Second close-up of pictureI have a simple, silver and pearl ring that I like to wear. But for several weeks, I couldn’t find it. I looked and looked, and thought and thought about where I’d last worn it, but no amount of looking and thinking helped. The ring remained lost.

As I moved along, the lost ring took up some of my thoughts, but gradually receded to a distant memory. Although I’d worn it many times before, now that I didn’t have it, I almost completely forgot about it.  And then, one day, I opened a drawer and there it was, sitting on top of the drawer’s contents as if waiting for me to find it.

I slipped it onto my finger and felt a subtle sense of comfort at the familiar feeling. And as I moved through my day, the thoughts of searching and not finding turned to gratitude at finding what was lost.

Living with chronic illness and pain is much the same thing. Our lives “before” have their share of favorite activities, people, and comforts that we often lose when health challenges rise up and our time is consumed with many other not-so-pleasant things. We don’t completely forget “before.” In fact, sometimes, we might obsess over what we’ve lost. Or, we might become frustrated when we try but fail to recoup the days prior to our diagnosis or accident. We might be so intent on finding what’s lost that we forget that we are now invited to move into a new phase of life, a time “after” that will have its own blessings, comforts (and, yes, challenges), and moments of joy.

We might not be able to find exactly what’s lost in our now-health-challenged lives. But we can re-form, re-imagine those activities into which we poured our hearts and talents. We can find new ways of bringing comfort and encouragement to ourselves and others.  We can let go of the past in order to open that drawer and find that God is gifting us all over again with wonderful things that are true presents in our present.

Finding what’s lost takes time. Patience. Prayer. Trust. But, we can. And believing in God’s bounteous will for each of us is the beginning of it all.



More from Beliefnet and our partners