Oddly enough, Covid-19 quarantine is similar to the life of a chronic illness warrior…at least it is in mine. Isolation, being fearful of catching something in the outside world, not knowing what comes next or what to do, there are … Continue reading
Gratitude is the simplest way to shift your life perspective. In a fast paced world, with all things being advertised as “instant,” , with all things being available at the tips of our fingers, it can be incredibly easy to get distracted from taking the time to be present and actually feel a sense of gratitude.
One of the things that my illness has taught me is time is the most precious gift I can give and if I am not present while giving it, it doesn’t count. I have learned that my mere presence doesn’t mean I am present. So today, on Thanksgiving Day, I am choosing to rise above all of the hurry and move myself into a conscious state of gratitude. I am choosing to be present, choosing to acknowledge the good things in my life and choosing to enjoy them.
They say laughter is the best medicine, so today I am going to enjoy all the belly laughs I can and take in all the blessings that God has given me.
How many days are you present with gratitude? I mean really connecting with those around you? Take the time to have a good laugh today, take the time to connect on deeper levels with loved ones and really be present, and gratitude will certainly follow.
I can face things that are not in my control, because I rest in knowing that God is in control.
They say that which does not kill will make you stronger and right now I am I believing that. I continue to have major swallowing problems along with my lupus and connective tissue disease. Night after night, I struggle going to sleep with anxiety of what might happen when I am unconscious. In the last few months I have had aspiration pneumonia from food and fluid getting into my lungs twice and I went into sepsis the last time. I have been seeking treatment tirelessly, praying for a miracle. I have so many rare diseases, that nobody knows how to begin to treat me. It really does something to the mind when the doctors look you in the eyes, and say, there is nothing we can do but I am referring you to another service.
I know that my fate really lies in God. I am resilient because of God, and even though I am weakened right now, my strength lays in my heavenly father. God is in control of this so no matter what I will not fear the outcome and I will remain faithful and hopeful.
Life is not always fair but I do believe that everything happens for a reason and God always has a plan, even if I don’t see it.
- Last month I had aspiration pneumonia, twice, and just three weeks ago I was in sepsis. Now I am suffering once again with food that I swallow sitting in the bottom of my esophagus. My esophagus is paralyzed and does not push food through so I choke every night. The doctors are at a loss on how to help me, so I am left with a daily fight with eating.
- It might be easy to try and blame God on my illness, because after all I have prayed so much for healing and it just seems like my prayers for healing go unanswered. However, through all of this I have peace, I have hope and I know where my help comes from. So have they really gone unanswered?
- I know God did not cause me to have the past that I have and He certainly did not make me sick; that is just a product of living in a fallen world. So, where does God fit in the grander scheme of my life? He is my source, my rescuer, my comforter, my healer. I have come to realize that even though I am expecting a physical healing, God heals in many different ways and that is ok with me.
I have walked through some of the darkest years of my life alone, so I thought. I have felt broken physically, mentally and spiritually. I have been completely overwhelmed at times with life, and not knowing what direction to go that I was afraid to move. To think the next thought, I might fall apart. I have thought, that I just can’t just make it through another day through with all of my illnesses more times that I want to admit.
But I hold it all together for myself, my husband, and more than anything for my kids. I know that I am not alone,God is always with me, he will never leave me and I can always turn to him. I know that someone is reading this right now saying they know how this feels.
No matter where I have been in this journey, I have learned that all of those feelings are only temporary even if they come back after a while. God has always sent help my way.
It may have been an encouraging word from a nurse, or something I read, or sending someone my way to bring a word of grace, but he has always provided what I needed.
I have to look for God even in the smallest of things because even if it doesn’t appear that anything is changing I know that God is always doing something. I know the closer that I walk with God, the more Satan will try to knock me down but I have to stand tall, and be strong in my faith and know where my help comes from no matter the challenge I am facing.
What Satan doesn’t realize is the very tool that he thought would make me turn on God has brought me even closer to my heavenly Father. The sickness and the hardships of my life has made me put total dependency on God, instead of myself or someone else. Satan doesn’t want me to rise above my problems but I choose to rise above anyway even if it will take a little more effort on my part.
David wrote in Psalms 23,” Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me.”
Because of my illnesses sometimes I find myself feeling like I am broken and useless. No wonder, everything in my life has been turned upside down and changed; now everything revolves around my illnesses. Things I once loved were gone in an instant and what’s left of the old me slowly gets stripped away each day.
I have no doubt that even if you are not sick, feeling broken or useless may apply to some others as well. It’s not supposed to be that way! However, we can grow tremendously through the changes that we are forced to go through. And we can rise above any obstacles as long we are in God’s hands.
The mind is extremely powerful and can change our mood in an instant for good or for bad.
For me it’s easy to get caught up in the negative thoughts because of my illness. It never goes away, I always have a reminder even when my pain isn’t as high as normal! I have heard a few times lately someone say, “you know, you will never get better.” “This is, “Chronic.” “You just got to learn to live with it.”
Yep, I was told that a few times, over the last few months and it was like a knife in the gut. I could feel my existence get ripped right from underneath me. God just made me stop one day and made me realize it doesn’t have to be that way. I can control what I am thinking.
I am not in denial of my reality. But I am a child of God!! And I believe in miracles still. I am not at the mercy of what the doctors say!! I am at the mercy of God!
What you think consistently becomes your reality.
So, I am doing a new thing; and I challenge you if you are still reading this at this point and it has spoken to you at all to try it for a week in your life and let me know how it goes for you. Every time I think something negative, I stop and I immediately think of the positive side. If I am wake up hurting, well I turn that and think, I woke up alive, I have a bed, I have a house, I have AC, I have a family, I am dry etc.. keep going until it speaks to you. I have to be mindful of what I hear and what I think. I will not allow myself to dwell on the negative any longer.
