Many years ago, I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. And initially, it wasn't too bad - just something I needed to watch and occasionally take medication for, take things a little bit easier. But as time passed, my hands became deformed, I had to cut my waist-length hair, 'cause I couldn't hold a brush long enough to brush it out, I had to get up earlier so I had time to get the same things done in the mornings that needed to be done. And I found myself taking a whole lot of medicine, and needing a whole lot of help. I began to worry that I would have to change jobs, because typing hurt and writing was impossible.
As anyone with chronic pain knows, we are not pleasant people to be around. We snap or react sharply simply because we're in pain - not because we are angry at the person being snapped at.
Fortunately, I had some really good friends and family, and I learned how to ask for help, and how to graciously accept it (there was the hard part). I learned that I couldn't do it all, and that as much as I did for others in the past, they now had the opportunity to do things to help me - I was their blessing! And I learned that RA can be as a result of judging oneself too harshly - not accepting who you are as being worthy. Now that took a lot of work, but eventually, my hands straightened out, I took less and less medication, and learned to accept that I was okay, just as who I was, and that God loved me as that person. I let my hair grow back out (can you tell I missed it?), and eventually, got back to "normal".
But things had changed. I had been blessed with lessons in asking for and accepting help, with learning to like myself as I was, with an appreciation for the life that God gave me. I no longer take medication (unless I forget all those lessons and completely over-do what I'm capable of), and I remember those lessons and am grateful, every day.
So what blessings do you have in your life?