Writing the last post helped me realize something–my mind is beginning to open to and maybe even embrace the differences brought on by illness that I once thought were burdens.
A portion of me—much smaller now—aches for the lack of normalcy in my life, and wishes for all of what used to be to come back. But the other, much bigger part of me loves this new type of freedom. Maybe I only now come to see it as freedom.
Instead of looking longingly at the masses of students whenever I see a school, I feel grateful that I get to spend a lot of time with my sister and mom, time that being part of those masses never could have given to me. Instead of swallowing a lump in my throat when a friend tells me about school, I love to hear about it and also like to tell them about my odd home school education, realizing that I’m so very blessed to be able to keep on learning. Instead of envying those people who hurry about and do a lot like I once did, I feel glad inside that I’ve had a chance to develop some talents because I’m not rushing around anymore.
And instead of hoping for miraculous healing, I find peace in the knowledge that one day, even if it’s a long, long time from now, I can be resurrected and have a perfect body.
What turned my thinking around so much? At first, I really wasn’t sure myself.
I pondered a long time—weeks—before I started to understand. When I first became ill and everything changed, I felt trapped. My freedom was gone…or so it seemed. I thought freedom was being able to do what I wanted to do. But as I turned to prayer to help me get through each day, and tried to focus on my blessings instead of my burdens, I came to see part of what God is trying to teach me through this illness: Freedom is not the ability to do whatever you want, but the strength and opportunity to accept what God has planned for you.
John 8:36 “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”
D&C 101:36 “Wherefore, fear not even unto death; for in this world your joy is not full, but in me your joy is full.”
I may not be the go-beyond, extra-credit, scholarship student that I was planning to be back in middle school, but God has another, better plan. Through Him and His Son I can find happiness and freedom, because they can make more out of me than I ever could–just like the buttons I paint can’t become beautiful on their own, but need someone who sees their potential and helps them reach it.
Maybe in the eyes of the world, I’ll never do or amount to much. Maybe to the world, I’m not free. But in my eyes, and in God’s eyes, I’m as free and as happy as a butterfly in flight.