This is a hard post for me to write. In fact, when I think about my days, weeks, months and years of ‘living in the land of chronic-ill health’ tears naturally well up in my eyes. Honestly, I think I emotionally avoid writing posts on health- related topics because I can’t get through the writing of them without breaking down and crying.
The lost of quality of life.
Feelings like I lived in a prison because I was/am trapped in my own body.
Sometimes those thoughts are just too much for me to deal with and therefore, I want to avoid Memory Lane at all cost.
Yet, it’s part of my story. Much like all of the financial struggles we’ve lived through, the broken family relationships I’ve had, the persecutions I’ve experienced, and the past poor choices I made prior to giving my heart to Jesus Christ.
It’s all a part of me. And I share me here, with you.
But my straight-forward and real self says, “Sometimes I don’t want to share these thoughts with you.” My reason for saying this is not because I want to hide my life from you, but rather, it’s because the memories still hurt and I’m not fully healed;-chronic illness is still my companion. So in my weakness…I cry.
But honestly if I choose to take the path of not sharing with you and helping you due to the fact that I don’t want to be in any emotional pain, well, then my testimony and all that the Lord has brought me through would serve no purpose to the Kingdom of God. And that just won’t work for this gal being that my sole ambition and purpose is to live for Christ. 🙂
As Christians, we are called to build each other up and encourage one another regardless of whether I feel like it or not. I’ve come to the conclusion that just because I’m a reserved person this does not give me the right to shy away from those I minister to. After all, this is not my ministry, it’s the Lord’s.
And my Father has made it very clear with what He has asked me to do…
Share my life with other hurting, discouraged, fearful, and disappointed women. Because we are sisters. We are the Body of Christ.
All of us walk the path of reality- the reality that life is hard!
All of us grow weary.
All of us have insecurities.
All of us have fears and failures.
All of us have good days and bad days.
All of us have tears that stream down our faces from the disappointments and trials in our lives.
Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer. 2 Cor. 1:6 NLT
So regardless of my emotions I’m going to address chronic illness in marriage. I know this topic will turn into a series because there’s no possible way I can write just one blog post on it. I hope what spills out from my heart will minister to you whether you’re the one experiencing the chronic illness or whether it’s your husband.
Chronic illness in marriage is no walk in the park. The majority of my marriage has been comprised of me living with silent, chronic illnesses, meaning, I’m not in a wheelchair nor am I hooked up to an I.V. or an oxygen tank, etc. You can’t see my chronic illnesses because they are silent to the eye. When people see me they think I’m normal, well to a certain extent! 🙂 To their eyes I look completely healthy. But that’s not my reality. And that’s not the reality for most Americans.
“Nearly half of all Americans live their day-to-day lives with at least one chronic illness as a companion. Cancer, diabetes, heart disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, Crohn’s disease, asthma, arthritis, lupus, sickle cell anemia and a host of other conditions pillage millions of personal lives and marriages each year. Statistics show that over 75 percent of marriages plagued by chronic illness end in divorce.Nothing quite assists a spouse in understanding his or her role of helpmate like a chronic illness. For married couples, a diagnosis means twice the heartache, discomfort and worry.” ~Focus on the Family
For most young couples the idea of sickness in marriage doesn’t seem like much of a consideration. The young, bright-eyed, vibrant and healthy couple doesn’t give much thought to the ‘in sickness’ part of their vows, that is until chronic illness strikes them.
I often think it might be easier to enter marriage when you know there are physical limitations to either you or your spouse, after all, you already know what you’re dealing with. You’re more mentally prepared for your role when you know what you’re getting yourself into. But that’s not always the case for every couple. For some, the chronic illness happens after the vows and when that happens it’s normal for you to feel a sense of devastation and loss whether you are the patient or the supportive spouse. Living with health limitations was not what you had in mind for your life or your marriage.
So when the chronic illness takes up residence in your home and you’ve lost your old, ‘normal’ life, you need to find your new ‘normal’ for your marriage and family.
Join me next time when I discuss having the right perspective while living with health-related limitations in your marriage.
Would you like to receive my FREE e-book titled, In Sickness and In Health: Dealing with Chronic Illness in Marriage? Just click below to subscribe and it will be delivered directly to your in-box!
Live a poured out life for Christ,
Sign up and get my FREE guide, 10 Guidelines for Better Communication. Plus, receive future blog posts delivered to your inbox