Chronic Illness

shutterstock_566725786Chronic illness is hard, but you are not alone. Join fellow travelers on this journey through loss and grief, laughter and hope. For no matter how dark the days, how wild the storm or how long the winter, there is hope. There is always hope.

BOOKS:

Broken Body, Healing SpiritMary C. Earle

41rukwb3xql-_sx334_bo1204203200_For centuries, Christians have turned to the Benedictine practice of lectio divina, or sacred reading, to pray the Scripture and deepen their experience of God’s presence in their lives. In this gentle book, Mary Earle, who has suffered with serious illness of her own, explores how this ancient practice can be used to “read the text of our illnesses,” and, in doing so, discover God’s presence and guidance even in the midst of pain and suffering.

The Color of the Night: Reflections on Suffering and the Book of JobGerhard E. Frost

41kiccle9yl-_ac_us160_This new release of Gerhard E. Frost’s classic includes 86 short reflections inspired by the Biblical Job. Each reflection begins with a quotation from the book of Job and wrestles with the difficult issues that we face during times of crisis, such as trust in God, the meaning of life, and unfairness in the world.

Fighting Disease, Not Death, Lorie L. Vincent and Mark L. Vincent

51nircfrsvl-_sx315_bo1204203200_After twelve years, sixteen cancer occurrences and counting, Lorie L. Vincent and her husband Mark chronicle their approach to living and thriving during lifelong suffering.

In Fighting Disease, Not Death they go beyond the relentless progression of the disease to describe the anchoring faith that sustains them and gives them a reason to remain in service to others. They compare their decision to fight disease, but not worry about the moment of death, to approaches others take when faced with lifelong suffering. Their critique of these other approaches is gentle but offers each reader a stark reminder that they will collect suffering experiences during their lifetime.

Hinds’ Feet on High Places, Hannah Hurnard

51gX-iyt5hL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_A beautiful allegory dramatizing the yearning of God’s children to be led to new heights of love, joy, and victory. Follow Much-Afraid on her spiritual journey through difficult places with her two companions, Sorrow and Suffering. Learn how Much-Afraid overcomes her tormenting fears as she passes through many dangers and mounts at last to the High Places. There she gains a new name and returns to her valley of service, transformed by her union with the loving Shepherd.

Hunting Hope, Nika Maples

5193ehfxjkl-_sx343_bo1204203200_When you are experiencing a season of difficulty and hope is hard to find, hunt for it by holding onto God’s character and letting Him reveal all the possibilities you can’t even imagine. At twenty years of age, when all hope seemed lost, Nika Maples searched for it boldly and defied all odds to recover from a devastating stroke that left her unable to walk, speak or even bling. The lessons from that struggle are powerful and universal. As you read Nika’s journey, you’ll learn to rest in the assurance that – even while living in hardship – there is always hope in Christ.

Peace in the Storm: Meditations on Chronic Pain and Illness, Maureen Pratt

41toodrqzrl-_sx331_bo1204203200_Maureen Pratt has had lupus for more than a decade and is intimately aware of the toll chronic pain takes on patients and their families. In this practical and spiritual guide, she shares how she navigates through the frustrations, fears, and complexities of living with chronic pain and illness. Using a combination of Bible passages, her own observations and insights, and prayer, Pratt provides help on issues that include dealing with isolation, coping with medical expenses, and learning to say no. Written with unstinting honesty and humor, Peace in the Storm will help readers identify their own spiritual and physical needs.

Pearls of Great Price, Joni Eareckson Tada

41blj10uwul-_sx339_bo1204203200_Joni Eareckson Tada wants to help you become rich in faith and wealthy in hope. Some people focus on material treasures, but Joni reminds you that life’s true gems come from God―priceless pearls that are worth everything to purchase … and own.  Written by a remarkable woman who has known firsthand God’s faithfulness in the midst of indescribable difficulties, these 366 inspiring new devotions, each filled with Joni’s signature storytelling, will touch your soul like a genuine pearl―rare, beautiful, and precious.

