A Christmas Prayer: Words from a Chronic Illness Patient

What if this Christmas season, God would appear to me and say, “Ask what I shall give thee,” as He did in a dream to King Solomon many years ago. What gift would I choose?

Would I choose perfect health? My imagination stretches as I think of a slice of white chocolate raspberry cheesecake with no risk of rumination afterward. Or coming in from a night of Christmas caroling and warming up with a steaming cup of hot chocolate without knowing it will cause a bellyache. Or of being able to eat moderate adult portions, instead of toddler portions, of a holiday meal, enough to hold my weight without needing feeding tubes. Or crunching down a whole apple or peeling an orange and savoring each bite without concern of after-effects. Can I really even imagine that?

And then my mind ceases its imagining for the moment and instead travels back in time two thousand years ago to a stable in Bethlehem. I think of a baby’s cry as a virgin gives birth to Emmanuel—God with us—the Son of God come down to earth to live in human flesh. My mind trails the footsteps of Jesus for thirty-three years to the foot of the cross—a cross where He gave His life as a sacrifice for my sins. And I bow my head.

I need more servanthood like my Master’s; not steaming cups of hot chocolate without bellyaches.

I need more of the compassion of Jesus; not cheesecake without rumination.

I need more of the forgiveness of Christ to those around me; not platefuls of fruit without after-effects.

I need more of the humility of our Savior; not holiday meals without feeding tubes.

“Lord, tonight I do not ask for perfect health. I ask another gift instead. Lord, do whatever it takes to draw me closer to You and to mold and shape me into Your likeness for Your glory, even if it takes pain and suffering to teach me what You want me to be. Amen.”

This is only a little glimpse of my life. I have written a book entitled No Mistakes that tells more about the journey that God has led me on. It is currently at the publishing company and should be released by late fall. A following post will provide a link to where it can be purchased.

About Phyllis Miller: My passion in life is to glorify God in whatever situation He calls me into. As a child, my dreams were to teach school and serve on the foreign mission field. I thank God for blessing me with five and a half years of teaching before chronic health problems caused me to seek a less demanding job. I now work part-time as a graphic designer for a marketing company and find my hobbies in writing, making cards, photography, and plenty of other projects on my constant to-do list. Many years of visiting multiple doctors have produced diagnoses of rumination syndrome, gastroparesis, irritable bowel syndrome, Lyme disease (now in remission), fibromyalgia, and more. I began HPEN in 2017 and currently use a j-tube for a large part of my nutritional needs. My fervent desire is that Jesus can be seen in my life, even through the ministry of suffering.

I have written a book entitled No Mistakes that tells more about the journey that God has led me on. It is the story of repeated tests, puzzled doctors, and university hospitals; but more importantly, it is the story of a heavenly Father who makes no mistakes. The book can be purchased at www.clp.org/products/no_mistakes_3568.

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