Several years ago, something changed. My mother was roughly 60 years old and was diagnosed with severe Osteoporosis. It laid her up for about a month or so. She couldn't even get out of bed without help. Why Osteoporosis at such a young age? It is believed that she has an eating disorder. Her diet is in no way balanced and cutting out dairy (among so many other things) so long ago brought on Osteoporosis with a vengeance along with a really bad case of Shingles. I felt sorry for her. I knew her church wouldn't be supportive (i.e. they believe illness is the result of unconfessed sin, etc, etc, etc...). Keep in mind, up until this time, we only talk on the phone a handful of times each year because those conversations usually left me stressed. During this time, however, I called her every day just to chat and discovered something...
I had a Mom! I mean I really had a Mom buried somewhere in there. During that month, there were no put downs. There was no comparing me to my sister. There was no gossip about other people. She was real. She was being nice. I remember walking up to my husband stunned after several conversations and wondered who this woman was. I wasn't complaining though. I felt like I had what my other friends had which was a Mom. She even questioned a bit with me, a person who does not share her religious views, why this was happening and I got to share a little about what the Bible says. She's been reading her Bible for well on 40 years now and didn't even know about some of what I was sharing. I shared very humbly and hoped for the seeds to take root.
One thing I've learned is that God uses our difficult circumstances be they illness, financial difficulties, or any hardship for His good when we are following Him. I've heard one pastor say that when you speak faith and deny your circumstances, you are forgetting that the Lord chastens those who He loves. In denying your circumstances you may actually be denying the work of the Holy Spirit and the work God is doing in your life. That is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. That really resonated with me because I know in my most difficult moments, God has used hard times to not only get my attention but to grow me as well.
Alas, after a month, my mother was recovering and heading back to her church. I knew it was over when she called to specifically tell me that I wasn't allowed to tell anybody about her Osteoporosis. She didn't even tell a couple of her children or her own family. Hard to claim you are never sick when people know, not only were you sick, but you were severely so. Sadly, I realized that I had lost the Mom I had had for that month.. She has not returned.
Romans 8:28And we know that ALL things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.