I have been studying Philippians over the past several weeks and I believe that Paul reveals the secret of overcoming that feeling of discontentment. Imprisoned at the time he wrote the letters, he was full of gratitude.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” –Philippians 4:6-7
“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:12-13
I am called to give thanks in all circumstances and at all times. And I have so many reasons to be grateful.
The level of my spinal cord injury really should have kept me on a ventilator for the rest of my life. Even one of the nurses at the rehabilitation center told me the medical team working with me was convinced that I would never breathe on my own. What a different life that would’ve been. I admire those that live on a ventilator day in and day out.
I was unable to speak the first month after my injury because of all breathing apparatus attached to me. It was so humbling and I feared I would not be able to speak going forward, but God had a purpose for my voice. My voice is the way I dictate to my laptop to write these blogs, to read books, to share my life and faith with others. I am grateful to breathe on my own and speak out loud.
The reality is, I was never satisfied as an able-bodied person. I’ve written this in so many of my blogs and sometimes I have to repeat it even to myself. I stayed in debt, never looked perfect enough, and for much of my adult life, drank my sorrows away. I laid in bed many nights asking myself what was the purpose of my life. I had a big empty hole inside that I couldn’t seem to fill.