"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us," (Romans 8:18 NIV)
"Does Bill's wife have a drinking problem?" I will never forget those words ringing in my ears.
I had begun to stagger, my balance was off; that was the first indication given to some people that I had a problem. They assumed it was a drinking problem, merely because my lack of balance caused a sway when I walked.
They were jumping to conclusions; I couldn't blame them for what they preserved though it still hurt to think they thought such thoughts of me. It did, though, push me to seek aides to help with my problems.
So I entered the store where they sold handicapped equipment. I didn't want to go; I didn't feel handicapped. I was still the same person I had always been, before my diagnoses. I did, though, feel like I wanted to cry; actually I was crying on the inside where no one else could see.
"I would like to look at your canes," I told the sales clerk.
None of the canes looked like a woman's cane. So I searched through catalogs until I found it, a clear Lucite cane! If I had to have a cane, I wanted a pretty feminine one.
I swallowed my pride and ordered my first piece of handicapped equipment that day.
I later purchased two canes to walk with, and then a wheelchair and a walker were pieces of equipment I had to acquire.
As my needs increased, we had to have a lift so my husband could help me when I had fallen.
Now, I spend my days in my wheelchair or in my lounge lift-chair and we have also had to purchase a van with a ramp, among other pieces of equipment. But I still don't feel handicapped.
Oh, yes, I have pain, my legs are numb yet they burn so bad; I can no longer walk and my energy is depleted and life is certainly different. Our car license indicates someone who rides inside has a handicap, but inside in my heart, I still don't feel handicapped.
I must confess there are days I feel like I can't go on. But I know I am more than a diagnosis; I am more than this illness I live with.
So I cry out to God, on a regular bases, when my strength is all gone, "Help me Lord, be more than my body indicates that I am."
I have learned a smile can deliver a witness more than a frown, so I continue to swallow my pride and smile through my pain.
I rely on God to deliver me strength in my weakness so that others can see the power that He can provide.
I try each day to see myself as God sees me, not as man sees me, and in so doing, my worth can be found in God, not in my infirmities.
When people look at me they see the disability that multiple sclerosis has caused.
When God looks upon me He does not look on my physical infirmities but at my spiritual commitment to Him.
No, I am not perfect physically or spiritually; God, though, doesn't look for perfection, He looks for a contrite heart and devotion and commitment to Him.
In our inabilities or disabilities God desires HIS GLORY to shine through us.
No, I am not handicapped as long as God can use me.
Do not let yourself appear handicapped, no matter what your disability may be; allow God to shine HIS GLORY through you.
Prayer: God use me however You can, in this imperfect body of mine, to show the Glorious God that You are. Help me to be a clear vessel so others can see Your strength, power and abilities in and through me, in Jesus name, amen.
Betty King had been living with Multiple Sclerosis for many years She went to be with the Lord died at the age of 69, at her home in Mt. Vernon, Illinois, USA, On Saturday, Jan. 22, 2011. Betty was an author, newspaper columnist, devotional writer, freelance writer and speaker. She has publishing credits in newspapers, magazines, poetry books and anthologies. She is author of four published books, "It Takes Two Mountains to Make a Valley," "But-It Was in the Valleys I Grew," "The Fragrance of Life" and "Safe and Secure in the Palm of His Hand." She was also a member of Central Christian Church and the Roaring 20's Club in Mt. Vernon.
She wrote the following stories for the Biblepraise Newsletter, I Don’t Feel Handicapped, Minute Miracles and The Journey.