Are you going to die, mommy?

It’s enough to break a mother’s heart to hear these words.  The question usually comes in the dark when I am on my knees at my boys’ bedsides saying goodnight.  “Of course I’m going to die,” I want to say. “We’re all going to die.”  But I know that this is not the answer they are looking for.  This is when I am forced to hold my head high, hold back the tears and say, “You don’t have to worry about that.  Mommy is going to be just fine.”

I don’t want my children to worry about me and I don’t want them to see me hanging my head low because I have a disease.  (By the way, I hate the “D” word.  Ack!)  But I do want them to understand the weight of the decision on my shoulders in regard to how I battle RA physically and spiritually.  But most importantly, I want them to know that I trust God with my life.  He is holding my hand through each day.  Some days, I forget to take His hand and I let fear and sadness creep in.  That’s when it becomes about me and I lose focus.  I get off track.  This disease is SO NOT about me.

I know my children are carefully observing my character–with a microscope!  I have to be accountable to God and praise Him in the valley, praise Him in the midst of my storm because my boys are more likely to do what I do and not what I say when they face a storm of their own.  It sure is easier to say that I’m going to praise God through the pain and inflammation, than actually do it with joy and praise.  Folks, I believe that He is sanctifying believers for the day that we will live in His presence.  If I can get my heart and mind around that, than this is a win win for everyone.  This is where the spiritual walk takes precedence over the physical battle for me.  Am I really living for Him?  Am I really sold out for Jesus?  In my heart and spirit, I am in love with my God, my Redeemer, my Savior.  But I must constantly battle my inner man, my sinful nature, my self-centerdness, to stay on track.  And who am I?  I’m just a girl that is trusting her God one day at a time.  I mean, He is God after all and His Word will not return void!

The verse below was in a devotional my husband read this morning.  It spoke to my heart.

We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.  Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.  For even Christ did not please himself.  Romans 15:1-3

And let’s not forget prayer!  We have an ultimate power source at our fingertips and it doesn’t require a physically functional body to take advantage of it.  Amen?

I praise God that at this point in my boys’ lives they trust God.  It is their choice.  I pray they continue to trust Him.  Here is a mother’s day card from one of my boys.  It too is enough to break a mother’s heart.


5 thoughts on “Are you going to die, mommy?

  1. I have gotten those words from my ten year old many times in the last two years. I remind him that I have disease that makes my life harder but it is something I have to live with, not something that is going to make me die. You are absolutely right about our children examining us under a microscope – my ten year old knows every move I make or every expression that comes when I am not feeling well. My toddler knows when Mommy needs to rest. My husband probably doesn’t pay that much attention or even notice as my boys do.
    And you are right – the disease is not about you, but the struggle is – you have to fight back – not for you, but for them. I am not as religious as you but I do believe in God and his way of testing us. He tests to see how well we endure and whether we will seek and lean on his guidance and that is exactly what we have to do. It is that strength and that endurance that our children admire and learn from. It is what gives them hope and without us, they will never gain that hope.
    I didn’t cry when I read your post (but I was moved) because I know that you are slowing finding the strength that the disease is trying to take from you. It is the same strength that I have worked towards for the last two years. The disease does not get easier, but your strength and ability to fight back will. You have to believe that and allow your faith to guide you. Your kids have you to guide them, let God guide you.

    • Lana,

      It is so good to hear that the ability to fight back gets stronger if we let God lead us. And that’s what I call an encouraging word! Thank you. It has blessed my day.

      Rheum for God

      • P.S. Moved is good. And no tears is good! I have plenty to go around. Wait until I tell you guys what happened with my appointment with my naturopath this morning. I keep saying “wow!” spontaneously out loud to myself.

  2. This post resonates with me on so many levels. This disease (I, too, hate that word!) has upended my life–physically and spiritually. And yet, as much disruption as it has brought into my life, I also recognize that it can be a catalyst for transformation into more of God’s dream for me. Six months in, I’m still learning how to manage the day-to-day practicalities of living with an unpredictable body. But the real learning curve involves the way this experience has stirred up all the ways I cling to things other than God–all of the ways I try to rely on “self” and not Him. What a blessing and a challenge!

    Recently, a well-meaning friend posted on my blog that if I only believed enough I would be healed. In response, I tried to explain that while I believe healing is possible, it’s kind of beside the point. Your phrase “the spiritual walk takes precedence over the physical battle” made me feel understood. Thank you for that.

    And thank you for the reminder that this is not about me. My son is 20 and living on his own–kind of ;). But he’s still watching. And so are the parishioners of the little church that I pastor. Over the last few months I’ve agonized over what I have to offer them having lost the ability to maintain my old Type-A behaviors. You’ve spoken what I know in my heart: that how I trust God in the midst of this is what I have to offer. I’ll be re-reading your post whenever I start doubting that God is in this.

  3. Kris,

    So great to get a reply from you. I’ve enjoyed reading your posts. I’ve attempted to leave you a reply on two separate occasions. They were slightly lengthy and both times when I hit submit I got an error message and my reply was gone. I read your most recent post last night before I went to bed and LOVED it! You made me laugh. I loved reading your witty and snappy responses. A perfect post to direct well meaning people to.

    I have had a friend near and dear to my heart respond to my illness with the mentality that it must be issues from my past that I am not dealing with properly. So, I walked that path, even though, I really do feel like I have peace in my heart about anything from the past. And did it bring healing–no. Does that mean I failed in my attempt to deal with my past? I believe the answer is no. I feel like you understand this. I’m in a different place now. I know that I have to keep looking up. Helps me keep my head above water.

    You have an incredible testimony to share with your parishioners. It’s tough to be a believer and have a disease, isn’t it? There seem to be additional judgements made that are directed at our faith and our sins. But nothing compared to the judgements people cast on Christ. Have to keep reminding myself…

    And you nailed it–it is a blessing and a challenge. How awesome to be made more into His likeness. But the process just plain sucks.

    I look forward to reading more of your posts.

    Rheum for God

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