When Life Steals My Productivity: Chronic Illness

by Jennifer Slattery @JenSlattery

Why is it, the times we most need energy, we tend to feel most fatigued? Or those days, when our increased, perhaps even “urgent” responsibilities necessitate efficiency, all becomes chaotic?

This year has challenged, and perhaps for some of you, obliterated, any sense of predictability and control. How do you respond to those periods? Do you try harder? Fill your mind and heart with guilt and condemnation regarding all you could’ve-should’ve done?

Or do you choose to rest in grace? We cannot simultaneously feed our self-defeating thoughts and live in Christ’s grace.

I’ve had to remind myself of this a lot lately. I’ve had to remind myself of who I am and who Christ is. I am a deeply loved, completely accepted, and irrevocably called child of God. And He is the one who loves me, who died to unite my soul with His, and who is, even now, on my hardest and most chaotic days, equipping and empowering me to all He’s assigned.

I find great comfort in knowing God’s plans for me are so much greater than me. This has been a rough couple of months, with a consistently spiked pain level that keeps me up late into the night and often wakes me once I’ve finally crashed. As a result, sleep deprivation continually steals my focus and productivity.

In the past, when a flare lasted days, or even weeks, I’ve managed to make up for lost time easily enough. Whereas once, these difficult moments used to lead to feelings of defeat and discouragement, now I hardly give them a passing thought. I simply view them as a temporary, unexpected challenge I know will soon pass.

But lately, as my body’s rebellion continues, now into month three, the fight I thought I’d won has resurfaced, inviting me to anchor myself, ever-deeper in God’s sovereign grace. A grace that says I don’t have to perform or achieve. That assures me that while God will indeed use me, He doesn’t in fact need me. He invites me to serve Him, not so that I can impress or please Him, but rather to experience Him more fully. So that I can learn to yield more fully to Him and His Spirit stirring within.

What’s more, He knew precisely what every flare would look like and how long it would last—and He’s already worked out all the details. He fashioned my days, knowing where I’d be, in this moment. I have everything I need in Christ to do all He asks. Scripture promises: “His divine power has given [me] everything [I] need for a godly life through [my] knowledge of Him who called [me] by His own glory and goodness” (2 Peter 1:3 NIV).

God will give me the strength, power, and perseverance to do all that He asks.

Even if, for today, that means setting my to-do list aside for a much-needed nap.

While you might not suffer from chronic illness, I suspect your daily struggles can easily challenge your sense of peace. I imagine there have been times when you’ve wrestled with feelings of inadequacy, with a pressure to do or be more. If so, will you join me in leaning deeper into God’s grace, knowing, “[God’s] eyes saw [our] unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in [His] book before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139:16, NIV).

TWEETABLE
When Life Steals My Productivity: Chronic Illness – encouragement from @JenSlattery on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

Jennifer Slattery

About the author: Jennifer Slattery is a multi-published author, ministry, and the host of the Faith Over Fear Podcast. Find her online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com, find her ministry at WhollyLoved.com, and find her podcast at LifeAudio.com and other popular podcasting sites.

In her new podcast, Faith Over Fear, Jennifer helps us see different areas of life where fear has a foothold, and how our identity as children of God can help us move from fear to faithful, bold living. You can listen by clicking on the link below or by visiting LifeAudio.com.

Join the conversation: Do you struggle with feelings of inadequacy or pressure to do more?

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