Peace Amidst The Storm
by Amanda Steyer
When I'm stressed, I find it difficult to write. Which is kind of ridiculous, since writing things out helps me process and de-stress.
Many things have been causing me stress lately, but the overarching theme is how my health - or lack thereof - is negatively affecting every aspect of my life. It's amazing how greatly chronic illness impacts facets of life that don't seem related. I never know whether or not I'm going to be able to do anything that's on my calendar, or if I can, how much of a struggle it will be. And it's all a struggle these days. Our finances are a mess because just getting to all our family's medical appointments is costly. I can spend over a hundred dollars on gas just to get to and from appointments. Medically necessary supplements for my family for a month can cost as much as food for the seven of us for a week. Cell phones for each of my children are a necessity, as I need to be able to contact them if I'm having a medical emergency or if I get an unexpected call from a doctor's office with an appointment opening and they need to be able to contact me if they're down the street playing with friends and dislocate something or are having other issues while out and about. There are times when exhaustion or unbearable levels of pain necessitate convenience foods over home-cooked meals. And having Celiac, our food budget is higher than average, to begin with, and ordering out is incredibly costly. All that, and I still have to cover any medical expenses not covered by insurance. Being ill is expensive. Struggling with chronic illness, financial issues, constant intense pain, and mental health issues, I find it difficult to be still and do things I enjoy. My attention span is short, so reading and writing have been a challenge. Unable to take pain medication, my main form of pain "relief" is a distraction, usually in the form of watching YouTube videos and playing spider solitaire on my phone. I feel lost, trapped in the mire of exhaustion and pain. The only things that help me find peace and solace amidst the storms that consume my life are doing things for and with others. This Lent, I am going to seek peace amidst life's storms ... and examples of others being peace in someone else's storm.
As we travel through Lent and beyond, we can seek peace amidst life's storms. 2 Corinthians 4:8-10 8 " We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies."
Amanda is a wife, unschooling mama to five children, writer, and over-volunteerer. She strives to live life to the fullest despite chronic pain and illness, through God's guidance and grace and a good sense of humor. She blogs at: http://rannygahoots.blogspot.com