Sometimes I wonder if chronic illness -autoimmune diseases- and ministry really go well together.
During those moments, I think that I should always be an example, and should always be strong, without fault. Being tired, vulnerable and in pain doesn’t fit the equation.
Yet it is true that despite the RA, I always give my best, and never back down. And I have come to realize that if a preacher/pastor would have to be perfect, nobody would ever qualify.
Last sunday I was invited in another church to “give my testimony”, about various aspects of my life – amongst others, my tattoos and my illness. Afterwards, I got only positive feedback, also from other people who were sick as well, and were encouraged to hear/see how I handled it.
I am not perfect, will never be – and don’t want to be. Where (and when) I am weak, God and his/her grace are strong, and can be my strength. I can always rely on that. I refuse to let the disease define who I am. It is a part of my life, and in a way, I have to accomodate that and find ways to live with it. And there will always be some days that’ll be harder than others – but isn’t it that way for everybody?
Life is a precious gift, and is worth being live to the fullest. One thing I have learned through my RA is being more patient, with myself and with others, and to see the small miracles of everyday life even more clearly, and to become more grateful, to become more and more dependant on God’s grace. Love & peace have taken, and are taking are more and more bigger and more important place in my life, as is taking the Bible and prayer.
So whilst I’m not saying that the disease per se is something good, good has come out of it – because I refused to let it pull me down, because I refused to give in.
This love, peace, grace, love for God, the Bible, people, my church – isn’t that what is important for ministry? So what, RA?
Peace out, God bless.