My relationship with my Savior, Jesus Christ, and my Heavenly Father go hand in hand with my pain and illness. For me, I can't have one without the other. My illness brings me closer to God because I must rely constantly on Him, and in turn God gives me my chronic illness in order to learn more about Him, and to learn of His all encompassing love. In that sense, my illness is a blessing. It is a lesson, in my weaknesses that I am constantly learning and re-learning. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have been constantly there for me every single day and night of pain. I know that their love is real, it is powerful, and it is healing. I know that it is only because of them that I am able to cope with my illness, and to still have peace, assurance and joy. Even in my darkest moments of illness, and pain they have never abandoned me. I have done nothing to deserve the grace given to me by our Savior, Jesus Christ.
As I was thinking of how to convey my deep feelings for the Savior, I knew that I had to be bold in testifying of my knowledge of Him, His reality, His love and His life.
When the Savior suffered for us on the cross and in the Garden of Gethsemane, He took upon himself our pains. Not just the pains, suffering and guilt of when mistakes are made, but all of the physical and emotional hurt and suffering we will ever feel. That is where grace comes in. In a scriptural dictionary grace is defined as, "...divine means of help or strength given through the bounteous mercy and love of Jesus Christ. It is through the grace of the Lord Jesus that individuals through faith in the atonement of Jesus Christ and repentance of their sins, receive strength and assistance to do good works that they otherwise would not be able to maintain if left to their own means. This grace is an enabling power."
It is the grace of Jesus Christ, that carries me every single day. Grace is my angel mother typing this for me because my hands hurt so bad. Grace is dear friend being there for me in the middle of the night when I can't sleep because of the pain. Grace came to me last night, when I was in such pain I could hardly breath, and the Spirit said to me, "let God take care of you." Grace is the strength God gives me to get through my physical and water therapy each week. Grace is the help I am given to be able to walk each step. Grace is the peace, comfort and re-assurances of His love that God sends me when I pray, even when I am weak and full of mistakes. Jesus Christ doesn't make up the difference. He makes all the difference.
This is one of my favorite paintings ever. In the history of the world. It also happens to be done by one of my favorite artists. Ever. In the whole wide world. It is done by James Christensen. This painting is entitled, "Sometimes the Spirit Touches Us Through Our Weaknesses." This is how this remarkable artist describes this painting, "The Latin post nubila phoebus translates as, 'after clouds, sun.' It's something like our saying that every cloud has a silver lining. I think that we often grow through adversity. No one wants trials and ordeals, and yet, having passed through the darkness, we often experience great spiritual illumination and feel the most connected with our Maker."
I know that we are lifted, touched, carried and surrounded by heavenly hands more than we know or realize. I also know that hardships, pain and illness can be a direct link to spiritual illumination, divine love and great personal recognition and growth. This is all possible because of the love and sacrifice of our Savior, Jesus Christ. He lives. His love is real. He can heal us, physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally.
I love how Paul perfectly describes it: "Unless I should be exalted above all measure, through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And He said unto me, my Grace is sufficient for thee. For my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore, I take pleasure in infirmities, and reproaches, and necessities, and persecutions, and distresses for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then am I strong" (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).
So, my heart is divided and made up of different beautiful songs. This is one of them. Please, enjoy and feel the Savior's love for you. Let God take care of you.