April McGowan

Nothing from Nothing

Do you ever have one of those days where you wake from a deep sleep, which should have been restful, but the dreams you had erode that restfulness away? I had one of those last night. Slept hard and long, but awoke with the strangest trepidation.

In a nutshell, my dream brought up feelings I didn’t know I was having. In my dream there was a person who could do it all—and I mean all : work, take care of a home (spotless), cook entirely from scratch (grew wheat to make her own flour then proceeded to grind it and make pasta—as we are gluten free, I wasn’t as jealous of this one), taught her children, made an extra income by buying up goods for cheap and selling them at a garage sale for a profit of $890 (my dreams are always very detailed, even now I have an itemized list of the things she was selling rolling about in my memory)….I think the only thing this figure was lacking was a cape and tight pants. Speaking of tight pants, she also had a killer figure. Anyway, when I woke up and realized I couldn’t do even a portion of what she got accomplished I began to feel like…less.

I think that we all feel the need to do it all. Hopefully we acknowledge we really can’t and let stuff go. But, sometimes those ideas sneak into our heads when we aren’t looking. When we’re tired, ill, or overwhelmed from stress it becomes much too clear we are at our end and aren’t living up to our own expectations. Hmm…there’s that word again (see previous posts).

I think I’ve struggled my whole life to feel like a person of value. I mean, you can know it on paper, but there’s a nagging voice that says, “Do you really believe it?” As I adjust to this life of chronic illness, I’m looking more and more to the Lord for His value of my life, rather than my own. But, in times of exhaustion, relapse, what have you, those voices start wheedling in, stealing my joy—making me nothing.

So, on that note, I’ve got a few Bible verses I’ve looked up to combat the lies. Because, that’s what they are, out and out lies. No matter what condition I am in, I’m of value to the Lord. If I can’t get my house cleaned, He still loves me. If I don’t finish a lesson of math with my kids, I’m still under His grace. If I never feel entirely well again in this life—He’s got my back. He’s got me. Thank God, He’s got me.

The following is from one of my favorite Psalms. Read the whole thing in context here.

Psalm 139: 13-18 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand— when I awake, I am still with you.

When I am awake, I’m still with you. AMEN.

1 John 9-10 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. (Full text here)

Romans 5: 6-8  You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.  Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die.  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Full text here)

I hope today that you feel the sacrificial love of Christ wrapped around you and you are insulated from the voices of nothing by the love of Him who saves.

1 Comment

  1. lifewithchronicillness
    Sep 20, 2011

    I used to have those same dreams, when I first became ill. Now however, especially when I am going through a rough patch..my dreams are of my reality…which makes me mad!..that I can’t escape my reality, even in my dreams..LOL. You have hit upon I think, one of THE most important lessons I have learned from having a chronic illness. That God values US, not what we DO. Totally opposite of how society views it. And, so freeing…when we can really take that in…thank you as always for sharing April:)

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