The Reality of Chronic IllnessRachel Allison 

51qgz5-uvvl-_sy498_bo1204203200_Begun as a series of posts on social media, this project pairs self portraits and written reflections for the purpose of capturing daily life with chronic illness. In thirty-five intimate entries, author Rachel Allison reveals her personal struggles with Adrenal Fatigue (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) and Dysautonomia, and reflects on how they impact her everyday life as a young adult. Ultimately, Allison’s project attempts to promote communication about chronic illness. Her work will give readers understanding and insight on how to better care for loved ones who are impacted by it.

BLOG POSTS:

Sometimes You Need A Pity Party

CJHardPressedSo when you’re exhausted after getting up in the morning, when you go looking for your sandwich in the closet, when your electric bill is past due, when you have only two nickels to rub together…AGAIN, you will enter the valley.  What you do there and how long you stay will determine your quality of life and the joy you find in spite of it all.  Read more…

Redeeming Your Pain

ICJMyGraceIsSufficientt has always been unsettling to me when people start a conversation with, “Now I know my pain is nothing compared to what you’ve experienced…” because, oftentimes, once their story has been shared, I find myself thinking the very same thing about them. Read more…

A Story of Hope

CJRejoiceInOurSufferingsMy son had gotten sick with what we thought was the stomach flu on his brother’s 17th birthday and never got well. He’d lost 22 pounds in eight weeks and wound up on the acute care floor of Children’s Hospital. Five days into his stay, very late one evening, Sam’s surgeon walked slowly into the waiting room, sat down across from my husband and I, and said, “I owe you an apology. Your son is far sicker than he presents.” Read more…

Joy is a Matter of the Heart

CJJoyOfTheLord2There wasn’t a bad vibe leading up to our daughter Hannah’s TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury). It just happened like the flick of a light switch on a regular mid-summer day when my husband was called to pick up our daughter from cheer practice early. He called me when they were in the car, and we decided to meet at the hospital. Read more…

A Grateful Heart

CJGratitudeCharlesStanleyIt is not happiness that makes us grateful. It’s gratefulness that makes us happy.”  If we take a moment to stop, be mindful of the given moment, and be thankful for life’s opportunities, we hold the key to happiness in our own hands. In his words: “Stop, Look and Go.” Read more…

When We Feel Stuck

CJWhatMakesUsStuckAnd it can be so hard not to compare our lives to what we assume their lives are like. Sometimes we spend so much time comparing when we are stuck that we miss the most important thing of all… Read more…

How Can I Compare Suffering?

cjjeremiah2911I saw her independent spirit deal first with questions then anger and finally acceptance. Her spirit grew sweeter and she became even more thankful for the life God had given her. Read more…

Chronically Ambitious

CJAdversityCreativityBut for me and many others with chronic illness, it doesn’t end there. We learn to re-evaluate and prioritize. The truth is that we can’t do what many others can, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do anything at all. There’s the ambition ingrained in us that doesn’t die even when it’s crippled by frustration and depression. Read more…

Sharing Our Stories with Those We Trust

Painted BuntingI know that most people who think they know what will fix me or make me better do so because they care about me and want to see me well, but what they may think is compassion feels more like shame and discouragement. However, I’ve learned to respond with a smile, and to say, “Thank you for sharing that with me.” Read more…

When Words are Messy

CJAfflictionGiftBefore all the illness, I thought, for the most part, I was in control, but that also meant carrying the enormous weight of life. Trying to keep all of life in order is exhausting and impossible, yet that didn’t keep me from trying. Read more…

The Story of My Illness:  Lisa Brown

15945481920_75d87938bc_oThe details are many and the story is long and complex and so many uncertainties abound, however, I can say without a shred of doubt that prayer and my faith have acted as my strength this entire time, often with the help of family and many kind friends of similar faith holding me up emotionally when I feel I can no longer fight. Read more…

