I understand you.

You wake up each morning and don’t know how your body is going to behave. You wake up each morning with 14 different symptoms that make no sense. You wake up each morning wishing you could say that today you feel good but you don’t. You wake up each morning with the understanding and acceptance that this is your normal…even though it’s not normal.

I understand you.

Dealing with a chronic illness is something that some of us have been handed. Whether you have Chrohns, fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, Lupus, MS, Constant migraines, an auto immune disease or a million other things I haven’t listed – you know what it feels like to wake up in pain and discomfort everyday of your life. You know what it feels like to fake being okay 85% of the time. You also know that normal people don’t understand you, not that they don’t want to, but if they haven’t lived it – it’s hard to comprehend. You get tired of explaining your symptoms because they change like the wind. You get tired of having to fake that you are okay because you don’t LOOK sick. You took extra breathes to face the day and you just get tired of being sick, you get tired of being tired, you get tired and yet use to it. Finally you just start saying “I’m fine” because its to much to explain, its to much to try to fix. You’re tired of doctors, you’re tired of being hopeful that this treatment will work or cure or fix…because it doesn’t.

I understand you.

Somedays are good and for those you are thankful. But you never know when those days will come and when they are here…how long they will last.

I’ve been stuck in the vortex of auto immune disease and the name fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndromes just gives it something to call …”it”…but it doesn’t fix it.  My body doesn’t fight infection the way healthy bodies do. My body can’t handle much. My body has betrayed me over and over and I’ve learned to deal with it.  I’ve learned to say “I’m fine” when I’m not, because I’m usually not. Today is a good day but the past two months have been really difficult and I don’t know how tomorrow will be but I’ll live in today.

So I understand you.

They might not understand you.

But I do.

What I have come to understand through this more than anything is really and truly that God understands me. He sees me. He knows me. He knows my every ache. He knows my every need. He knows everything I’m not saying. I have come to find Him as comforter in this place because I know that no one else can comfort me the way His still small voice can. I know some would say how can you be comforted by a God who doesn’t remove your thorn and to that person I would say this..

…we live in a fallen, broken world…if it wouldn’t be this thorn …it would be another.

This is my thorn. I wouldn’t want someone else’s. There are far worse thorns than this – thorns I couldn’t even utter. I have watched friends and family walk through thorns that would deflate me completely.

This is my thorn though and I am tired and I do get sick of it. But I also wouldn’t change it. It has changed me.

It has arrested my heart and settled me in strange ways and forcibly brought me to a place where I am utterly dependent on Christ alone and I must be. We all must dependent, we are all in poverty somehow, we all lack somewhere…someway but we don’t always realize it…

My day to day to day to day to day…brings me to Him. I have to much of a prodigal heart to wander this place with no thorns, my thorns draw me to Him because they remind me that I need Him.

It causes me to be grateful on the days that I feel okay.

It causes me to make choices on how I’m going to spend my energy, my time, my moments. It causes me to choose the best things because I don’t have time for things that don’t matter.

My thorns make me chase Him. My thorns cause me to know in the smallest tiniest way the thorns that He took for me because of me and in spite of me. 

So I understand you.

And I pray for you.

I pray for you that when you wake up every morning not knowing what ways your body will try to steal hope from you that it will instead remind you that you need Him…you need Him desperately with or without health, with or without sickness, with or without understanding.

I pray that you will look at your thorn and say…

“Thank you for reminding me that it is in all things that I need you most…all things…and oh how I need you here. I need you on the good days…I need you on the hard days…I need you …Oh I need you.”

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-11

I understand you.  I understand you.  He understands you – the most.

One Response to "Living with a chronic illness"

  • Marla says:

    Thanks for sharing. My husband has MD and can’t do many things he used to do. I have learned to depend on God everyday for my husbands thorn so that I’m understanding, kind, and considerate and thankful for the good times, comforted in the hard times, and depending on God to be with me everyday, because HE draws me close to HIM and it’s changed my life for the BETTER!

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