We are filled with so much joy about the new little one God is growing inside me, but with my pregnancies come many fears. A few years ago I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, and while this poses no problems for the baby, it frequently causes many problems for the mother. There is always a risk. Some mothers have no problems, but many do. I have fallen into the latter catagory during the last two pregnancies. I ended up having several problems after delivering Ariana which led to surgery and home treatments every 8 weeks. For a few months, I felt healthier than I had in ages, and I thought God was going to heal me (there is no cure so far), but lately the disease is reminding me once again of its existence. The scary part now is that my body has begun rejecting my medication.
Last night I barely slept from anxiety. I feared what would happen to my body during this pregnancy, I feared raising my other two children amidst the weariness and pain Crohn’s causes, and I questioned why God didn’t just take it away from me. Then, this morning God reminded me of his faithfulness once again as I reflected on His word.
Bill and I have been memorizing a passage of scripture each week now for several months, and last week’s was 2 Corinthians 12:9b. This was Jesus’s response to Paul after pleading three times for the thorn in his flesh to be removed. It says,
” ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
Through this I saw clearly for the first time why I still have the disease even though I have asked repeatedly for healing. It is to reflect God’s glory perfectly. My weakness is transparent to show the strength of Christ. Every burst of energy I have, every semi-pain free day I have, all I’m able to accomplish is only through Christ’s power. As I reflected on this, I did something I have never done before. I praised God for the disease he has inflicted on my body. “Though my humbling wouldn’t be my decision, it’s through this that His glory shines so bright” (adapted from the “Valley of Vision“). What an amazing reminder I have every day of God’s greatness! Instead of wallowing in self pity and feeling uncomfortable each time I’m asked how I’m doing, I can use this sickness to point others to the cross (including my children). Praise God! Forgive me for my self-centered, self-glorifying heart in this area.
I do covet your prayers, especially during the pregnancy, but my eyes are finally being opened to understand the greatness of the disease. I will live with this for a few short years, yes, but then I will get a new, perfect body when I finally get to see my God’s face and fall at His feet in worship throughout eternity, understanding more fully why He is worthy of all praise, honor, and glory!