The Real Picture

All of these pictures are within two days of one another. Even in a blog highlighting my journey with chronic illness, I cringe at the thought of posting a picture that emphasizes the illness. No hospitals, doctors’ offices, IV’s, medical devices, or anything that might evoke pity or capture vulnerability. Real life is in fact more like 4 sick pictures to every one well picture. But who wants to capture the painful, the ugly, the grief, the uncertainty, the agonizing, the unpolished, and the deeply vulnerable?

Except….isn’t that what this is all about? Making space for the pain and suffering, allowing ourselves to honestly assess and communicate our really difficult circumstances, so that we can throw up our hands in absolute desperate surrender to the God who desperately wants to comfort and dwell with us in our pain? The oxygen is necessary, but it is difficult to admit it. The medical monitoring, procedures, care, and micromanagement are vital, even though I feel compelled to run screaming from any doctor coming near me. The tears, the grief, the longing, and the anger are part of the process of “becoming” if I am willing to humble myself and step into them. It is not easy. It’s so messy.

But I want with all my heart to really, truly KNOW CHRIST. In Paul’s words to the Philippians,

My goal is to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, assuming that I will reach resurrection from among the dead.” (4:10-11).

I want to know Christ. I want to communicate Christ, I want to live a life reflective of Christ, and I want to point to Christ. Everything is a loss compared to the goal of knowing and sharing Christ.

So let’s get a bit more real. Life is exquisitely excruciating. And God is big enough to hold us in our suffering and redeem it all. In the “In between,” I want to represent the bittersweet fellowship of the suffering, the intermingling of Spirit and surrendered flesh, and the imperfect yet holy journey of sanctification in the midst of brokenness.

2 thoughts on “The Real Picture

  1. Amen! Thanks for the courage and obedience it takes to share with vulnerability!

    1. LaToya Coleman May 30, 2019 — 4:47 pm

      I am blessed by your blog. Thank you for sharing your story with the world.

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Pastor Al Gilbert

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