Entrusted By God is passionate about equipping everyday people, including young people, to live as faithful stewards in an entitled culture. One area of life where this truth is extremely pertinent is the trials and hardships of life. To that end, this post is the first in a two-part series, featuring excerpts from teenager S.G. Willoughby’s book He’s Making Diamonds: A Teen’s Thoughts on Faith Through Chronic Illness, a helpful and hopeful book about faith in the midst of health battles by a teenager who deals with chronic illness. This work which features a foreword by the lead vocalist and lead guitarist of Hawk Nelson, Jon Steingard. Check out the end of this post how you can enter to win a copy of this amazing book!
Our culture strives toward “self-discovery”. It says that we should find, realize, or discover ourselves. But this is the opposite of what God says!
“Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life” (John 12:25).
Our lives aren’t our own! Why in the world should we seek to discover ourselves? When I stop to really think about it, I realize just how self-centered that is. It’s us trying to seek to know everything and to be in control of our lives when really, we should be seeking to surrender our lives to God. Just look at this quote by Oswald Chambers in his book My Utmost for His Highest:
“Our Lord’s teaching was always anti-self-realization. His purpose is not the development of a person—His purpose is to make a person exactly like Himself, and the Son of God is characterized by self-expenditure. If we believe in Jesus, it is not what we gain but what He pours through us that really counts. God’s purpose is not simply to make us beautiful, plump grapes, but to make us grapes so that He may squeeze the sweetness out of us.”
But still, we have the question: Who in the world are we now that all we thought we were is gone? Is my identity now just “the sick kid”? Is yours?
Have you watched the movie Toy Story? If you have, you probably remember that there was a guy who had identity struggles too. His name was Buzz Lightyear and he was made of plastic. Guess what though? His friend Woody reminded him who he was . . . or more accurately, whose he was—Andy’s! Written on the bottom of Buzz’s space boots was that name: Andy.
And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit . . . (Ephesians 1:13)
Just like Buzz, we are marked. We are marked! We are His! We are not just “the sick kid,” no matter how all-consuming our sickness seems to be. We are God’s.
So many times, I have cried out to God saying, “I just want my life back!”
I just want my life back. I don’t want to have to think about my sickness all the time, evaluating whether I can do something or not, and having to consider how it will affect me since everything causes a chain reaction.
Most people can splurge sometimes, whether it’s by allowing themselves a break, going out and doing something fun, or eating junk food. We can’t. We don’t have that option. We only have so much energy.
We can’t escape the constant sickness and thus have a break. If we eat the wrong thing, it could cause days of consequences. If we overwork or overestimate our physical strength, stamina, and ability one day, we can’t simply “push through” the next day.
But why would I want my life back? That would mean taking it back from the One who created it! And I would never want to do that. I’ve already surrendered it into His hands. Let’s leave it there! Don’t you agree?
About S.G. Willoughby
S. G. Willoughby is a seventeen-year-old girl with Lyme disease, toxic mold poisoning, and MCS. Currently, she resides in Arizona with her parents and two siblings. In her spare time she loves to write, read, and have adventures. She writes at FoundWhoIAm, R535, and Th!nk Magazine.
If you would like to enter to win S.G. Willoughby’s book He’s Making Diamonds, click on the following link: