[ Divine Signs ]

Out-Blessing the Monster

Editor's note: The below is an as-written letter to an undisclosed recipient. The author's personal story offers inspiration to us all.

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You do not know me, but my "forever friend" told me you were hurting. I can only tell you of my experience with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). I was diagnosed tentatively when I was 34 and back in college, my children all finally in school.

I call the MS my dance with the monster. I hope you are taking one of the injections that will stop the relapses. Mine requires a deep-muscle shot once a week. The needle is sharp and it does not hurt. The medicine does. So my husband pushes the plunger down slowly. I pray The Lord's Prayer in my mind so I will sit still.

More than anything, people will notice how you handle having a chronic illness. If you can still praise Him in spite of your illness, others will marvel. I have heard you can sing wonderfully.

I cannot remember ever not believing in our Lord. But my disease has caused a closer walk of faith. It has been a very wonderful blessing. I hope you will experience this also.

I start every day in prayer and I end every day the same. Our Lord will answer your needs if you ask Him to. As Jesus told Paul when he asked the Lord to remove his thorn in the flesh, "My Word is made strong through weakness."

My first cousin once asked me if I ever get mad at God. My answer was,"Heavens no, I need Him too much."

You probably will be depressed at times. What works for me is I make two lists: Blessings and Afflictions. The first item on the Blessings list is Salvation; the second, my husband; then my children, grandchildren, friends, etc. I have to admit, my list of Afflictions has grown a little as I get older. But the Blessings list is always so much longer. I thank the Lord daily for that.

I cannot play the piano any more, but you find something else. I cannot write well, but amazingly I can paint, so I paint message birdhouses. I paint flowers on them and place many Bible verses on them.

I am 60 now. I didn't dream I would live this long. Happiness is a choice, just as faith is.

God has blessed my heart, and I will share my faith with anyone.

Vicki N.

Athens, AL