Standing in Awe

07fbf-sojourner

It all started simply enough.  Jasper wrote a post (An Amazing Choice) about a young man, Marshall, with cerebral palsy.  As typical for him, Jasper piece was insightful and thought-provoking.  At the end of the piece, Jasper offered his readers the opportunity to contribute to his post.

As someone who has made certain discoveries and choices with how to live with a chronic illness, much of what Marshall had to say vibrated within me.  So, I made the following comment:

“Jasper, thank you for sharing this post. Just recently, I have been formulating a concept that there is the Gift of Suffering. In its most basic form, the idea is that our suffering adds to our spiritual maturity. As we continue to add to our faith, we grow in our relationship with Christ. Once we trust God with our lives (and, we, who are disabled, know the meaning of this), we can move forward in our appreciation of God’s plan for us. One gift: tribulation develops patience; and patience, character (maturity). Another gift of suffering: we can then comfort others with the comfort that we received from Christ.”

Having the opinion that there can exist such a thing as a Gift of Suffering does not dimish the hardship that suffering brings with it. Do not misunderstand me, please. suffering is not a preferred way of life, but it can change us into more compassionate, patient, thoughtful, kind, loving, enthusiast, insightful, creative, and respectful people.  There are other ways that these attributes can be added to our lives, but disabilities have a way of hurrying along the process.

Again, do not misunderstand me, please.  I am not saying that if you have a chronic illness, you will automatically join the club of those who have found the secret of being content with their situation.  It is a choice – always and daily.  Jasper made that choice.

In a more recent post, he wrote:

“I was in awe when I realized how my experience and gradual understanding of the suffering surrounding my ABI reflected the comment you made a few months ago. I would reflect on your comment at times and anticipate a blog post in which you had developed your thoughts further. Talk about mutual inspiration and support. . .”

To read more of what Jasper shared, please click on The Gift of Suffering

Published by

Rose Wolfe (Living Free with disAbilities)

Let's get to the elephant first: I have myotonic dystrophy which defines my physical limitations, but it does not define me. Without the distraction of physical activities, I have found my passions: (1) Encouraging others to live more fully with fun, faith, and hope; (2) finding freedom in oil painting; (3) writing about my experiences; and (4) encouraging others to live more passionately. It is my belief that every person lives with at least one disability - for impairments are not limited to those with chronic illnesses. Many neurotypical people are psychological architects who have constructed enclosures in which they trap themselves. Mindsets, attitudes, and perceptions are fluid realities. Many of us have forgotten that it is possible how to live beyond our disabilities. Life may have challenges but faith and hope are within reach. I have made my choice: I am LivingFreeWithdisAbilities.

6 thoughts on “Standing in Awe”

  1. When suffering butts into our experience we have a choice on how to respond. You have responded well, maybe at times with gritting teeth. I don’t know…I’m not you. My experiences of you, though few they have been in real time, are a gracious, kind, thoughtful person. Whatever part of suffering has contributed to your demeanor, I am thankful. Keep sharing your thoughts…you are blessing others.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are perceptive. There have been plenty of times where my teeth and determination have been gritted and knitted together. Although, the lessons have all turned me towards a path of contentment. The more that I trust, the more that I find peace. Thank you for your encouragement – always needed – makes the struggle easier.

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  2. Hello Rose, my name is Chris and I too have a form of muscular dystrophy. I like this concept of The Gift of Suffering – you describe well a viewpoint I’ve been thinking about but hadn’t been able to articulate until now. I look forward to following your blog!

    Chris

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Chris, I keep coming back to your comment. First, I am grateful that you took the time to comment. Second, I am encouraged that you also have thought about the gift of suffering – not that we choose this path for ourselves, but that we can discover a depth heretofore unknown. Third, even though we may not have the same form of muscular dystrophy, we understand the challenges that MD forces us to face. I am very happy to have made your acquaintance.

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