Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Surprise, Surpise, Surpise!

Some of you may remember Gomer Pyle, the simple-minded gas station attendant on The Andy Griffith Show and Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. back in the 1960’s. He was often awestruck by the simplest of things, resulting in the exclamation of his catchphrases, “Shazam!”, “Gaaw-aawl-ly” and “Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!”

The later catch phrase is how I have felt over the past 25 years living with chronic illness. Most illnesses come at a person when they least expect it bringing many unwanted and unexpected surprises.

There are a few surprises that have pleasantly surprised my family and I. For years I had been a person who was always busy ‘doing’. I worked full-time outside the home, involved in various ministries, wife, mother, and homemaker. I took care of everyone but me, and it finally caught up with me over the years.

Six years ago, my life as I knew it came to a complete halt! It was as though my body said, “You didn’t take the numerous hints I gave you over the years, so I quit!” Between the pain, multiple infections, brain fog, fatigue and depression etc., I was at a complete stand still in all aspects of my life. Even a simple conversation was difficult. Praying and reading my bible became a chore. Through sheer desperation, I cried out to God, “I give up! I no longer have the strength to live.” The still small voice of the Lord whispered; “Now I finally have your attention! It’s not in your strength, but Mine!”

I relinquished my will – and yielded to God’s will for my life. I chose to live each day to its fullest – to live simply, love deeply, and laugh often. If this means all I do today is sit and listen as my daughter shares her day with me, then that is God’s will for my life today. I am making a conscious effort not to let things get to me. If it doesn’t get done today, there is always tomorrow or the next day.

“Since I know it is all for Christ's good, I am quite content with my weaknesses and with insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:10 (NLT)

What a difference this has made in my life as well as in the life of my family. Imagine their surprise as I became content with my life and in return became a happier person to be around.

"But now that you've found you don't have to listen to sin tell you what to do, and have discovered the delight of listening to God telling you, what a surprise! A whole, healed, put-together life right now, with more and more of life on the way!” Romans 6:22 (The Message Bible)

The other week as my family was together, we were describing each other using one word. When it came to me, my 14 year old grandson said, “Funny”, my son-in-law said, “Crazy”, my sweet daughter said, “Loving”, and my very supportive husband – just smiled and laughed!

Chronic illness has brought many surprises to my life and my family’s; but the best surprise of all is that I have become a joyful, mellow, playful, thankful, giving, loving, wife, mother, grandmother and most of all faithful child of our merciful God!

It’s not how many times we go to church, how many ministries we are involved in, or how busy we are for God…. Whether we have a chronic illness or not - the answer to a blessed, joyful, Christian life is the following:

“Whatever you eat or drink or whatever you do, you must do all for the glory of God. “ 1 Corinthians 10:31 (NLT)

Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.” Philippians 4:11 (NKJV)

What surprises has chronic illness brought to your life or a family member’s life that you would like to share with us?

What Is Chronic Illness?
One in two Americans currently suffer from a form of chronic disease. Learn what it is, and what you can do if you or a loved one is suffering from a chronic illness.

Read more: "What Is Chronic Illness? A Definition and Explanation of Chronic Disease" -

For other Word filled Wednesday posts please visit Critty Joy


Denise said...

Great post.

Lauren said...

wonderful post - thank you for sharing! :)

Peggy said...

WOW Michele...God's blessings!
Shazam! Cute dog blog pic & the verse is GREAT! It surprised me as you chose SURPRISE, surprise, surprise
in that verse & developed such a wonderful post of awareness & great insights. I praise God that HE restored your weakened state & made you stronger in Him to find a strong fight against chronic illnesses not just for you but others also.

My adopted daughter's chronic illness with LUPUS in her teens brought her and I closer together like a real mother and daughter. My own faith increased & I began to believe in MIRACLES from praying.
It made me a prayer warrior and intercessor that believes in God's answers! Her son's AUTISM needs the same miracles and he needs his mother's love & she has released him to the hands of his dad's. They are not together and that also is a result and part of the impact on young people with chronic illnesses & their children's lives.

Cathy said...

I enjoyed your great post, Michelle. So glad the Lord restored your strength and joy ~ I have so called "incurable" asthma, but God is my hope. I have some other conditions, but I also enjoy my life, like you do, thanking God that He is always with us, and He cares for us.

Karen said...

Absolutely loved this post and all the scripture references you shared....

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post!

I love the message of that verse...fabulous!

Happy WFW!

Ayurvedic Medicine said...

its really very fantastic posting here.

juls4Him said...

Michele, this post describes my life totally. It was more than six years ago that my life halted but it was the same effect. God was seeking my attention and He sure got it. This past January, He totally healed me from a lifelong case of asthma. I stood in a healing line and He healed me like it was nothing. I got the
H1N1 flu in July and that cough really tested me but I stood on my faith and the tightness I had passed. But then I have asked the Lord why all of my other chronic stuff is still there. What I really ask is there something else I need to do so you will also heal my Hypothyroidism, Acid Reflux, Fibroyalgia, Osteoporis, Carpal Tunnel and Chronic Fatigue? All I have heard so far is, Wait on me and press in closer. While I'm doing that, I'm rejoicing in my asthma healing. Probably if He took His thumb off of me right now, I'd go running in many directions once again. My ministry now is prayer and I'm still able to get to the nursing home to minister twice a week. I am content with that now and have stopped comparing myself to other 54yo grandmothers. I'm so glad you are addressing invisible illness week. People always say to me....well you look fine to me! All I care about now is that I "look fine" to the Lord! Still praying for your needs over there in my old homestead county. Keep lookin' up girl! Julie in NC

Nikki (Sarah) said...

great message. Although I don't have chronic illness I battled addictions for a long time.

Beth in NC said...

You are so sweet Michele. (We love Andy Griffith -- STILL!)

God bless you and your family.