As a child, I was taught not to question my parents. Growing up, I decided since I believed that God was sovereign and had a reason for everything that He did, there was no reason to question Him, either.
A few years ago, I finally got angry. I really hadn’t gotten angry yet over this thing called Parkinson’s disease, but I figured it was about time.
I had gone through some first stages of dealing with my Parkinson’s – sadness, grief. But never anger. It had been two years and it hit me. I was only 47, my doctor confident that I’d been struggling with this Little Monster since before the age of 32 (when it had been misdiagnosed as systemic lupus). But for me, on that day, it had been two definite years of knowing that I’d been labeled with Parkinson’s disease.
And that day I was angry.
Because I was only 47.
Because my right arm and my right hand shake.
Because my legs shake and my feet as well.
Because my jaw and face shake.
Because I can’t smell roses anymore.
Because sometimes it’s hard to swallow and do other things that I used to not think about like button my pants or put on my watch.
Because I get tired more easily and it’s hard to make it through the day without a nap.
Because I am not as strong as I used to be.
Because my foot drags and I’ve been known to trip on occasion and then fall.
Because I have fallen down stairs twice. Ungracefully, I might add.
Because my mind always seems scattered. (Hey, it’s my disease – I can blame anything on it!)
Because I don’t sleep well.
Because I can get nauseaus from the medicine.
Because I have Parkinson’s.
Those are all pretty good reasons to be angry, right? I wasn’t angry at God, but perhaps it would be better said, I was angry with Him. He allowed this to be, but He didn’t cause it. So, we got angry together. And in my anger, I wanted to ask, “Why?”
But I didn’t.
Instead, I sat there as He dried my tears and He whispered, “Jesus wept and He also asked why.” I stopped crying and thought about what He had just said to me.
“My God, my God,” Christ cried out on the cross, “why have you forsaken me?”
He was not condemned for asking His heavenly Father “Why?” and there doesn’t seem to be an answer there that we are aware of to the question He asks of his Father. But I am quite confident the answer was there even if we are unaware of it. And I am quite confident that Jesus already knew what the answer was, just as I usually know the answer to my why’s, making it useless to even ask ‘Why?‘.
Why do I have Parkinson’s?
Why not me??
Why does my friend have kidney disease?
Why do those we love struggle with hard things?
Why did my aunt have to die from medical neglect?
Why does a friend of mine have to care for children whose biological parents don’t care enough about their own children to get off of drugs?
Why, why, why?
As little children harassing our parents, the quick-witted response was usually, “Because, because, because!!!” As God’s children, the wise response is often also… “Because.” We can ask why until our list of questions is exhausted and the answer may still come back as “Because.”
I think asking why almost gives you an answer within the asking. By asking why of an all-powerful, all-knowing God, we are admitting that we cannot and are unable to control our lives nor the lives of those who we love. We realize that God is real, even though we may choose to walk away because of what He allowed for reasons we may never understand. We may choose to deny Him because we don’t agree with what He allows. He gives us a free will to make that choice.
However, while He allows things to happen in life that we would prefer to have pass over us and leave us unscathed from life’s messes and mistakes, He remains sovereign and is there with us, no matter how bad it gets. He will make us stronger, wiser, and humble inwardly and more compassionate, patient, and forgiving toward others outwardly. If I cannot understand the why’s, I can be thankful for the blessings that come out of the why’s.
So, ultimately, I have Parkinson’s disease. If just one life is encouraged, if just one life is strengthened, if just one person feels more hopeful and not alone – then that is why I have this Little Monster hanging around. And, it may not make me happy to have PD, but it definitely brings me joy to be used because of it.
Journeying with you ~