Monday, 1 April 2013

Not Worrying About Perceptions

I just came back from a week long trip to Thompson.  I went there with the kids and my parents to go for a visit and to just "take a break".  As we drove the 10 hour trip, I had a lot of time to think.  On the middle of highway 6, in the middle of nowhere, I had a moment of "clarity", if that's what you can call it.  This moment basically came like the flip of a switch, but it was so clear....

I still have a life to live....

That was it.  I thought about it and as simple as it seems it was an epiphany for me.  God still has a plan for my life.  I am still here, things are different, but I'm still here.  And as soon as I realized that small and simple thought I felt joy spark.  Joy that I have not felt in a long time.  Why?  Because I made the huge step of acceptance.  It's like the moment an alcoholic finally admits they have a problem.  I finally accepted the fact that I have MS.  I have MS and it's not going to go away.  Just like an alcoholic will always be an alcoholic, I will always have MS.  Every day will be a choice.  Do I live in sorrow and self pity or do I choose to do things to the best of my ability?  Am I ready to do the things God is calling me to do? 

I don't often worry too much about what people think, but I have been struggling with this.  What if people see me and I am doing something that they think I shouldn't be able to do?  Will they think, why is she not working?  She doesn't look that bad.  If she can do (blank) why can't she do (blank)?  I guess it seems a lot more personal now.  The thing is...if I worry about what everyone else is thinking or saying, am I doing what I am being called to do?  Am I living my life to the fullest, or am I living it with boundaries set by others?

I want to tell you a small story of what just recently came about.  I came back from my trip and Shawn proceeds to tell me that he found out "through the grapevine"  that it was a struggle to get a bakesale up and running  for our family a couple of months back.  This bakesale was inspired by a friend who knew things were a bit of a struggle at the time.  EI had run out, I just started paying for medicine, we had a couple of hockey tournaments booked and just needed to get through a couple of months before income tax, and hopefully by then LTD would be kicked in and things would be okay.  Well for whatever reason the bakesale never happened, but we did find out that the perception can be "well they still have their kids in hockey so it can't be that bad".  Wow!  What do you say to that?  I knew there was talk but to hear it first hand is tough.  Hockey is prepaid, and why would I take the one thing that is still normal for my kids away?  Everything in their life has changed as well and this provides some sense of normalcy to it.  And no we aren't struggling forever, but yes this period of time was rough due to circumstances.  Well thankfully God still provided!  We had received financial support from a couple of people, we came home one day to find our counter full of groceries, and I went to the pharmacy to pay for medicine only to find out that we had hit our Pharmacare deductible and things were free until April!! 

What I want to say is that God knew our needs, and there were people who decided to trust God in what he was telling them to do, and I need to be ready to do what God is calling me to do.  If that means that people talk so be it.  I have a life to live and I have many good things I can still be doing. I'm encouraging you to do the same thing in your life.  Don't get caught up in perceptions, because only God knows the whole story.  Do what God is calling YOU to do, because He knows what He is doing and knows the outcome even before you do.  Who may even be a blessing in disguise to someone else... if you can let Him worry about how to use your blessing.


  1. What can I say Charis, but you are one wise brave and to the point young lady. Shawn is blessed to have you as a wife and strong mother to his children and you are right MS doesn't define you, and you will do what you can, when you can. Some people make me angry with their heartless attitude and judgment. You and your family will overcome and I thank GOD that you have a great family support and( true )friends. Charis it was great seeing you and the kids last week and Nathan had a blast with his cousins. You and Shawn have a special place in my heart , excuse the pun,( that's no bull). God Bless, love fr: Margie.

  2. YES!!!
    Acceptance and realizing that you are not defined by your illness are huge steps!! And very brave steps! It is stinking hard to come to acceptance!
    How are you doing with day to day feelings of success or failure? The idea of a day being defined by what we were able to do? I have found it helpful to think not of what I can physically do, but who I am. That is all I can control. I'm not longer (usually ;) ) concerned with who cleans my house, but that I am an available-for-a-hug mommy. I can't be out working, but I can strive to be kind and compassionate. Those are my markers of a successful day. And life is much less frustrating that way! :)