In his book The Night-Side, Floyd Skloot defines a purpose for his words. Notice Skloot’s honesty: “This book is a meditation forwards and backwards over the losses and gains that accompany long-term illness. Some of its pieces follow one another like chapters in a novel, others connect more associatively, like poems in a collection. It is finally an account of change and, I think, growth.” These pages flow in a similar current.
Change. Growth. Words we often use but rarely merge. Especially when change equals pain, sadness, grief, hurt and an ongoing adjustment to life. We all relate. We experience changes unique to us, our own, private changes. Changes noticed by others and changes ignored as long as possible by ourselves. Changes that finally, when allowed, bring growth—spiritual and relational growth, growth in thinking of others as we learn from ourselves, growth through the shrinking of ourselves.
In his book, The Thorn in the Flesh, R. T. Kendall writes, “Know that God has allowed this for a purpose. Accept it…as being from a loving God. Then come to terms with it. Don’t pretend it’s not there. Admit that it probably won’t go away—at least, not for a while. God could remove it, yes, just like that! But, apart from divine intervention, come to terms with the likely fact that it is there to stay.”
This book collects my confessions about the growth pains and gains resulting from permanent brain damage. As you read it, write your own version. Confess your own changes, your own growth.
Whatever your condition, join the journey. Enter the experience. Be aware of reality. As you critique and confess and compare, here is the dare. Stare at me and my life to see where you are. Think of receiving help from others, of giving more when there is nothing there to give, of living. Really living.
This book is my effort to come to terms with life, with change, with a me I never expected to become. To come to terms with a me who forgets, who struggles, who doubts. I offer my own honest recovery, and I ask, What is this sad season of your life teaching you? How can your weakness make you strong?
 Floyd Skloot, The Night-Side: The Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and the Illness Experience, Story Line Press, 1996, p. xiv33
 R. T. Kendall, The Thorn in the Flesh, Charisma House, 2004, p. 87
– From Chris Maxwell’s book about his illness. To read more, purchase the eBook version of his book Changing My Mind: BUY HERE
This post hits home for me because this is in relation to the life verse that I stand on. Philippians 1:12, it says, “for I know that the things that have happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel.” Paul says this, and we know that his life and testimony than what the world would call “ideal.” I will join in embracing the experiences that have caused pain in my life so that I can give hope to another.
The sad season of my life is teaching me to embrace all the happy times in my life and have them help me get through the sad season, to help me realize that yes it is sad right now but it will get better because it has been better and it will get better again.
The season that I am in is a big change. There is more on my plate that I have ever had before. With this big change in the amount on my plate means that I just need to change more. I need to find balance more in Christ. With the more change that is added to my life the more change that needs to take place in my life.
This season of life is teaching me to appreciate the favor of God that has been over me for so long. Even at my lowest point, there is still always someone who is worse off and I am blessed beyond beleif. This season in the valleys is helping me to appreciate the seasons on the mountain tops.
It is our weakness where God can show us how strong He is. There is a lack of ability in any weakness. We know we cannot do it. So we turn to our Father and ask for help. We profess God’s strength in our weakness. One should not be looked down upon because of their weakness. We are all weak before the threshold of eternity. And it is in this weakness where Jesus power is made perfect.
The word weakness has such a negative meaning, but if we were to take a look at 2 Cor 12:9 we would see that great power comes through God in our weakness. That has been something I had a hard time with, realizing that when I am weak he is strong. I don’t always have to be strong. The other day I was reading a devotion on Strongholds. It said that stronghold are anything that exalts itself high that our God. It steals our attention and focus. I believe our negative mentality about ourselves and abilities is a stronghold, at least it is for me. So i am learning to let go of that and be okay with being weak so that he is strong in me.
I think the reason we are so resistant to change is because we are so unsure what the outcome of the change will be. So often we fear fear itself rather than an idea or object. We are afraid of being afraid and therefore we do our best to resist change. Other times, change is forced upon us – an illness, a death, someone else’s actions – these things are not in our control a lot of the time and as humans, we tend to not like that. I loved the quote from The Thorn in the Flesh book, “Come to terms with the likely fact that it is there to stay”. It speaks to the fact that many times we try to ignore things and not acknowledge them as if that is some way to make it “not exist”. The truth is, some change is inevitable and the more we can embrace it and understand God has a plan for each thing, the more we can grow in change.
This season of my life is teaching me that unexpected things are good and that I don’t need to fight them. Sometimes, I just need to live in the moment and stop looking ahead or behind so much.
This current season of my life seems to revolve around change. The most recent change has been dealing with my pastor having to retire. It’s one of the hardest changes I’ve had to deal with in a while. When you have someone who is a constant figure in your life for 12 years, seeing them have to leave is very hard. I’m finding in this season, like it says in Ecclesiastes 3:1 “For everything there is a season,a time for every activity under heaven.”
This season of life is teaching me to cling to Jesus even when I want to hide from Him. So often, I try to do things on my own and when I do, I go know nowhere and accomplish nothing. When I do cling to Him- chains break and joy and freedom fill my life.
This season of my life is teaching me to embrace, let go, and get ready to go all at the same time. Jesus satisfies and holds us up even when we feel like we cannot stand. Trusting in him in this season is what I’m grasping a hold of.
Knowing that Christ’s power is made perfect in my weakness is one of the most incredible promises that the gospel offers. I hate being weak. I hate looking like I can’t do something. But I believe sometimes God does allow things to happen so we must rely on Him. Rather than looking at weakness as a flaw, see it as an opportunity for Jesus’ love to radiate and the gospel to be proclaimed.
Wow, how can my weaknesses make me stronger? I think the part of this blog where it says “Changes that finally, when allowed, bring growth—spiritual and relational growth, growth in thinking of others as we learn from ourselves, growth through the shrinking of ourselves”, hits home for me. When i finally let God do the work he has been wanting to do in my life, whether that be by me forgiving someone or giving up an addiction, thats when i will have change. thats when i will have growth, growth through the shrinking of myself.
“This will all make sense someday, I promise.” If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard that phrase this past semester in regards to everything I’ve gone through, I would be a billionare. In the moment I have no earthly idea how any of this will ever make sense or what the point of it was. But slowly it is being redeemed and allowing me to connect with individuals who are tired of being told it’ll all make sense. We relate in our woundedness and confusion and find redemption in the fact we don’t understand, but despite that we are loved.
There are days in my life where i embrace change and new things, and other days where i am happy with mediocre life and effort. I procrastinate, i am stubborn, and i become very selfish as a result. God calls me to embrace change, and to often i am worried and afraid. God calls me to put aside this fear in his name and to follow him whole heartedly.