Don’t you love to hear miraculous stories about how God changed someone’s health, relationships, finances, etc., so they were able to overcome limitations in their lives? I do! But what about those of us who have prayed long and hard for a miracle, but frustrating limitations still persist? How do we live our best lives when those limits seem to hold us back or keep our dreams out of reach?
I’ve lived with the extreme limitation of a chronic illness for decades. I’ve prayed, seen dozens of doctors, followed health plans and spent thousands of dollars. Yet, God continues to allow my illness and the ways it severely limits me to remain.
Here are three strategies I’ve found to help during long seasons of limitations:
- We can focus on building our core relationship with God–our identity in Christ. Our core connection with God can become so strong that no one and no circumstances can touch it. And we can spend time learning to hear God’s voice above anyone else’s critical voice, including our own. We’ll need this strong core relationship during this season because enjoying God’s presence is key to living our best life.
- We can set smaller goals and give ourselves grace without letting go of dreams God placed within us. I still need to walk with a cane, and my Stanford doctor reminds me to limit my physical activity, so I pray for and look for alternative ways to still water the seeds of dreams God planted within my heart. For me, this may look like planning fewer events along with planning lots of extra time to prepare beforehand and rest afterward.
- We can keep going back to the truth that God sees us, cares deeply for our suffering and that our limitations can’t limit His good plan for our lives!
Like Gideon, the Old Testament hero in Judges 6, we can trust that if God nudges us to do something, His abilities will more than cover any limitations on our lives. If God nudges us to step out in the meager strength we have to follow His calling, we can trust He’ll fill in gaps in our abilities in miraculous ways.
In struggling with my health limitations, my eyes have been opened to another type of miracle I now see in many around me with long-term limitations. When God allows limits to remain, I see Him miraculously enabling us to still fulfill the good purpose He created us for, right there in the midst of our major life limits! We can embrace our authentic selves, including our limits, knowing God can transform our struggles into the very thing that can connect us to others and enable us to step into our destiny.
Like Gideon, we can go with the strength we have and with all the limitations we have, knowing they won’t limit God one bit.
The seeds of God’s glory are in our story, and they include our limitations.
Deb Gruelle is a bestselling and award-winning author of four traditionally published books, for both adults and children, including Aching for a Child: Emotional, Spiritual, and Ethical Insights for Women Struggling through Infertility and Miscarriage. A recovering Silicon Valley technical writer, Deb’s been featured on multiple radio broadcasts including Family Life Today.