Sometimes I wonder why I bother blogging. I am always aware of how easily this blog could turn into something I dread: a self-centered soapbox focused on whining and gaining pity - rather than a God-centered opportunity to show His strength in my weakness. I set out to daily practice choosing joy in the midst of pain, and to encourage others to do the same ... and when I keep that focus and look at the positive comments about how this blog encourages other facing any kind of challenge in life - it keeps me going.
But, I do sometimes get less than encouraging comments. In those times I find myself wondering if they are right and blogging about a topic like this is too dangerous. I know people will judge - I have lived with that every day since I first became sick ("maybe you don't have enough faith to be healed", "maybe it's because of some sin in your life", "you just don't eat healthy enough," ... "if you try this doctor or diet or . whatever you would be well by now" ...). Because of that and because I never wanted this blog to be so much about my own health as I wanted it to be about God's strength displayed though the joy He gives to all of us in our varied circumstances, I have tried to stay away from sharing very much about my day to day specific health challenges (plus who really wants to hear everything about an illness that goes on for so long!? - I certainly don't). Recently, I felt I needed to share some good news I got from my doctor (I wanted to share this because it sometimes feels like so many people are praying for me and I honestly feel indebted to all of those prayers) - but then after some comments I went back and deleted that post. Maybe it was a chicken thing to do. I have struggled with the idea that I "owe" an explanation or updates about my specific health ever since my home church began praying for me when I first got sick. It always felt like I was obligated to let everyone know how I was doing .. but at the same time I wondered if people really needed to know. I am struggling with that again with this blog. I never meant it to be about updates about my health. Since my struggle has been so long, and it's not clear cut, or possibly ever going to be totally over - it becomes exhausting to update everyone (and I am getting the idea that it's exhausting to keep up with for some people as well - which I totally get). And then I had an "AH HA" moment. I should just let people who really want to know details ASK ME! This way I don't burden those who don't need or want to know - and I can let those who do know when they want to know! (I know it's not rocket science! but maybe I'm dense) This journey is so real and so involved for me and my sweet Farmer Boy, but I realized that this is a journey that is personal and possibly a burden to others. I'll keep writing on the topic of living well in painful circumstances because of our Great God - but for now the specifics of my circumstances are not important to my writing. If anyone wants to know more you can always email me privately at firstname.lastname@example.org
What IS important is that the focus always be on God, and the fact that even though my body is hurting tonight - my soul is at peace and full of joy because HE LIVES.