I would never claim to fully understand the chronic illness experience. But after living six years with a chronically ill husband, I can’t help but see some parallels between long-term sickness and natural childbirth.
When I was pregnant with our son, I attended extensive birthing classes, learned relaxation techniques, and even had regular chiropractic adjustments so I would be well-aligned for the smoothest possible delivery. When the big day came, these measures helped me to cope well up to a certain point—even while laboring in rush hour traffic through downtown! But as it became more physically intense, everything I learned just flew out the window. I was in agony and nothing helped. Our sweet Lincoln made his entrance into the world just by sheer grit and the grace of God!
When you’re sick, you can use medications and coping techniques to bring some level of relief, but for many sufferers there comes a point in their condition where they conquer through sheer endurance. And they need it to last much longer than a few hours!
Our precious friends, Michael and Margaret Robble, are well-acquainted with the intense long-term struggle of chronic illness. Loaded with grit and grace, Margaret has fought a brave battle against an autoimmune condition called sarcoidosis for over 25 years, and Michael has faithfully fought alongside her since day one. In fact, Margaret’s troubles began during their engagement and Michael took care of most of their wedding day details, never wavering in fear of an uncertain future.
I recently finished reading the Robbles’ book titled Always Sick, Always Loved: Hope for Families with a Chronic Illness. Their testimony of faith in the face of physical suffering was so encouraging. I’d like to spend the next few posts sharing some tidbits from their book and expanding on some of the topics they address. Whether you are facing long-term illness or caring for someone who is, I hope this series of posts inspires you to persevere in your chronic illness journey. So stay tuned!
If you find yourself clinging to grit and the grace of God in your own life, please know that you are not alone! Though this test of your endurance may take you to the brink, we have a faithful God who knows our frailties and shows His strength during our times of weakness. May the Lord encourage you this week to continue persevering through your pain, and may you sense His help in time of need.
“Is it possible, even when facing the prognosis of years of chronic disease and disability, to have love, peace, and hope in our hearts? Is there really a way to experience supernatural strength to persevere through years of illness, whether as a patient or caregiver? Well, this is what our book is all about—the help that can only come from the ‘God of all comfort.'” (Michael and Margaret Robble, Always Sick, Always Loved)
We encourage you to check out Michael and Margaret’s inspiring blog at Always Sick, Always Loved.