Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Blessings in Disguise

I like this poster. Our adversity, is often just blessing in disguise. 

Looking back, I can see that my life has been filled with many blessings in disguise. Of course they didn't seem like "blessings" at all when I was experiencing them. How could I have known that having poor health with lots of allergies was really an opportunity to break with some dysfunctional family traditions, would help me learn to be more assertive and compassionate, strengthen my marriage, help me spend more time with my children and help them become more capable adults, and give me many opportunities for service.

This last year there have been many obvious blessing such as knowing we should move to the St George area to help improve my health, and finding a new home there in just four days. Far less obvious was the blessing of being felt alone in our new home for a month to unpack and get settled. I gained a lot of confidence in my abilities. It got me back up on my feet after being bedridden for so many years. During this time there were other blessings. One was that the city asphalted the road in front of our home. Our old neighbors had moved to the St George area a few years before and were now our neighbors again. They took me in for the day which gave me the support I needed at that time. Also, I really smacked my index finger trying to put furniture together which led to my finding a new doctor in the area.

The blessings in disguise didn't end after we got settled. I thought I would have great health when I arrived in the St George area, and I did feel better, but it didn't take long til I was struggling.  At first I could get out and go to church and in stores, then I began to feel dizzy, shaky, and so tired I could barely move. To top it off, our church refinished the cultural room floor. This type of finish is known for causing lung irritation, so attending church with chronic bronchitis was out. I felt depressed and shut out from the world, but it turned out to be another blessing in disguise.

So why do I say that having to stay in my home for four months was a blessing? Because it was. I just hadn't realized it until I walked into church last Sunday and felt calm and enjoyed being with everyone. This is a big change from four months ago. I felt tired and uncomfortable. People seemed too loud and too much was going on. Perfumes were overwhelming and seemed to heavily coat my skin. My head ached and I had trouble concentrating or remembering. Trying to carry on a conversation was both pathetic and tiring  Meeting new people when you are dizzy, overly sensitive, and incoherent is definitely not a positive experience. During the week, I struggled with feeling shaky and had frequent mild anxiety attacks. I am grateful that the Lord took me out of circulation for a few months. Even though I was too tired to realize that I was exhausted, He knew and compassionately gave me the time I needed to rest and heal.

While we were living in the St George area, we also were trying to sell our old home which was three hours to the north. It took us seven months with five contracts falling through to finally sell the house. One couple even called us to cancel right when we were in the title company's office signing the final papers. They were sorry, but their company had transferred them at the last minute. How could this be a blessing? It was. We ending up with a wonderful couple buying our home. This is just what I had longed for -- to have a young family live in our home once again.

Another blessing in disguise occurred during these last few weeks. I started having allergy symptoms.  I had been unable to take the old antihistamines because the made me so sleepy. After taking desensitizing allergy drops for years, my doctor retired and this option would no longer be available. I decided that it was time to try antihistamines again. They worked! They also seem to be helping me go in buildings with perfumes such as church. Things just keeps getting better and better.

From this bout with pollens, I got another blessing in disguise, a serious eye infection. Yes, it was a blessing. My vision is failing, and I really need to have cataract surgery, but we have been concerned that I might react allergically to the medicated eye drops you must take after the surgery. If I did have an allergic reaction, there would be a serious risk that I could lose my eyesight. By taking the drops now with this infection, we know that I can take the medicated drops. Now, I will be able to have the cataract surgery after all.  New freedom is on the horizon!

Looking a little harder enables me to see beyond the obvious blessings to see the "blessing in disguise". It helps me know that I am loved and watched over. It enables me to look at the tough times in life with faith and hope, and discover the opportunities for growth that I am being given. Yes, those "blessings in disguise" truly are some of the best blessings of all.

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