“My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.” Psalm 73:26
“My suffering was good for me, for it taught me to pay attention to your decrees. Your instructions are more valuable to me than millions in gold and silver.” Psalm 119:71-72.
My least favourite time of year is on the horizon. Sure, I enjoy the summer heat and sunshine as much as the next person. I love sitting on the deck in the backyard reading a book and sipping iced tea while the kids play in the yard. My back deck is a safe place where I am not noticed by anyone other than those who know and love me. Other than those I am comfortable with. Those who don’t think of me as dinosaur leg lady, but just a wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend.
The rest of the world? That’s the tricky part. You see, my kids love to swim and so do I. We don’t have our own pool, though, so we have to use the community pool. I try my hardest not to care what others think and don my pretty bathing suit so I can make memories with my children. But the gasps and the unkind words sting so much that each year, it becomes harder and harder to be joyful and willing. There are not enough beach wraps in the world to cover up the hurt.
I try not to think about it too much. But I know it is coming. It becomes harder and harder to endure and my heart becomes more and more weary of this world. Let’s be real. I often ask, why me God?
One day, sitting in a church service and reflecting on the message, God whispered a small but powerful message to my heart. God gave me lipedema so He could be glorified through my life. My actions, reactions, thoughts and ways need to reflect that honour.
Suddenly, my perspective changed. This was not a plan for disaster. This was actually God breathing meaning into my life – this was using my suffering for good. It was like scales fell from my eyes. Like chains broke away from my heart.
I finally understood what James meant when he said, “when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” (James 1:2-4).
God chose me. He picked ME. For some reason, He thought I was worthy of this task. Lipedema is known to be hereditary and passed down through women, and as such, of all the women in my family this could affect, He chose ME. For His glory.
This is real. This is God. Shaping me, moulding me, refining me to the point where I am complete and needing nothing. And when I have reached that point, He will take me home.
A place where there will be no more tears. No more pain. And no more dinosaur legs. My bones won’t hurt. My joints won’t snap and pop every step I take.
Friends, I will run into the arms of Jesus. Running, with perfect legs. Running like I have never been able to run before. And when I reach that place, when I am in His arms, I will know this has all been worth it.