Me, JFK, and Demi Moore

I've been studying about JFK lately. JFK--just three letters, and most of the world recognizes who he is. That's impressive.

I find myself curious about him--not so much because of him (I mean, his accomplishments in the political world were great; his vast "accomplishments" into the world of immorality were not), but because of the fact that we share the same disease. John F. Kennedy had Addison's Disease, and because of that, I wanted to study more about him, mainly to find out how in the world he kept up the lifestyle he had despite a disease that has very definite limitations.

What I found was fascinating. JFK was an exceptional liar. Now, don't get mad that I said that. It's very clear in history that he was good at hiding his secret life. Most people have learned that in regard to his many liaisons with women not who weren't his wife. I found it to be the same when it came to his health.

JFK was extremely unhealthy. Sick throughout his childhood, he actually had his last rights done over him 4 separate times, when family was certain he would not make it. But make it he did, and, determined to live the life he wanted, he barged through, rejecting his health problems, to become the President of the United States.

This seems rather heroic initially. However, having Addison's Disease myself, I'm learning that ignoring or pushing through has payback time. There were times Mr. Kennedy was getting shot up with steroids to get through US crisis times, while also on multiple other medications for his bad back and other conditions. He was making choices that affected our entire nation while on testosterone, steroids, and up to 10 other medications at a time.

Considering those years are over, I'm not concerned with that. I do, however, see a part of myself in his story. That chasing after a dream. That wanting to be a certain person, do significant things, and being willing to ignore or sacrifice my body in that pursuit.

It does not last. I believe, had JFK lived, within 10 more years, his body would have given out on him, and he would not have been able to present that healthy, tanned, happy-go-lucky persona to the world any longer.

And this is where I come in. Awhile back I had to face my own choice about whether to use medication (more than I should) to continue chasing the person I wanted to be, or whether to accept myself as having a disease, and thus having major limitations, for the ultimate good of my own life, and mostly for my family.

Family. That's where Demi Moore comes in. I feel so sorry for her. I think she really thought that if she stayed thin enough and beautiful enough, she could keep her value to the world, or at least to her little-boy husband. But when I read about her recently, I found out two things. One, she told Harper's Bazaar that she has this ultimate fear that she is unlovable. That there is something wrong with her.

Secondly, I found the people truly to feel sorry for are her children, her daughters who have lived their life under the shadow of a mother who is still chasing after her own worth.

In this also I find a comparison, a similar disease as it were. My generation seems to still be desperate to prove itself. We are chasing careers, dreams, and many of my generation are chasing after second or third marriages, looking for that elusive thing that will make us feel worthwhile.

In the meantime, the children of such grow up knowing that their dreams (of security, stability, a loving family, someone who thinks they are the world) are secondary to their parents' dreams (of independence, freedom, money, or just plain selfishness). Those children will grow into adults desperate to prove themselves, and the cycle will continue.

I remember my mother singing with me. She sang alto to my soprano, and I sometimes wondered if she wanted to sing the main part, as she used to. But she chose to put herself in the background, to support me as I went forward.

This is what I ultimately want. Okay, my flesh wants to chase after my own stuff--being a major book author, losing that last 10 pounds and looking the way I want, having a ministry that makes a huge difference. But ultimately I want to have the purpose God has chosen for me, that of loving my husband and loving my children, of setting myself aside to help them become what God has intended for them.

To do so I not only have to give up the JFK idea of sacrificing my body for my own goals, but also the Demi Moore need to prove myself by my looks or my popularity or whatever.

I need to know my worth in Christ (even with a disease, even with these 10 pounds! =)) and get over myself so I can help others shine. Ironically, living so leaves me not less, but more content, more at peace, more happy.

That being said, I think I'll get off the computer soon and do something non-self-focused, like clean the bathroom, or play with my girl.

What are you really meant for today?

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