The Blessings in Chronic Illness

Second Day of Infusion Therapy

Second Day of Infusion Therapy

A lot of people seem to regard illness as something like curse–something that we need to move past as quickly as possible so we can get to Victory. Overcoming.

And as someone who’s suffered through brain surgery with a diagnosis of glioma, then demylenating lesion and an Inoperable Walnut-Sized Thing in my brain stem, I can tell you that I don’t much like being sick. I’ve felt downright rotten for three months now, and I still don’t have a diagnosis.

So don’t get me wrong. I’m a fan of healing, and I believe God heals.

I just don’t believe God’s plan is to heal everyone all the time.

  • God uses people with “street creds” in hospitals, clinics, and other medical settings to talk about hope when life hurts. Really, really hurts. I mean, like when you get a craniotomy for Christmas. And all your IV sites explode. And even Mayo Clinic docs can’t figure our what’s going on inside your head.

We live in a messed up world where sickness and disease are part of life. And yeah, I know the verse that tells me that by Jesus stripes I’m healed. I believe that verse is true..

Every good thing I experience in life comes because of Jesus’ redemption for me. I just don’t think that as long as I’m living in the muck and mire of this earth, I get a free pass on suffering. I believe I’m actually called to SHARE in Jesus’ sufferings.

  • As I work through my pain and frustration, I AM showing people what victory looks like. I’m showing them what “overcoming” means on a day-to-day basis. 

That doesn’t mean I’m always singing songs. Pain hurts. Jesus shed real blood for us. He cried in real agony for us. He suffered. I’m called to take my my cross and follow him. If he chooses to heal me, I’ll take it–gladly. If I live for the next thirty years with chronic illness like millions of believers and nonbelievers in this nation every day, I will do it with as much gratitude and grace as I can muster, with the Spirit’s help.

  • Victory doesn’t depend on healing in the here and now. It means embracing God’s goodness in the here and now, no matter the pain.

  • Embracing God’s goodness in pain means learning more about God–snuggling into his character, knowing him more, trusting him more, wherever he takes us. 

What about YOU? How have you embraced God’s goodness in your pain?

9 thoughts on “The Blessings in Chronic Illness

  1. Shelly…I’m so glad you have a strong faith to get you through this difficult time. Praying that healing comes for you soon, and that you can endure patiently until then. Hugs to you! ~Robyn

    • Thanks so much, Robyn. I just received a call today from Mayo for a March consultation date.

  2. That is needed wisdom, Shelly. So many carry a burden of guilt because they don’t have “enough faith.” But God is good even when he allows pain, sorrow, and suffering. He intends everything for our good. Goodness and freedom come when we surrender to His loving care–even when it’s not what we think “care” should be. I was in bed for nine months with sciatic pain and had to often surrender even if it meant pain for the rest of my life. I still struggled not wanting that to happen so it was a choice of “I’m willing to be made willing to be made willing to accept this.” I’m very grateful that surgery was effective for my problem. I’m sad following your journey but I also rejoice in your trust in Him. What a witness!

    • Thank you so much for your insight, Kathy. I’m so glad that surgery helped you. You’re ministry is such an encouragement to others–what a blessing!

  3. Your testimony is so valuable!!! I think many Christians believe that they could be well if there was just something they were doing differently….and that is not always truth. I think it is a messed up world, too, and that the ultimate healing will come to all those who follow Him one day. It may not be here on this earth. Or it may be! So glad to know that no matter what this life holds for us…we have the Holy Spirit to give us what we need to hold on to the promises of God…and that God is so good that He knows us and our pain and He really truly does care. When my child is sick, and I ask what I can do to help him, sometimes he says, just sit with me, Mommy. Sometimes that is all it takes to get through it…having a loving parent sit with you. And sometimes it is just knowing that our loving Father is sitting with you, holding your hand. Love you and am praying for you, Shelly.

    • Thanks so much, Pam. You’re right. I think a lot of Christians think (and are told) they just need to do something differently or “right” to be well. What a sad theology. I love what you say about our Father just sitting with us. This is my greatest comfort during long, pain-filled nights.

  4. Thank you for sharing Shelly. The Dr.’s are still at a loss for Charles. Three years ago, e was given a label by a young, fresh out of school, intern. She didn’t like it that Charles didn’t appreciate being told to get up and go outside and he’d feel better. We tried to tell her that he would if he could. He has tried and tried to stand up, but his legs won’t co-operate. He hasn’t been able to shake that label, and we can’t seem to get the health professionals to listen to us. However, even through all of his physical and emotional pain, he has said that he is very thankful to God for this pain he endures. He says that it has broken him, so he can enjoy a very close relationship with his Savior Jesus Christ. We love you Shelly!! We are praying for you and Dan!!

    • Thank you, Darice. I know that Charles has suffered for a very long time and that you have searched for answers. I admire his grace and his attitude, as well as yours. And you have had a VERY frustrating and long journey, dear friend. Sending hugs and prayers your way. I love you and pray for you and Charles. And I haven’t forgotten that I still have a book to return to you!

      • Oh Shelly! You’re so cute!! You can pass the book, ‘Same Kind Of Different As Me’, along to someone you know will enjoy it. Not only are you cute, you’re absolutely Beautiful!!

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