October 18, 2017

Give the Gift of Hope

Cyber Monday special: Touching the Hem ebook is just 99 cents this week on Amazon! Read on for more details: Do you know someone who feels overwhelmed by a long-term physical affliction? Give them the gift of hope this Christmas. Let them know you truly care, by offering a tangible message of hope in the midst of their affliction. Give them the gift of encouragement. Help them understand God a little better, and how He works through physical brokenness to make us spiritually whole. Give them a gift that will make a lasting difference. Share with them how to respond to suffering in a way that will bring peace, and joy, and eternal hope. Give them a book to help guide [...Read More]

21 Days to Finding Purpose in Pain

I've shared Stacy William's blog with you before -- Finding Purpose in the Pain (where I'm a regular contributer) -- and now I'm thrilled to share her brand new devotional book with you!  21 Days to Finding Purpose in Pain is a devotional for those facing prolonged anguish from physical or emotional turmoil. It draws from Stacy's own personal battle with chronic pain. She doesn't gloss over the hurt, or offer a quick fix, but instead meets us right where we are -- on our knees, raw and hurting. Each day's entry contains gems from God's Word, relevant examples from Stacy's own journey with chronic pain, and a prayer to focus the reader's thoughts on biblical truth. 21 Days to Finding [...Read More]

No Limitations

We can all relate to the word limitations. Pain has limitations. Grief, and sickness, and loss… they all have limitations too. They all restrict what we can do. I’m a word person, and I enjoy looking up definitions of commonly-used words, just to discover some extra nuances and get a better grasp on the reach of that particular word. Here’s what I found for the word limitation: Origin: 1350-1400, Middle English from Latin, stem of līmitātiō – a bounding past participle of līmitāre – to enclose within boundaries Definition: a limiting condition, restrictive weakness, lack of capacity, inability or handicap; something that limits a quality or achievement Sound familiar? I have [...Read More]

Rejoicing in Misery?

When you feel lousy – you feel lousy. When your body feels sick and tired and blah – then your spirit feels miserable and cranky and, well, blah. Anyone who’s ever been sick can relate. You see, the body and spirit are so interconnected that when you fight a battle in one area, it gets fought in the other one too. When your energy is being spent fighting sickness of some sort, that’s energy that is not being spent fighting bad attitudes and low spirits. It’s hard to fight on both fronts at the same time. It’s challenging. Sometimes it feels impossible. But I don’t think it is impossible. Why? Because we have commands in Scripture, and we are expected to obey those commands [...Read More]

Touching the Hem: A Biblical Response to Physical Affliction

How would you respond to a life-changing illness? I'd never thought much about it, until I was faced with the question personally in 2007. I was a recent college grad, engaged to a wonderful man, and involved in every activity possible. And then I got horribly sick, and the doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong with me. Almost a year went by before I finally ended up being admitted to the hospital, practically comatose, around 2 AM on Easter Sunday. Finally, a good team of doctors was focused on figuring out what was wrong with me. They ran tests -- MRI's, biopsies, blood-work, and I'm not sure what else -- and within a few days, they diagnosed me with a rare disease called [...Read More]

My Life with Chronic Illness (Wegener’s Granulomatosis)

Life with chronic illness is an adventure. Not a fun one, but a long and challenging one that is constantly changing and evolving. It's filled with doctors, tests, medications, a bit of guessing, some experimentation, and a whole lot of prayer. I should know -- I've been living with chronic illness since 2007. I was diagnosed with Wegener’s Granulomatosis, also known as "Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis," the year after graduating college. It's a rare auto-immune disease that is mostly "invisible" to the outside world. Other than looking really tired (bags under my eyes and all that), most people wouldn't guess that I struggle with life-changing effects on a daily basis. It's been a hard [...Read More]

Things I’ve Learned from Chronic Illness (4)

In honor of Invisible Illness Week, I’m sharing some things I’ve learned along my journey with Wegener’s Granulomatosis. So far, here's what I've shared: 1- Recognize the body/spirit connection 2- See opportunities, not limitations 3- Realize that good health is not everything   Lesson #4: cherish the time you have Life is uncertain. We all know that. Scripture describes our life as a vapor that vanishes, and as a flower that withers, and as grass that fades away. We cannot count on next month, next week, or even our next breath. By the time I was diagnosed with Wegener's, over half my blood had disintegrated. It was gone. And I'm not exaggerating when I say that I was very [...Read More]