At some point in a life with chronic illness and pain, we feel as if we’ve failed. Failed at keeping healthier. Failed at following doctor’s orders. Failed at relationships. Failed at life. No matter how many reassurances we get from friends and family, and no matter how much we tell ourselves that there are “extenuating circumstances,” the sharp stab of inadequacy can really hit us, and hit us hard.
I suppose this difficult feeling of being a failure is part of life, especially part of a life fraught with health problems. But that doesn’t make it any easier. And as we go along through more years of illness and pain, the burdens seem all that much more heavy upon our fragile shoulders.
If you’ve read even a smattering of my blogs, here, you know that I fully acknowledge there are “good days” and “bad days” with illness. I hope you also realize that my faith transcends these two categories of describing daily life with lupus, etc. – I don’t believe the bad days, especially, are brought from God to punish or chide or even necessarily challenge. For me, it’s just very simple: there are good days and bad days for us all, and the point is not so much that we rest in them, but it is what we do with them that matters.
So, on those bad days, when we are tempted to chide ourselves and slap the “failure” label all over ourselves, I have to apply the same way of thinking. That is, we are human and life with chronic illnesses and pain is not a linear proposition. We will triumph (“good days”), but we will also stumble (“bad days”). We will sail through some storms, and feel pummeled in others. But, as long as we believe that God loves us, cares for us, and forgives us completely, how can we believe we are failures?
Sometimes, we might feel as if we’ve failed. But, at those times, if we focus instead on God’s goodness and the hand He extends to lift us up, that feeling of failure will dissipate into His unconditional love, giving us renewed strength for the next leg of our journey.
Blessings for the day,