Psalm 139:15 -16 “My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”
On Tuesday I had my first National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) planning meeting. It was basically an information gathering session for them to ensure the supports put in place suit me, my lifestyle and my goals. In order to do this they had to find out in, detail, things like my current situation and going back into my past to see what I participated in during High School. NDIS, although it sounds good in theory, won’t be able to give me the wings I need to soar. For instance if I was to travel in Australia the scheme would pay for when a support worker has to help me but it won’t cover their flights, accommodation, food etc. This means I will need to pay for these expenses on their behalf and it leave me out of pocket. The meeting did give me some hope; I will be able to move interstate and I won’t have to get reassessed to prove I have a disability – yay! But mostly it left me with the sinking feeling of ‘if only’.
I have constantly struggled with ‘if only’ especially in relation to my disability and difficult events that have shaped my life.
If only I didn’t have Cerebral Palsy, life would be so much easier.
If only I didn’t have Chronic Fatigue, then I could enjoy more of life.
If only I didn’t have to have all those surgeries and medical appointments, then I wouldn’t have a silly fear of needles and aversion to the medical/health profession.
If only I hadn’t been bullied in High School which lead to paralysing anxiety and low self-esteem causing me to miss all those opportunities.
If only I had sort internships sooner and applied for more jobs, then I would be working rather than studying.
Let’s stop the list there before we all get depressed if we aren’t already! The thing with ‘if only’ it makes us dwell on the regrets and what could have been. None of us can go back and change our past – I for one wouldn’t want to relive the hard experiences in the hope to change it because in all likelihood I would have the same result. Why? Because when I made this ‘if only’ list I left out an element that gives perspective and context – reality. So here is the list revised with a good dose of reality.
Sure it could be true that life without Cerebral Palsy in many ways would make my life easier. But I am still human and everyone has something they struggle with. Therefore the challenges faced would be different but not avoided altogether.
Sure Chronic Fatigue makes life more difficult but I am grateful that Chronic Fatigue is like a rollercoaster or a mountain when I hit lows (utterly exhausted) it sucks but when I hit highs (lots of energy) man it is awesome and I experience more highs than lows now compared to when I was first diagnosed.
Those surgeries and medical appointments helped me gain the quality of life I enjoy today. True I do have a lingering fear of needles but I have come a long way; I can now have blood tests without a numbing patch. Maybe one day I will be able to let go of my fear completely and get a tattoo, I have a few designs in mind.
That was a rough time in my life (High School) but I am no longer there and have had many more opportunities to make up for the few I missed. Plus the experience didn’t destroy me completely and I learnt valuable lessons such as the dangers of someone’s control over you.
I found it really tiring studying for my degree that I couldn’t physically give anymore and then after I completed my degree my anxiety did not help me at all. Not to mention I lacked the all-important experience.
Do you realise none of this surprises Jesus? He had my life planned out before the beginning of time. If Jesus wanted me to get a job I would only have to apply for one not thousands. Jesus has a plan for my life; sure I don’t fully understand His choices but I know ‘if only…’ is tearing me apart. If I always look at ‘if only’ I forget to look for what Jesus is doing despite them.