For the past two years, I have been getting a word in January that sums up the lesson(s) God has in store for me for the year.
It started in 2015 when I sensed the word “simplify”. Just the word conjured up visions of peace and I was looking forward to a year of simplifying my life. Sadly, that wasn’t the lesson God had in mind. Instead, my world was filled with illness and chaos (I wrote about it here). It took me twelve months to learn that I was meant to find simple peace and faith in the midst of illness. It was NOT the lesson I would have chosen for myself.
Last January my word was “acceptance” and even though I was a year wiser and knew better, I couldn’t shake the belief that I was going to be accepting some wonderful things in my life. So, I decided to help God give me what I wanted.
Those who know me, know that the auto-immune disease I suffer from is the bane of my existence. It involves pretty much everything I hate in life: daily nausea and dizziness, sudden uncontrollable bouts of violent vertigo, hearing loss and constant double vision. And, even though I’ve been dealing with this illness for almost 15 years, I cannot accept that it doesn’t have a cure.
So, I began the year by going to a Naturopath, and soon my house was filled with powders, drops and supplements. Next, I tried acupuncture and laid in a dark room with needles stuck all over my body while soft music played. Then, I had obscure bloodwork done that showed abnormalities. That set off another whole set of appointments and tests.
There were surgeries done, and set-backs and recoveries. Rehabilitation followed, which made me so ill that even the therapist recommended I quit. I went on special diets that forbid: dairy, sugar, gluten, beans, nuts, soda, coffee and even certain vegetables.
By the end of the year, I had gone to almost a hundred medical appointments in an attempt to improve my quality of life (and accept the gift of healing). I had worked hard, tried so many different things and given up so much and yet, instead of being given healing or even reduced symptoms, I had actually gone backwards and been given more unwanted symptoms instead.
As usual, it took me all twelve months to learn what I was supposed to. I had wasted the vast majority of time trying to change what I was supposed to be accepting. This is what I finally learned:
“Acceptance is not about accepting what I think I deserve. True acceptance means accepting what I have been given.”
So, here I am at the end of 2016. Nothing about my illness has improved, but hopefully I have (even just a little). A wise friend who has lived a decade and a half longer than I have, told me that acceptance is going to be like alcoholism; I’m going to have to take it a day at a time. I can’t just decide to be accepting and expect my life to fall into place. I will have to choose acceptance minute by minute, day by day. I will get to accept the good and I will have to learn to accept the times I am very ill. And, that’s just how acceptance works.
(The word that is coming to me for 2017 is “Rest”. I have no illusions that it means what I want it to mean!).