So you have a chronic illness. Naming it was probably hard-won and you feel like you’re reeling from the enormity of this new life and all that it entails. I’ve been there. Chronic Illness is a whole new animal.
I want to share what God has taught me since learning I have a chronic illness. In this book, I have compiled 30 of my devotionals that best deal with coming to terms with a diagnosis and how to adapt to your new life, complete with discussion questions following each one.
My prayer is that you will come to know that you are not alone and that you, me and God can do this. Here’s a little excerpt:
Have you ever noticed how much of our lives we spend waiting? I call it “Life in Limbo”. It’s a terrible feeling. When you’re constantly waiting to feel better to join in with life, it can get really depressing. Even when you aren’t “sick” at the moment, you are always ill with your chronic condition or there’s a disability to consider, so life can feel like running in place. Or even worse, life can feel like we’re poised on the starting mark, muscles tensed for our sprint into the race… only the pistol shot never comes, so we’re left like that.
Not very long ago, I was having another of those “not-so-much-conversations” with God… you know, the ones where I complain and He listens? I was asking Him if He knew how much of my life has been spent in limbo. Do you know the answer I received? God said, “Isn’t that how a Christian life should be spent?”
Pause. Breathe. Read that again. I know I had to hear it a few times before it got solid in my mind.
Then I took it into my heart to dissect it. This verse from Hebrews (above) and one other came to mind.
“But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Savior. ” Philippians 3:20, NLT
And so it was that I began to see the parallels between my Christian walk and my walk with chronic illness. Perhaps we have been given a gift. We no longer have the ability to rush head-long into life and forget to spend time with our Father. We can never spend one day without longing for a new body and a new life. Since we know where this new life comes from, our conditions keep us constantly turning back to God.
So I am now trying to embrace my life in limbo. So far it’s just an awkward sideways pat-on-the-back hug you might give to a stranger you don’t quite trust yet. But I’m hoping one day soon it’ll be a full-on embrace.
We know You are the giver of all good and perfect gifts. Please help us to recognize all of them, even the ones that are wrapped in the not-so-shiny paper and sometimes make us wonder if this is a white elephant party. Thank You for knowing how to give us what we need and not only what we want. We love You.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen…
Let’s Go Deeper:
1. What kind of trouble do you find yourself waiting on?
2. How patient are you during these times?
3. Write here a verse that helps you to remember to keep walking.
4. What is one thing you can do, today, to help someone focus on how temporary their situation is?
“For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.” Hebrews 13:14, NLT
Shelly Hendricks is a wife and mother of 2 amazing kids. They live the good life in South Louisiana. She was a teacher and a librarian in another life. She also suffers from Intracranial Hypertension and a yet-unnamed neuro degenerative disease, among a myriad of other issues mostly stemming from these two. She had brain surgery in 2012, to install a VP Shunt, and had a revision in January 2014. Though her condition continues to deteriorate, her spirit is constantly focused on eternity. Disability has been hard to deal with, but she depends on God for all strength and hopes to encourage others on this journey, through her blog at http://reneweddaily.com, Twitter: @Renewed_Daily, Facebook: Renewed Daily, Pinterest: Shelly Renewed Daily