I never expected it. I never expected to be diagnosed with a chronic illness.
For years, there were signs . . . but I ignored them. Several relatives have Crohn’s Disease so I knew this was something I didn’t want to deal with. I just wanted it all to go away.
If I ignored my symptoms enough, maybe they would go away.
But they didn’t.
Finally, just a few months ago, I became so sick that I had no choice. The fevers, the fatigue, the stomach cramps . . . all the signs and symptoms that go along with this dreaded illness became too much for me. I made the doctor’s appointment.
That doctor’s appointment led to many more doctor’s appointments. Soon, there was a CT scan, a colonoscopy, an ultrasound, an MRI, and what seemed like countless visits to the gastroenterologist for blood-work and followup visits. Then, the medications. I wasn’t happy about the possibility of taking medications for the rest of my life. But this was my new reality.
Relatives warned me that it might take time to find the right medications and the right dosages. Time went on and the medications didn’t seem to help. It was hard to say though, if they helped or not so I had no choice but to take one day at a time.
After awhile, it all started to wear me down. I was tired of the symptoms. I had been dealing with them for several years. Now, I was also tired of the doctor visits, the medications, and being stuck all the time for blood-work.
My joy was gone.
As a Christian, I place great value in spending time with the Lord. I went to Him in prayer and He placed it up on my heart that He has a plan and a purpose for my suffering. I asked Him to reveal to me opportunities to use my condition to encourage others. My joy returned.
Immediately, I began to write down ideas for a devotional geared toward people who suffer from chronic illnesses. Crohn’s Disease can be a debilitating illness and not something that’s easy to talk about. There are many other chronic illnesses that are worse. I wanted others to know the Hope that I know in Jesus.
So, I wrote my first devotional.
When Chronic Illness Steals Your Joy
The topics I cover in my 10 day devotional include the following:
Day 1: Why Me?
Day 2: When I Can’t Do the Things I Want to Do
Day 3: When Other People Don’t Understand
Day 4: When Treatments Don’t Work the Way I Need Them To
Day 5: When I Get “Down in the Dumps”
Day 6: When God Seems Silent
Day 7: When I Feel Abandoned
Day 8: When Embarrassment Looms
Day 9: When Joy Returns
Day 10: When I Realize My Purpose in My Circumstances
If you’re interested in my short little 10 day devotional, you can get the printed copy here.
Whether you or someone you love suffers from a chronic illness, I hope you find comfort in this little devotional. If you do find comfort, I would appreciate it if you would leave a short review on the Amazon site. You are also welcome to leave your thoughts in the comments below. Let’s encourage one another.
Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11