I Will Not Be Shaken

cj1john44aWhat happens when healing doesn’t come, or a medical condition resurfaces, or the pain doesn’t subside, or our circumstances continue for years? Each day is a new day to respond faithfully to God because faith that moves forward triumphs. Read more…

The Three C’s

CJWhatDoesStrengthLookLikeI’m not sure just what I expected from a life with chronic illness, but if I’m honest, I’d hoped I would have something valuable to offer – like words of encouragement, answers about how to live well, a positive attitude, hope and joy oozing from my soul. Read more…

I Have Cancer and I’ve Never Been Happier

cjstoryofillnessjandersonAfter many years of thinking I was forgotten and had no purpose, I am at peace. Instead of letting all the bad things in my life keep me locked down and stuck, I’ve let them go and set myself free. I have taken those bad things, turned them around and pushed them away. They are now stories of hope and how God can and will release anyone from any burden. What had once caused pain now brings peace. Read more…

Serving Out of a Poverty of Health

17007199248_e55c2c263a_oMy life was reduced to bare minimum mode plus this one extra task each day. Making these sandwiches took me multiple times getting off the couch with rests in between to get it done. I would get up and take everything out of the fridge. Rest. Put the peanut butter on. Rest. Jelly. Rest. Sandwiches into sandwich bags. Rest. Put everything away. Long restRead more…

The Heart of the Matter

cjheartofthematterYes, I am an insulin-dependent diabetic. Or if it makes you feel better, I am a person with insulin-dependent diabetes. But I am also: brave and strong, yet sometimes weak and scared; a mighty warrior, yet sometimes a timid cloak-bearer; Read more…

As the Holidays Approach

autumnleaves40It took the words of a dear friend to shake my heart out of its dry-as-a-desert-place. “You had better receive their gift to you. After all, they’re giving the kindness you taught them through their years of growing up.” Read more…

Sustaining Grace

cjpsalm271314Your loving Father knows all about your present circumstances and need, and is waiting to hand you the ticket. His supply never runs dry; it is never overburdened. He is never surprised. Interestingly, He doesn’t promise help before help is needed. No ─ when we are on the edge of our need ─ His hand is stretched out. Read more…

Where Do Butterflies Go At Night?

Pcabbagebutterfly50eople with chronic illnesses can simply be overlooked. They are sometimes people with invisible diseases so it can easily slip your mind that they are suffering in some way –  emotionally, physically, or mentally. When they were first diagnosed it got your attention – like the colorful butterfly on the flower. Read more…

Treasures in Darkness

cjtreasuresindarknessWe never think, especially at the time, of treasures or riches coming out of the dark places in our lives, but they do. God uniquely desires to use the darkness in our lives to make something extraordinarily beautiful. In fact, it is in these various dark places of brokenness, heartbreak, and loss that God brings forth His light so that even the darkness is illuminated. And it’s not only illuminated, it’s full of treasures and riches – in abundance. Read more…

Refusing to be Offended

cjfaiththatmovesforwardHave you ever felt offended by God? Glancing heavenward with a look of disbelief thinking, “How could this be happening to me and my family, my ministry? How could You allow this, God?” Read more…

A Boy Named Job

22439219347_4456660059_oLast year I was in the waiting room of Children’s Hospital as my daughter was whisked off for yet another test. I had come in that day with a heavy heart feeling like we were back to square one after years of fighting this stubborn health battle. Read more…

AUDIO:

CHALLENGES AND JOYS OF LIVING WITH CHRONIC ILLNESS
CJInconvenient

To listen to this inspiring interview with Chronic Joy Founders, Pamela Piquette and Cindee Snider Re.

Click here to listen

SHARING LIFE, DISCOVERING HOPE AND A FEW FUNNY MOMENTS
img_1207

Diane Bailey from the The Consilium Lakeside graciously hosted Chronic Joy Founders, Cindee Snider Re and Pamela Piquette in this podcast.

Click here to listen

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