Since having my stroke a little more than three years ago, I have spent most of my time looking back, wishing for life as it used to be.
i am slowly coming to realize that it will never be like it was before. Even if i were somehow physically resored to health, life has changed. i have changed, our family has changed. much has been lost that may never be regained
when I do look forward, I look far forward into eternity. I long for heaven, where all will be restored: perfect health perfect relationships, perfect contentment, perfect joy.
looking forward to life here on earth feels like looking at a future of monotony, one day very much like the next, similar to yesterday and much like what tomorrow will be.
yes, there are some variations: lunch with a friend, or coffee on a different day. a new book to read each day, a movie to discover, perhaps something different to wear.
a few weeks ago I started reading Beth Moore's book, praying God's word. I read several chapters and was particularly struck by the chapter on overcoming despair caused by loss. much of the chapter deals with loss resulting from the death of a loved one. yet I found much in the chapter that applied to me as well. When I think of my stroke, I often think of it as a thief-- something that stolen from me many of the things I care about-- my home, my cat, my favorite clothes and shoes, running, independence, my inability to do things like knit, crochet, hold the open the pages of a book, the ability to take care of myself and my family, in many ways, I feel like having a stroke stole my life and gave nothing in return.
The thought of living a long life has no appeal to me anymore, in many ways I already feel like an elderly person, dependents upon others for most of my needs.
as I read the chapter on overcoming the speaker almost every day, one of the verses that has stood out to me the most is Psalm 27:13. it says" I would have despaired if I had not believed I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living." As I have paraphrased this into prayer it has become almost an hourly mantra" Lord, I do not want to lives in despair any longer; please hope me believe and have faith that I will see your goodness in the land of the living and that I do not need to wait until heaven to be happy again."
there is also a paragraph or two in the chapter where Beth talks about the abundant life we are promised in John 10:10. She says that Jesus did not die to give us merely an existence, but a life of abundance filled with joy and filled to the full. There are days I desperately need to read this again and again. For there are many days in which I feel I am merely existing, not really living
I do not believe that I am living the kind of abundant life that God has promised me, the life that Jesus died to give to me. but I long to live and not just exist
however, I am not sure how to go about living such an abundant life in my own power, and so all I can do is pray for such a life, to believe that God is who he says he is; he can do all he says he can do; he fulfills his promises, and that because those things are true, I can realistically hope for an abundant life in the land of the living.
for my faith to grow and be strong
for my belief to stand firm
for God to fulfill his promise of an abundant life for me
for me not to dwell on the past, but to look forward with hope
thank you for your faithfulness and love. I love you back, even though I have yet to meet many of you face to face.