I am a blessed person. I have a wonderful husband and beautiful children. I have a home, cars, and my husband has a job that allows me to stay home and care for everyone. Not a day goes by that I am not thankful for all the blessings God has given me. Would I say that God blessed me with chronic pain? No, I don't think I would go that far.
You see, I believe in a God who loves me. Similar to how I love my children. Would I want my children to have chronic pain? Heck NO! I would not wish chronic pain on my worst enemy and I certainly don't believe that God would wish it for any of his children. God does, however, allow my suffering. In the end, my suffering will benefit me, my family, my friends, and who knows who else. Much in the way that we sometimes need to let our children suffer for them to learn and grow, so God allows my suffering in order for me to learn and grow into the person he needs me to be.
I have certainly experienced many blessings as a result of my illnesses. I have made some incredible friends who suffer the same diseases I do. We commiserate and understand each other. I have a new appreciation for simple things. I don't take any kind of physical activity for granted. It is a red letter day when I can do housework without extreme pain. My illness has brought my family closer together. They are far more appreciative of me when I am able to do things, and my children are learning a compassion and caring that I don't think any other situation would have taught them. My children are all growing up to be great helpers and to understand how to be "gentle" when mommy doesn't feel good. Their understanding of caring for the sick certainly helped this last summer when we were all helping my friend Suzanne. I don't think they would have been half as understanding of all we needed to do if they hadn't already experienced so much of that at home. The more I type, the more I realize that I cannot possibly list all the blessing that have come from my chronic pain.
Even after all the blessings, I still pray every day for this to be taken from me. I never find myself saying, "Thanks God, for that excruciating pain in my hip today!" Instead, my comments run toward, "O.K. God, that was a really painful day. Can we not do that again tomorrow?" So far, the answer has been no. But, you never know if you don't ask. I will continue to ask. And if the answer continues to be no, I will carry on as best I can and be thankful for all the true blessing in my life.
"Jesus suffers to carry out the will of the Father. And you, who also want to carry out the most holy will of God, following the steps of the Master, can you complain if you meet suffering on your way?"
- St. Josemaria, The Way #213