There are times when I feel on top of my game, like everything couldn’t be better, and I’ve got everything under control. It’s usually about then that something starts to unravel and I see myself for who I really am, or who I can be when I am not at my best. The pain I deal with from having rheumatoid arthritis is about 80% under control on a day to day basis. This past weekend, because of being so sick for the past few weeks, my medication got completely out of whack, bringing that pain control down to about a 5% level. That’s about the level where the ugly in me comes out. I feel so bad for grouching at my kids when they do normal kid stuff that I normally wouldn’t bat an eye at.
I was so discouraged this weekend, not only because of my lousy attitude, but at the level of pain that literally possessed me. It made me angry, sad, and uptight all at once. I really thought I was getting “better”. I was so frustrated to realize that was not the case.
My grandpa Lanting dealt with severe pain and illness for the 10 years that I knew him — the last 10 years of his life. A week or so before I was born, he suffered a major heart attack and was not expected to live. The elders from my mom and dad’s church came to pray for him that he would be healed. They prayed for him, and he lived 10 more years. I was so grateful to know him, and see how my grandma loved him and took care of him. One thing I will never forget as long as I live was my grandma telling me what my grandpa said to her once. He said, “I used to ask God Why Me?, but now I realize that I ask God, Why not me?” He came to the realization that just because he was losing his health didn’t mean that God didn’t love him or was unjust, cruel, or unkind. He was living out the end of his days as a human spirit perfected in God’s grace in an imperfect body. He knew his body would be made well again once he finally met his Savior face to face.
I am so grateful for a legacy of faith. I am so grateful that my grandma took the time to share with me about what my grandpa learned through his 10 years of suffering. The faith that has been handed down to me is something I treasure and hold on to in times of pain. Reflecting on the faithful words of my parents and grandparents’ experience gives me hope and strength I hope Rob and I can pass down to our children and grandchildren.