His compassions never fail. They are new every morning. (Lamentations 3:22-23)

His compassions never fail. They are new every morning. (Lamentations 3:22-23)


It has been about two years since I began my journey to acceptance of my husband’s chronic illness. From the day he was diagnosed five years ago, I have been on a journey of grief and confusion. I guess I had expectations of God. I was unaware of the frailty of life.

This journey of acceptance was not easy for me – at all. Chronic illness can trigger grief. I am not the one with chronic illness; my husband is, and it has changed not only his life but mine as well.

When he was first diagnosed, there was hope, but once the realization of his rare chronic illness (achalasia) started setting in, I experienced a faith crisis. I prayed and wondered why in the world this was happening. It was not part of my plan for our lives. The future seemed filled with question marks and uncertainty.

Following my husband’s endoscopy to monitor for esophageal cancer, my eyes began to adjust and refocus on hope and faith. Since the symptoms of achalasia are so similar to esophageal cancer, it would be difficult to spot cancer by the symptoms alone, and the constant irritation of my husband’s esophagus increases his risk for cancer.


Sometimes, the diagnosis of a chronic illness causes us to realize we are vulnerable. The security of good health is no longer there. In my eyes, if my husband could get chronic illness, then he could also get cancer. My security blanket was gone, and I don’t think I will ever get it back.

So, when my husband went for his routine endoscopy, and everything was clear, it dawned on me just how much time I was wasting worrying about what might happen. Before my husband’s diagnosis, I didn’t worry constantly about whether or not he would get a chronic illness.

His illness has robbed me of time, which is ironic because I was afraid of losing time with my husband (only a possibility), and I was angry that he had this incurable disease in the first place. At that moment, I realized all the time I had missed. I was determined not to take another moment with my husband for granted.


My journey to acceptance began with being grateful for every day I wake up with my husband in my life, a perspective that helps me focus on what I have (instead of worrying about what might happen or being angry at God about my husband’s illness).

Another tool that has helped me learn acceptance is to stop praying just for my husband to find healing in his body. God keeps reminding me of His full healing power, not only in body but also in spirit, mind, and emotions. I most definitely still believe in God for the miracle of complete healing for my husband, but sometimes, when praying and waiting for healing, I can grow discouraged. That discouragement won’t help us reach a place of acceptance.

It has helped me to pray not only for my husband but also for a cure for achalasia, something that has given my husband’s disease a purpose greater than our little bubble and difficult circumstances. I have to remind myself that everyone has difficulties in life. My problem isn’t the only problem in the world. When my focus shifts from discouragement to hope that there may be a cure for this rare disease, I am encouraged, too.


My husband is enduring his illness with grace and strength, and now that I am at a place of acceptance, I am fine without my security blanket. The truth is there was no security in not understanding the frailty of life. Working through the grief that came with my husband’s illness has taught me to live a richer, more abundant life. Even though it felt like a loss, God led me to acceptance, the greatest gift I could ever receive. God will use this situation to bring Him glory, which I fully believe because I’m living out that promise today.

I hope that you will find hope in the blessings of your own life and encouragement to reach beyond what is directly in front of you. Sometimes, all we can do is change our perspective; sometimes, that change comes when we find a way to count our blessings instead of our losses.

Happy Bubbles
Heather Bixler

Heather Bixler


Heather is a wife to a firefighter, a mom of three children – and a writer. In 2005, she ventured into the online world to start a community for moms. Little did she know the adventure God had in store for her! It has been a roller coaster with many ups and downs, but each step has led her to where she is today. Heather’s heart is to share God’s word with her readers in a loving and practical way. Connect with her at heatherbixler.com. 

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