FINDING PURPOSE: Rediscovering Meaning in a Life with Chronic Illness is the second book in the Chronic Joy Thrive Series.
Why did I write this book?
Honestly, I didn’t want to. Not because I believe Biblical purpose is unimportant, but because I was afraid I couldn’t wrestle these concepts into words.
Purpose in the midst of chronic illness is something we talk about often in our house – around our dinner table, in hospital and clinic waiting rooms, on long car rides. It’s a topic poured out in searing tears and nights of protracted pain as my teens and early 20s wrestle with God. It’s a concept fueling angry outbursts as a single straw shifts the balance and a fragile house of cards comes tumbling down. Again.
So we wrestle with purpose.
Because I know in the marrow of my bones that each of us – every single one of the 7.6 billion people on this spinning blue planet – was created with purpose.
God speaks of it in His Word, reminding us He has a plan and a purpose for each of us, hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). He encourages us to walk with Him (Micah 6:8), to love others (Galatians 5:14), to do good to all (Galatians 6:10), to do everything for His glory (1 Corinthians 10:31), to be still and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10a), and He reminds us that He will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint (Jeremiah 31:25).
“The minute you are born,” my 23-year old son said not too long ago, “you have purpose.”
These words from my son who spends 90% of his life inside the four walls of his own bedroom. The same son who worked for five years to grow strong enough to attend college, who wanted so much to leave his illness behind and start fresh, start over, build a brand new life, but who was right back inside the four walls of his bedroom before first semester finals.
Those eight words change everything.
Without every single one of us the fabric of humanity is incomplete.
That is why I wrote FINDING PURPOSE.
Because I know firsthand that defining purpose in a life with chronic physical and/or mental illness can be frustrating, upsetting and difficult.
“Purpose used to haunt me constantly,” wrote my son. “What if I could never again do the things I loved to do? What if chronic illness permanently ripped away and erased my old self? What if I can’t ever support myself? What do I do then? What future is there for someone like me? What meaning is there in fighting so hard each and every day? What is my purpose? What I’ve discovered is that meaning is an inherent part of being alive, it’s the way you choose to live your life.”
This from my son who lives inside the four walls of his bedroom. The one who never goes out to eat or to see a movie or to hang out with friends, who never goes on vacation, or even for a walk around the block.
“…it’s the way you choose to live your life.”
What if purpose isn’t determined by what we can do? What if it isn’t affected by what we’ve lost due to chronic illness? What if it isn’t defined by education, gifts or passion?
What if, instead, purpose draws us toward God? What if we are called to be instead of to do?
One body. Whole. Complete. Every single person necessary.
This is why I wrote FINDING PURPOSE, the first step on a journey that might just change your life.
Cindee Snider Re
Author, Photographer, and Co-Founder at Chronic Joy®
Cindee is wife of the man she loves most in this world, mama of five world-shaking creatives (19-27), author of Discovering Hope, Finding Purpose, Embracing Worth and I Take You in Sickness and in Health, photographer, craver of quiet, lover of cotton, denim, Jesus and tea, and co-founder of Chronic Joy®. Cindee and four of her five kids have Ehlers-Danlos, dysautonomia, intractable migraine, and myriad co-existing conditions through which they're learning the deeper the valley, the greater their capacity for joy.