Proverbs 4:23 Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Carefully guard your thoughts
because they are the source
of true life.
I would rather be in control of my mind, have a strong mind and keep my thoughts positive and know that even if the world says this disease is killing me, God can turn this around anytime he wants. I would rather go down fighting with hope, than go down giving up.
If there is one thing that I have learned from my life and walk with God, it’s that sometimes we are brought to our weakest point so that we can gain total dependency on God.
I have lost everything many times in my lifetime but God has rebuilt my life from scratch every time. I had many situations in my childhood that I do not know how I made it out alive, many unknowns, and close calls with my health now and I have had unknowns but God has always seen me through.
In those moments, I may have felt alone, but now I can recount times when I have no doubt that God was there, saving my life and intervening.
The most frequently repeated phrase in the Bible is “Do not be afraid!”
God is not speaking to our emotions, and since we can’t command emotions, however he is speaking to our will.
When Peter asked to get out of the boat, Jesus granted his request and said, “come to me,” however, the interesting thing is Jesus didn’t stop the waves or the storm. The further away Peter got from the boat, which was his safety, Peter started to get afraid and he began to sink.
Peter cried out, “Lord save me!!” And then, Jesus saved him and he rebuked him. “How little faith of you?”
Did Peter really trust Jesus? Sure, he did, after all, he got out of the boat but the fear of the storm paralyzed him.
When you step out of the boat you have to make a conscious decision not to allow fear to paralyze you.
Peter sank because he stopped walking towards Jesus and he allowed his emotions of fear to take over.
Faith is not knowing that God can but it is knowing that he will. Faith requires us to keep walking even when we are faced with fear, even if it’s the unknown.
I find that sometimes fear of the unknown gets the best of us at times. We walk in this life and everything is going great until one day something happens that we are unfamiliar with and we panic. It’s then that we have a choice, are we going to keep our eyes on Jesus and trust that no matter the road that we are led, he is in control or will we take our eyes off Jesus and let our emotions of fear take over.
I trust God with my life. And sometimes it is hard to keep focused on him when things feel like they are beyond my control but I know that God is my sufficiency, and when I am at my weakest, he is made strong.
No matter what you may be facing today, I encourage you to keep your eyes on Jesus. #keepyoureyesonJesus
Wouldn’t it be amazing if life wasn’t filled with heartache and pain? Imagine a world covered with love, joy, peace. A world where no one grieves, no one has pain, no one faces hardships, no one faces sickness.
The reality is, we all face struggles and hardships at some point in our lives. In the last four years I have faced countless illnesses with few answers. If you know me you probably know that I have many Autoimmune Diseases that affect my internal organs, it has been an ongoing battle . I have learned a lot about keeping my faith in God in the middle of these trying times. I believe that because I have kept my faith pretty strong through out that has carried me through.
Constantly receiving unwelcome news
I don’t consider myself negative, or lacking faith, but after some time constantly receiving unwelcome news week after week, with no in end in sight it started to get to me. I didn’t even recognize that my mind had started to shift into a place where I was losing, hope until my Dad started teaching about finding joy. He called me one day and told me to find the positive in every situation, even if it is bad news, find the positive. I was just going through another health scare and I have to tell you that at first, I was really angry, and I was “ice cold”, whenever he brought the subject up for the next few weeks. How could he be so insensitive? He told me with all the negative news, the negative thoughts, the negative speech comes, negative results. He wanted me to not only find the positive but he wanted me to turn on praise music, sing along, take out my guitar and sing to the Lord as much as possible without hurting me physically.
As it turns out, Dad knows what he is talking about. I had realized that being sick has forced me to give up everything that I loved. So, I began to find little things that I could do even if it was in short increments, I had allowed my illness win for too long.
After praying about it, a lot, I did come around and realize the error of my ways and I began to really listen to my Dad. I picked up my guitar after a long time of not playing and began play worship music every morning. I had just quit because it hurt, but I can play for a short time and it is just enough for my spirit.
Change of mindset
What was most difficult was to make changes in my mindset, because when you are sick and there are no answers to be found, the last thing you can possible think about is something positive.
I pay attention to the blessings that are interwoven in my own struggles. No matter what I am facing there is always something that I can find to be thankful for, I just have to look for them. I have to keep my mind positive.
I found that if I stepped outside of myself and allowed my flesh to get out-of-the-way I could speak positive words over myself. I say things like, “I am going to have a good day today.” No matter what the doctor says I say, “I believe I’m getting better.” When I get a negative report from the doctor, I go to God’s word and it says I’m healed because of the price that Jesus paid for my healing. When someone says negative words to me, I cast them down and get rid of those negative words. I say things like, “I have a bright future ahead of me,”
I do not allow other people’s negative thoughts enter my mind.
I believe you are what you speak, so if you say you are going to have a bad day this morning, most likely you will. I am not saying its a cure all, but I am saying there is power in the mind.
Lastly, speaking God’s promises is a key element in my healing process. I speak things like.
Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
John 1: 12 (NKJV)
“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.”
(As a child of God, I have all the rights and privileges of being His daughter.)
Isaiah 53: 5 (NKJV)
“But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.”
Psalms 118: 17 (Amplified)
“I will not die, but live, And, declare the works and recount the illustrious acts of the LORD.”
Even though I do know a cure has not been found as of yet for Lupus, and I am facing some pretty big things, I also know that nothing is impossible, but all things are possible with God. I am choosing to put all of hope in him right now. I have nothing to lose at this point, except for maybe a bad attitude. I would rather spend my life deliriously joyful when the world thinks I shouldn’t be than be miserable and lonely and be the status quo.
What kinds of things do you do to change your mindset?