Why when you see me?

Diagnosed at thirteen with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, now 33 years later I am a survivor, an overcomer, a woman of strength, a bionic woman. God is my rock, my ever present need in times of trouble. It's in him I find my joy, my peace in the midst of the storm. Arthritis is part of me, my life, but it will never define me. I wrote this one night when I was feeling alone in my disease...

Why when you see me you see beauty, and all I can see is a body ravaged deformed from 33 years of arthritis?
Why when you see me do see strength, and all I can see is weakness, focused on all I am unable to do.
Why when you see me do you see courage, when all I feel is scared of pretty much everything.
Why when you see me do you see compassion, when all I see is someone who is selfish, concerned about her own needs and wants.
Why when you see me do you see joy, when I feel like crumbling inside, shattering into a million pieces of sadness shards.
Why when you see me do you see tenacity, when all I can see is timidity, idleness, indifference.
Why when you see me do you see happiness, when all I see is buckets of tears from the pain and loneliness.
Why when you see me do you see Jesus, when all I see is lack of faith, unanswered questions and emptiness?
Why when you see me do you see me blessed with a beautiful family and friends,
when all I see is loneliness and isolation, a feeling of never belonging, like it wouldn't matter if I was there or not.
Why when you see me do you see hope, when all I can see is discouragement, hopelessness and sadness.
Why when you see me do you see confidence ...when all I see and feel inside is insecurity, doubt, failure...
Why when you see me do you see contentment, when all I see is fear of never being enough, anxiety of never amounting to anything, of never being satisfied, always wanting more, never fulfilled.
Why when you see me do you see peace, when all I see is turmoil, worry, frustration
I long to see and believe what you see in me, I truly do, yet I struggle, I cry, I try...
Oh Lord, help me to see the beauty within, the arthritis as a blessing, not a detriment, a disability, but an ability, the incredible strength of a thousand armies, the courage you gave David in his fight against the behemoth giant, the unconditional compassion Jesus gave the woman at the well, the joy that overflows, wells up within the soul that cannot be contained, the tenacity, the will to fight for the spirit, to be persistent and resolute, to never stop. The happiness that one finds in the laughter of a toddler finding her voice. The light from within that only Jesus can shine forth out of soulful eyes. The knowledge and truth that I am blessed beyond with a family that loves and cares for me more than I could ever imagine.
The peace that comes from Jesus, not the world and its ways, but from God, pure contentment no matter the circumstances.
I long for the day to see what God sees and what you see in me and then truly, wholeheartedly, unabashedly, see it and believe❤️

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