I’m calling today Selfless Saturday…
There I was in the parking lot of the center where I went for hyperbaric oxygen sessions when I had a full on attack of every single terrible symptom that I had had since I first became ill. I bent over sobbing as my muscles jerked involuntarily and I shook uncontrollably. Tremors wracked through my body, as my muscles spasmed causing body wide cramping to the extreme of my skin getting deep dimples where the cramping of the muscle pulled it in. My nerves spun out of control as I felt what can only be described as acid running through my veins in surges while my body twitched. My face was twitching and was contorted with pain as I cried. I couldn’t see. My vision was distorted by movement and bright flashing lights. I began to drool because I couldn’t swallow. I couldn’t wipe my tears – the facial pain and pressure was too much for that. Pain shot all through my body as various parts of my body went numb. My heart raced. I couldn’t hear anything due to the deafening ringing and extreme pain in both my ears. Somehow both frigid cold chills and unbearable heat ran through my body at the same time as I was sweating and shivering all at once. I dry heaved though I brought nothing up.
My husband tried to console me, but I was in too much pain for him to touch me, so he cried with me (I fiercely love this man!). It was then that I felt like I floated outside of my body and was hovering there looking down at myself, but it didn’t look like me. At that point in my illness, I had lost 10lbs that I didn’t have to lose and looked rail thin…I had lost about a third of my hair as well. My hair was unbrushed as it was too painful to brush it, and I wore no make up because even that light application caused too much pain. I had skin rashes on various parts of my body that itched uncontrollably along with welts and scrapes from scratching myself bloody in hopes to relieve the itch. There I was staring down at this “stranger” that was in so much obvious pain, and all I could think was “Somebody needs to help her…SOMEBODY HAS GOT TO HELP HER!!!”
This was about 6 months into my illness, and that was about two and a half years ago. I can gladly say that though it’s been an extremely long journey, I am no longer bed ridden like I was for the first two hears, and I am slowly attempting to regain my health. However, I remember that moment like it was yesterday – it was terrifying. In that moment and thereafter, I made a decision that when I was well enough, if someone needed my help, no questions asked – I would help. And for that matter, since I know it’s not always easy to ask for help, I would always be on the lookout for anyone that might need it.
After this, on the days that I was able to get out of bed, I made it a priority to do something good for someone else. On the days that I couldn’t get out of bed, I made it a priority to pray for others. It made me feel useful, but I never imagined it would help to heal me. Yet this is exactly what happened. The more I did for others and the more I took the focus off myself, the better I felt. I quickly learned that when we take time to step outside of ourselves and reach out to help others, it helps us to deal with our own troubles much more easily and effectively.
I learned a selfless way of living from this experience. I can’t thank God enough for this perspective. Perhaps this was a lesson I needed to learn, and it was a hard one for sure, but to be in a position where you can’t help yourself, and you truly need help from others opens your eyes and gives you the gift of empathy ten fold! Here is one of my favorite Brennan Manning quotes.
Of course, I had read this well before I ever got sick, yet now, I understand it so much better. Of course, I would have rather just been given this understanding instead of having to go through suffering, but Papa knows best, and I’m thankful for the lesson.
Okay, so here I’ve rambled on and on…my point? Selflessness. It’s SO incredibly important! We are all in this world together, and I believe we are all here to help each other along in this journey we call life! Our loving God certainly makes it very clear in His word that He wants it this way.
So, on this selfless Saturday, I am going to leave you with some of my go to bible verses when it comes to being selfless. Do something for someone else today. Do something to make someone smile. You don’t have to move a mountain, it doesn’t have to be a huge act – it just has to be an act. Take action, give a little bit of yourself to make someone else’s life better. I promise you that the reward will be bigger than you can imagine.
BIBLE VERSES ON SELFLESSNESS
1.) (my absolute favorite!) Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. ~Philippians 2:3-4
2.) But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. ~Luke 6:35
3.) Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it. ~Proverbs 3:27
4.) Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed. ~Proverbs 19:17
5.) For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” ~Galatians 5:14
6.) And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ ~Matthew 25:40
7.) Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. ~Philippians 2:5-8
8.) Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which He has given you. ~Deuteronomy 16:17
9.) He who is generous will be blessed, for he gives some of his food to the poor. ~Proverbs 22:9
10.) Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. ~Deuteronomy 15:10
If you are looking for a cause to donate to or get involved with, here are a couple that are near and dear to my heart.
1.) Apollo’s skin: My husband and I are running a 5K in a week to help raise money for a friend of mine’s son named Apollo who was born with Ichthyosis, a rare skin disorder, and was also diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, Autism, and Encopresis (lack of bowel control). You can read more about Apollo here. If you would like to donate to this cause, you can do so at his GoFundMe page.
2.) More-Self-Less: A friend of mine is the founder of this organization. He started it up in 2010, and it has only grown since then. Annually, they hold a “I Dream Beautiful Christmas Celebration” that provides gifts for children that would otherwise go without, but it doesn’t do just that. This celebration provides an opportunity for families to spend quality time together and bond. Here is an excerpt from their website: “We focus on the person who is doing the deeds, rather than just the recipient. Our intent is to provide HEALING through an avenue of sharing & experiencing the blessing of fulfillment that is received through selfless acts as well as offering much needed encouragement to others. Together we can accomplish this through the systematic coordination of events, dynamic leadership, and the removal of common obstacles that present themselves with acts of kindness/volunteerism as it stands today.” To learn more about More-Self-Less or to make a donation towards their I Dream beautiful celebration, go here.
These are just a couple of opportunities, but there are opportunities to step outside of ourselves and help others everywhere. Bring a neighbor some cookies. Help someone carry their groceries to their car at the grocery store. You would be surprised how much of an impact little selfless acts like this can have on someone! Something as simple as a smile and a kind word can completely change a person’s day. The most important thing is to take action! Have a great selfless Saturday and God bless you! ❤