FLORA'S PERSONAL SUPPORT
Leaning On God's Everlasting Arms
Early in my disability, when the implication of what it meant to be disabled with Chemical Injury started to really hit me, I felt totally and completely overwhelmed. Almost everything that I had valued in life came to an abrupt end. My work days were over; my social life, as I knew it, was over; my church involvement was over; what I did for recreation was over; eating my favourite foods was over; and the list of all the changes that I had to make in my life just seemed to grow and grow.
Suddenly the realization hit me that if I wanted to survive and try to recover my health, I had to learn to cultivate a whole new life for myself. I had to learn to walk a very foreign road, with only minimal support from others, because none of my friends or family was Chemically Injured and therefore they had no need to walk this road.
Despair hit me like a brick wall. I cried and cried in my Mom’s arms saying over and over again: “I can’t do this – I just can’t! It’s too hard!” Mom and I had a good chat that both comforted me and gave me a very different perspective. Mom challenged me with a couple of Bible verses that had helped me in the past. She reminded me of Philippians 4:13, which says: I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. The other verse that she reminded me of was John 15:5b, which says: …for apart from Me you can do nothing.
John 15:5b and Philippians 4:13 are two sides of the same coin. Mom shared that I might not be able to do it on my own without God’s help; but that with God’s help, I can do it.
Then she stated something that both surprised me and also really helped me. She said: “Flora, God has faith in you that you can do it, with His help. God would never have allowed you to be given this trial, if He didn’t believe you could handle it. Lean on Him for help; He won’t fail you. He will give you all the strength and grace that you need to walk this road.”
Often we think of everything in the context of us having faith in God. I hadn’t thought of trials in life as God having faith in me. God allowed my life to be turned upside down; but He also promised that He would help me and give me the strength for each step along this new road. God allowed me to be given this huge life-altering trial, trusting that I will turn to Him for help and for the strength to go through this trial.
This perspective really helped me; and in faith, I prayed for God’s help to walk this new and very foreign road. Then I made an inner determination:
to fight for the recovery of my health,
to make every necessary lifestyle change to aid in my health recovery,
to learn how to cultivate a whole new life for myself, and
to lean on God’s everlasting arms for His help and strength.
Many years later, I can truly say that whenever I have looked to the Lord for inner strength to walk this road, He has never let me down. He is always abundantly available to help me in my time of need.
Psalm 46:1 says: God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.