I knew Julie B. Cosgrove had gone through health issues, and I asked her to share how she manages them. As most of my readers know, we take care of a declining daughter. This situation brings me emotional pain and recently, I had a knee replacement. The present physical and emotional agony made me reach out to friends. I hope their comments help you too.
Julie B Cosgrove
In the Bible, Job was a man who lost everything in a very short time. Everyone thought he must have done something horrible to deserve such a fate. Yet, Job kept his faith. Eventually, God came through and restored his life with blessings to offset the tragedy. In the meantime, Job’s faith, though challenged, grew enormously. In fact, he said, “Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” (Job 2:10). Many people, like me, have had a “Job year.”
I have been housebound in a one-bedroom apartment for almost a year due to a failed surgery. I could barely walk across the room with a rollator, much less navigate the stairs to the parking lot or drive. Getting to doctor visits, trying to find one who would take on the challenge of repairing the failed hardware in my body wiped me out for two days! After five doctors and five small in-office or day surgery procedures, I finally found a doctor in a larger city’s medical school an hour away who agreed to try. Now I just had to wait ten weeks for an opening in his schedule. Progress.
During this time, I have also undergone two unrelated, unexpected surgeries which debilitated me even more and challenged my ability to live alone. But with the help of my son, who lives forty-five minutes way, and some close friends, I have muddled through. And of course, by the grace and mercy of my Lord!
All along, I have had a choice, just like Job, and perhaps just like you. I could get depressed, sulk, and moan…or I could thank the Lord for being right there with me through this and watch Him working it out for the good. Notice the little serendipities that come my way or concentrate on the plight and pain. Cast my eyes down onto my problems or raise them up in prayer.
Ten years ago, I started my own blog, "Where Did You Find God Today." I have written hundreds of blogs about the little ways I have seen God moving in my life in the hopes of encouraging others to do the same. Now, I wallowed in a trial which challenged me to “walk like I had talked.”
Being unemployed, I admit that after a few months, I began to feel anxious. For reasons I won’t get into, I fell through the cracks in my state’s rules and did not qualify for unemployment compensation. I had no income. But God took care of that! Two people from my old job decided to branch out on their own and hired me virtually to be their administrative assistant. Now that commute I could handle! In thanksgiving, and repentance for not trusting Him more, I bought myself a mug to remind me to CHOOSE JOY!
Like Job, my faith has stretched and grown. Growing pains are painful, but worth the effort. I have greatly diminished my pride―something I have struggled with for a long time and I knew I needed God’s help. There was little I could do to repay my friends for their kindness. Or my son for his diligence and patience. He spent his only day off every week running errands for me, helping me with housework, and playing chauffer to doctors. I learned to concentrate more on the important things in life and to be patient with myself. I often imitated the Little Engine that Could. I think I can, I think, I can … put on my socks, dust the shelves, fix my own meals.
You also have a choice. Don’t let the devil steal your joy anymore! And when people ask how you maintain a great attitude, wink and point upward, saying, “by the mercy and grace of God.” May all you come in contact with during this trial see you as a testimony.
Freelance writer Julie B Cosgrove writes for several Christian websites and publications and was an editor/writer for The Life Project, the digital ministry of CRU Canada’s Power to Change for ten years. She now edits for Roaring Lambs publications services as well as selectively on her own. Awarded one of the 50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading in 2015 and 2016 by the Internationally syndicated radio program, The Authors’ Show, she has had three Bible studies, a devotional collection, two inspirational guides, three novellas, and fifteen faith-based novels published, with five more contracted through 2025. Several of her novels have won statewide and national awards. Julie lives in Fort Worth, TX.