How a mom with a chronic illness embraces her imperfection

January 28, 2013 in lessons for moms,mentor moms,mom guilt,Perfectionism

More often than we care to admit,  we can’t be the mom we want to be. Illness, death, job moves, or finances redirect our energy and we can’t give everything we want to our mothering job. Meet Julie Moore. The limitations she’s encountered in her mothering have helped her not to seek perfection but to depend on her Maker.  Julie is  a wife (for 12 1/2  years), mother of 3 (10- year- old boy, 8 year- old- boy and 2 year- old- girl) and a blogger on Natural and Free   and Fibro, Fit and Fab!  Here’s Julie:

Natural and Free blog writerThe times I found out I was expecting were the happiest days of my life.  I couldn’t wait to have “Mommy and Me” dates, to watch endless hours of Elmo, to snuggle, cuddle and kiss my babies or play “Hide and Seek.”  I imagined how perfect my life would be, and after my first 2 children were born (just 18 months apart), I had that perfect life, but then it all changed. My whole world got flipped upside down when I was diagnosed with multiple food allergies.  This diagnosis lead to paranoia about food, wondering if I’d be around for the 2 little boys (age 3 and nearly 2 at the time) we were raising if I ate the wrong foods.  I was scared out of my mind, and, though I was “religious,” I wasn’t a Christian, so I didn’t have God to help me.  Regardless, God found it in His grace to lead me to a doctor a few years later who informed me that my food allergies were gone, if I’d ever had them to begin with.  I thought I had my life back, and I began to live again like I always had…on my own, relying on me.

In August of 2012 (5 years after I got saved) with 3 kids now to take care of, God saw fit to touch my life again in a way that changed my “perfect” world: I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, which can be debilitating, but not fatal.  I again felt fear, anger, hurt…but this time, I had God.  I asked Him to help me, to teach me through this, to help me be the mother I needed to be.  I was fatigued, moody, in pain, and had trouble focusing at times, but still I wanted to be that mother I longed to be…and God is answering that prayer in His Own way.

I have not arrived, but God has taught me so much, and has allowed me to have more basically “pain-free, able to focus and function” days than not (due to  life style changes), and I am so grateful for it.  You can read more about my journeys on my blogs, if you like, but I want to share with you the 5 things I’ve learned about God’s goodness and grace through the hardships I’ve faced over the years.

1. Joy is not circumstance. With each of my diagnoses, there was a difficult adjustment period. I wanted to feel normal – for me, for my family. These things seemed like a death sentence in some ways, but in reality, they were just the beginning of a new life. They taught me that God is in control, that He takes care of His Own and that we can be happy despite the storm raging around us. We can choose to focus on His grace and goodness, on the fact that “all things work together for good to them that love God,” (Romans 8:28, KJV) instead of dwelling on our difficulties. In the eye of the storm is where calm is found…and that’s exactly where I’m content to be as long as He is there with me.

2. When I am weak, He can. I cannot tell you how nice it is to be weak sometimes. I know that sounds odd, but when you simply cannot do it, you see God move in ways that will astound you. You know that it’s up to Him or it’s not going to happen, and when He does it, it goes so much better than if you were at the helm.

3. Being grateful is the best cure around. Fibromyalgia can cause horrible depression that can lead to pain like a domino effect. The best way to combat it is to find ways to be grateful. Having a thankful spirit literally makes my pain go away along with lifting my spirits. It’s a fantastic miracle cure. 🙂

4. The greatest gift is prayer. When I can do nothing else, when my body is done, I can pray. When I have nowhere else to go, I can turn to God. There are days I can barely lift my head, and God is just a prayer away. It is His greatest gift and my best weapon against the overwhelming nature of those days. It is also the one thing that I can always do; pray for others.

5. Remember what’s truly important. When you see a chance to teach your child about God or to snuggle or play with them, take it. Those days are  fleeting, and sooner than you’d like those opportunities will be gone. In the same vein, enjoy the good days and pray through the bad. Your house may not be pristine nor your kids spotless at all hours of the day, but that’s okay. Life isn’t about fitting into a mold made by Hollywood; it’s about pleasing God and doing the best you can for you and yours under His guidance.

If I can be of service, if you need a friend, a prayer partner or have any questions, I’m just an email away-Julie

Please, leave Julie a comment of thanks for sharing her wisdom and check out her blogs by clicking on the buttons below.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Julie Moore January 28, 2013 at 3:33 pm

Thanks again for letting me share my story and some lessons learned, Laura!

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stacey January 28, 2013 at 3:48 pm

What an in-depth story Julie. I’m so sorry you have gone through all this, but at the same time, I’m glad you are ok & finding the way. God is pretty amazing! He has worked miracles for us, for then once. Everything you wrote in this post, are good reminders for me. Especially what is important in life. I’m pretty blessed to have you as a friend, Julie!

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Julie Moore January 30, 2013 at 2:58 pm

Thanks, Stacey! I’m glad the post was a blessing and a help to you, and I’m glad to call you friend, too! 🙂

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