8.29.2013

A Little Thing Called Purpose

When my health struggles first began at age 14, I remember asking my youth leaders, friends, and family to pray complete healing over my body. A miracle, essentially. I remember praying for my pain to disappear. I remember praying that God wouldn't take me on this journey.

After my official diagnosis of juvenile arthritis, I slowly but surely came to terms with this disease, how it affects me, and how I can still live a beautiful, wonderful life while coping with the struggles and setbacks it can often cause. I accepted that I would be changed, but made the decision not to be reduced.

Over time, I started asking for prayers of strength, grace, and endurance instead of a miraculous healing. I did that because I knew that God was going to use this disease in my life to benefit others and ultimately grow His Kingdom. I knew that He had a bigger plan in mind and eventually, I accepted it fully and completely. I devoted myself to living it out.


Along the way, I've been questioned as to why I'm not "praying harder" for complete restoration. Why I'm not "allowing" God to take this disease away. Why I'm not focusing on "natural" healing. Truthfully, I must admit I've taken a bit of offense to that...

For starters, to my knowledge, none of the people who have said those kinds of things to me actually LIVE with a chronic illness on a daily basis. If I'm being realistic, I can truly say that they have no clue what it's like. I'm not playing victim here, it's just a fact that rings true in this circumstance and with anything else in life... You cannot be empathetic if you haven't experienced something.

Secondly, I am not the reason I have this disease. There are genetics. There are environmental factors. There is God's plan. I didn't sign up to fight these battles, I just took what God gave me and used it to the best of my ability in order that He would be given glory.


On that note, I can honestly say that NO, I'm not really praying for my healing. Not because I can handle the pain or I enjoy it... Not because it's easy for me to deal with... But simply because I know that God will restore me in His own timing. 

{Jeremiah 30:17 - "For I will restore you to health; of your wounds I will heal you," says the Lord.} 

While I'm not capable of completely restoring myself to good health, I am capable of waking up in the morning, taking care of myself, thinking positively, and fighting the battles I face with a smile on my face - and that is something that I thoroughly enjoy doing! To me, that's purpose, not punishment.


{John 9:1-3 - As He was walking along, He saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked Him, "Rabbi, who sinned? This man or his parents, that he was born blind?" "Neither this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so that the glory of God might be displayed through him."}

Being happy, purposeful, and successful in this life has nothing to do with being completely healthy. While I don't believe health should be taken for granted, I do believe that God uses the things we don't expect Him to in the biggest ways. I'm walking this journey, I'm not alone, and I'm trusting that God will heal me in HIS timing... In the meantime, I adore nothing more than allowing Him to use me to bring glory to His name in the midst of the battles I face.

Purpose. That's called purpose.



28 comments:

Sophia Season said...

Beautiful. Thank you for sharing. While I personally do not have a chronic illness, my husband does. People can say the most awful things without thinking. Most times, I know it is coming from a good place, but it's offensive if they speak without really knowing how we deal.

Just like you, we know that God's timing is best.

Keep pressing,

Sophia
twentyfiveseasons.com

Tayler Morrell said...

I absolutely admire your courage and your optimism! You are a wonderful person!
My husband has a chronic disease, but he has learned to live with it and it has changed his personality for the good! He is not his disease and you are not yours.
Our Fairy Tale

Samantha Curtis said...

You seriously are such an inspiration my love <3

Samantha Curtis said...

You seriously are such an inspiration my love <3

The Pink Growl said...

You're amazing! Such an inspiration!

Stephanie said...

This is beautiful. You are very inspirational!!!

Amanda aka Manda said...

So well said! I still get inspiration from you daily in my fight! Praying for you!

Mandy Ford said...

Perfectly said sweet girl - you are an inspiration! :)

Candace said...

Thank you so much for sharing such a personal side of you! And reminding us that we can trust Him to take the weight off of our own shoulders. Your positivity is infectious!

Pamela said...

I love how the disease does not make you who you are! You are ready to kick its butt! Such an inspiration :)

Amanda said...

While in pain daily you are an inspiration. It's hard to stay positive, although I'm trying to fight back. I like to pray for strength because its true we're given this for a reason. It had changed my life completely.

Mason's Mama said...

Kenz! This is beautiful. You are beautiful. I admire you in so many ways sweet lady. You and your blog are a huge blessing to me.

Charlene Maugeri said...

Amen Kenz! You are such an inspiration. I love that you have come to terms with your illness and the fact that God can and is using it and you to further His kingdom. I am so glad you have found your purpose. Other people, including myself, need to learn to trust Him like you do. Thanks for the reminder!

Robin M said...

Beautifully Said. :) Very inspiring also. *Heart* <3

Musical Lynn said...

Very inspirational!!!

Jennifer said...

You're my hero, girl. Seriously,
I admire you so much. Love you to the moon and back!

xoxo!

Lauren ONeill said...

Beautifully said. You keepin rockin your awesome life girl!

Lauren
Exploring My Style

Angelina Kostenko said...

I couldn't agree more with what you said. It's so much better to accept and pray for strength throughout a difficult situation. I hope God blesses you in ways you didn't even know where possible. Stay strong!

-Angelina
The 360 Woman

Jenn said...

Way to be girl! You are truly an inspiration!

Katie said...

Beautiful post, and what a way to think about it! I admire your way of looking at it so much - I don't know that I would have come to grips with it so well.

Sometimes the only way out is through, and you are evidence that you can live through something without letting it take over you.

Chronic illness is hard, especially something like arthritis because EVERYBODY thinks they know ALL about arthritis because somebody's grandma had it once. I have a friend with lupus going through very similar issues; everyone thinsk they know how to "fix" it, and it's... not something that just gets fixed. If you held back from snapping back at people suggesting you're not praying hard enough, you're a better woman than I. :)

Megan R. said...

GLORY! I love that word! xoxo

Kate Mitchell said...

Such a lovely post! Since I have RA and am a Christian, too, this totally resonates with me. Also, I'm really glad you posted those pictures of the red spots, because I get those ALL THE DAMN TIME and I love proof that I'm not crazy and these things happen to other people.

Also, I know it's a month and a half away, but I'm thinking of putting together an arthritis-awareness-themed post for around World Arthritis Day (October 12). Would you be up for maybe linking or joining?

Kate

Jeans and a Teacup said...

Amen sista! I really admire your strength and view on your disease. Paul prays in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 for God to take away the "thorn in my flesh" and God basically says No "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness". God doesn't want you to "pray harder" or "allow" him to take away your disease, like you said. He only wants you to have faith! You are a great example of that!
~Jessica
Jeans and a Teacup

Hallie Oceanside said...

love your beautiful strong soul.

Keep fighting my love, you are more of an inspiration than you will ever know.

Amy said...

Beautiful post, love! So wonderfully written. Love you!

RachieCakes said...

I have a friend that struggles with this. Hang in there! thanks for sharing :)
Rach.E.Cakes – A Life and Style Blog

Annie said...

amen, Kenzie! I can't imagine how hard a journey this must be, but I admire and crave your faith that the Lord allows it for His purpose and for His glory, and that He will heal you in His timing. love you!

Laura @ The Everyday Joys said...

You are wise beyond your years, young lady. This post made me smile.