This summer I’ve decided to host a guest post series here on bumblebird. Each of my guests have written posts in keeping with the theme of finding meaning in the mundane aspects of life, whether related to practical matters or matters of faith. I love to hear perspective from others and I hope that you’ll enjoy reading these blogs as much as I have!
Our first guest is Kathy Forsyth of Upbeat Living. Kathy is a single mom of six children ages 28 to 16, a disabled registered nurse, and a Jesus worshipper who loves to read, color, craft, and garden. She blogs about finding meaning despite physical challenges and the journey to be more intentional with our activities, more focused on our priorities and more at peace with where we are in life. I love Kathy’s blog because she is open, honest, and vulnerable in her writing. If you enjoy reading her post here you can check out her blog at upbeatliving.net or find her on Facebook. Today, she’s writing for us about her struggle to come to terms with the difficult season of life she found herself in as a single mom with health problems:
Right now I am in that strange place where my youngest child is sixteen and the rest are adults. I haven’t been able to work for three years due to multiple health problems and I’m divorced. I’m really okay with the divorced/being single thing as I’ve done that for ten years. Parenting young adults is easier in many ways even though the stakes are higher. I just have to be available to listen and assist as requested and pray that God’s will in their lives will come to pass. But this chronic-physical-illness and daily-pain place in life is NOT where I want to be!
I don’t desire to be in this season of my life. I don’t like it! It just doesn’t seem fair. Why do people get illnesses that don’t go away? Why do I have to be unable to work due to these illnesses? Why do I have to experience daily pain? I’ve always been the one holding everything together; helping others and being the caregiver. It’s uncomfortable being on the receiving side. Why is it so hard to let others do for me? I’ve been spinning my wheels and driving myself batty trying to sort these questions out and find answers that would make a difference to me. I wanted meaning in my health challenges and pain.
Then God gave me a revelation! When my six children were little, somewhere I read or heard that when my kids were young, I was in the “season of life” where my children needed me the most. This was not the time for me to undertake time-intensive projects like going to college or working full-time. This understanding helped me to focus on the little people I chose to stay home for, and not feel frustrated or regretful that I had placed my nursing career on hold for them. Suddenly, hearing the song “Halfway” by 3for3 reminded me of the “seasons of life” concept, specifically the lyrics, “even when the seasons change. You don’t love me you don’t love me halfway.”
It was like God reminded me that this is the time of my life when HE wants to take care of me! I need to stop stressing and fussing and relax into His loving arms. I need to trust and believe that He loves me all the way even when I can’t work. He doesn’t value me like the world does. He doesn’t value YOU like the world does. Even when we feel useless and less than others who are “productive members of society” we are still God’s beloved sons and daughters.
I am learning in this hard place that I can still be a conduit for God’s love to others. I am learning that I need to do everything I do for the glory of God and not the praise of people. I am learning that I am forgetful and need daily communication with Jesus, or else I wander into discouragement. I am also slowly learning that all I really need is Jesus. He is completely dependable all the time.
If you have been struggling, like I have, with your season of life, I pray you will find inspiration and comfort in these words and especially in our Savior Jesus!
1 The Lord is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.
2 He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams.
3 He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to his name.
4 Even when I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me.
5 You prepare a feast for me
in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
6 Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord