Lessons Learned Through Sickness

By: Abbie Amiotte

God uses sickness. Sure, we would all like to believe that. When suffering knocks like an unwelcomed house guest ready to make us expert Pity Party Planners, we would like to believe that God uses sickness. We would like to think that there is a reason; some unknown greater plan at work. But I’m really good at making my complaints and tears loud enough to distract me from trying to see that reason. I just had my seventh surgery last week. Compared to many people much stronger than I, 7 really isn’t that big of a number. But I still like to throw that pity party when I think of how many I have had. “I just got married two weeks ago; I’m not supposed to be having surgery.” I thought that this week. I usually think something along those lines when it comes to every illness, injury, or inconvenience I have experienced. Two years ago it was, “I’m only 18; I shouldn’t be having hip problems. I shouldn’t need surgery.” Or last year, “It’s two weeks until finals; my appendix shouldn’t be rupturing.” I’m a really good complainer. So much so that I can actually blind myself to the lessons God teaches through my medical history. It usually takes a couple years for me to see them, but I can now officially say that God uses illness.

Surgery #1, age 9: Love does cast out all fear. Sleeping in my parents’ room the night before surgery made me feel safe and as if nothing in the world, including surgery, could touch me. Even as adults we should never lose our ability to find courage when we are afraid. Going to our parents when we were little worked; going to our God now works too.

Surgery #2, age 13: Do not let fear turn into anger and anger into bitterness. Release the emotions we fear in moments of suffering to our God. He is a lot better at dealing with them than we are.

Surgery #3, age 14: Accept help, particularly when you don’t know what you are doing.

Surgery #4, age 18: It’s ok to mourn. I had to cry and lament my body for failing me, but instead of letting myself do that, I just got bitter. A bitterness that I carried with  me for a long time. It’s ok to let ourselves grieve, even over things that ot

her people might tell you are not big deals or when people say we should be grateful that things didn’t turn out worse.

Surgery #5, age 19: God really does protect His children. Whether it’s from outside forces, our own bodies, or our own sinful nature, God is our ever present help, our leader, and our provider.

Surgery #6, age 19: Never worry about God’s timing. Even the most inconveniently timed surgery will ultimately be shown to be the best timed incident possible. Just wait and see.

Surgery #7, age 20: I really don’t know yet. To be honest with you, I’m still bitter that I’m not at home with my husband decorating our apartment. And maybe right now this surgery is just teaching me patience to wait and know what God wants me to learn. I suppose, that’s a pretty good lesson all in itself.

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