Sorting Out Suffering

New post up at WORLDMag today.

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Yesterday I followed a link from a friend’s Facebook page to a video of Sarah Kovac, a 26-year old with Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita, who gave birth to a son last August. As a result of her disability, Sarah uses her feet to do pretty much everything—from diapering and feeding her baby to driving a car. She is really pretty amazing to watch in this video (and her baby is one of the sweetest-natured babies you will ever see, period).

http://ireport.cnn.com/themes/custom/resources/cvplayer/ireport_embed.swf?player=embed&configPath=http://ireport.cnn.com&playlistId=433805&contentId=433805/0&

After watching her in action, I turned around and saw everything around me that I haven’t made time to do. I imagined trying to do it all with my feet. I realized with a completely renewed perspective that I haven’t been using the gifts God gave me to the very best of my ability. I vowed to do better.

Yesterday I woke up with a migraine. It took nine hours before I began feeling semi-normal again. My girls did school on their own; they cared for me as best they could and were the best nurses I could have wanted. But I’ll admit: I wallowed in my weakness. Going through the day with sunglasses on indoors and asking four children to whisper everything all day is not exactly my idea of stellar parenting.

I do not have any idea what it means to truly suffer in this world. I have my own versions of suffering, which include things like complaining about the size of my laundry pile and lamenting that my van still reeks of mold in spite of the fact that I poured an entire gallon of bleach directly onto the carpet in the back. I usually do a pretty good job of letting those around me know I’m suffering when it’s happening. But to really know hardship? I have no idea, nor am I all that anxious to find out.

I am thankful for Sarah Kovac. I’m thankful for her spirit and her attitude and her perseverance. And I’m thankful for her willingness to share her normal everyday life that is so foreign to me as a reminder of all that I have to not complain about. Indeed, she is an inspiration.

 

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