embrace limitations

This past week was characterized by whirlwind of emotions: thanksgiving, sadness, anger-lots of anger, regret, fear, confusion.

It’s only January of the new year and just when we thought this was OUR year, we got hit  with very difficult news that is shaking our world upside down. Leo was diagnosed with a rare chronic illness on Monday after blood work and MRI. It’s scary to know you can have health one day and not the next. We spent this week going through phases of really talking about it all the time to not. Leo is in good spirits and is living life as usual, even though he says his pain level is 10 out of 10. You hear that true character is shown through a person’s response to trials of life, absence of abundance. I believe this to be true. This picture below was taken the DAY we got the news. He’s in pain, no doubt, but you can’t take away the hope in his eyes.

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As for me, I am experiencing a new role- living with a husband who has chronic illness. How do I best support him? How do I show him that I am here? How do I make our marriage a place where he feels safe and loved?  I have a lot of learning and growing to do in this area.

What has been healing for me during this, is this book that Leo got for me for Christmas. It is the best book I have read in a really long time. Poets and Saints is written by Jamie George who is in a Christian Worship duo, All Sons and Daughters. It is a collection of 12 extraordinary saints, like C.S Lewis and their stories. You only hear about people’s successes, but not about what got them there- the everyday, the mundane, and trials, oh the trials. This is all about that. It really is ironic that I  was given this book, at this time, in our lives. The pattern I am seeing in these great men and women is that they FLOURISHED IN THEIR LIMITATIONS. I want to share an excerpt from the book:

” Embrace the limitations of being a mother. Or not being one. If you’re in a season of productivity, produce and be grateful for the opportunity to see the fruit of your labor. If you’re in the season of slowing, choose to enjoy the subtleties of beauty. Recognize that each limitation points towards something of value in your life. And remember, a limitation today may not be one tomorrow. ”

John Newton was a slave owner, a master, and made a successful living out of it. He then became an anti-slavery activist and wrote the song, AMAZING GRACE. He could have lived in guilt for the rest of his life, but he used his limitations, his flaws/mistakes/regrets, for something bigger than himself.

I keep thinking about the word EMBRACE because you hear it all the time. Embrace today, carpe diem. I decided to look it up and the webster dictionary says, “to hold-closely in someone’s arms, especially as a sign of affection; accept willingly, with enthusiasm.” Wow. This means, the core essence of embrace, I am learning, is to HOLD THE MOMENT WITH GREAT AFFECTION. There will always be limitations- each season of life will bring a different limitation. Some will be more difficult to embrace than others, but how beautiful and powerful would it be to turn our limitations into gifts that mold us into working for something greater. This too, is a journey.

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