Grit, Grace & New Friends

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.

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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!

Every day, indeed every hour, with chronic illness and pain is a fight. It’s a personal challenge to keep putting one foot in front of the other, although you see no progress or improvement. Be a fighter…rise to the challenge. Don’t give up!

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” -Hebrews 12:1

We are all always waiting on something. All before us have waited and all after us will. God and His goodness are worth waiting for. Even Jesus is waiting on God the Father to make his enemies like a footstool for his feet (Psalm 110:1). You are not alone in your waiting.

Beating the Summer Heat

Looking for ways to beat the heat this summer? I know I always am. One of many aspects of my health is that my body can’t seem to regulate its temperature very well, so it’s always a struggle for me to stay cool when the weather climbs into the 90s and even more so when it hits triple digits like it’s supposed to this weekend.

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Though I’ve struggled with this for years, it never occurred to me that beating the heat would be a common goal for those with other illnesses. I recently heard from a friend with chronic pain. She found that the summer inferno has dialed up her fatigue level, and I can totally relate. Looking for relief, she asked if I had any tips to combat the fatigue. I didn’t have any magic pills to give her, but I did share my tricks for staying cool and would like to take a moment to share them with you as well.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4

Finding Refreshment to Stay the Course

Continually dealing with illness can be discouraging and exhausting. You may be regularly putting out fires while jumping from one crisis to another, or simply enduring persistent pain—which offers its own brand of wear-out. We all know the chronic illness journey is a marathon, not a sprint. So how can we keep ourselves going for the long-haul?

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Whether you are the one who is ill or the caretaker, here are some ideas:

For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:17-18