a chance - to give God a chance to show Himself.
Just some of my thoughts today ...