Chronic Illness and Gratitude?

In my recent Q and A, Notes from a Sycamore Tree at asked- Praising God even when you are in physical pain – How do you do that ?

I want to share more about being grateful while living with chronic illness and also living with depression. It starts with when I was sick and dying-but I didn’t die because I am blogging now- and a lesson I learned during that time.

I found that if I asked why me, that led to self pity. I had days that I would lay in bed depressed because I was sick and even in the months of recovery. During those days I was stuck in the whys. Why did this happen to when I was studying for the ministry? Why is my life in such a mess? why? why? The why me questions always led me down spiraling down.

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I started to ask what questions like- What do you want me to do Lord? What will you do through this Lord? I found when I asked what questions, my focus was on Jesus not my circumstances.

It is a daily choice, sometimes hourly, to focus on Jesus. I still have days that I get down. I also don’t want to paint an all is rosy picture. Life is not easy when living with a chronic illness or illnesses such as in my case. I also want to be real about the fact that due to chronic illness, a symptom that could be a struggle is clinical depression.

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So I want to share a list of things I am grateful for that are because of having chronic illness:

1- By sharing about chronic illness and depression/anxiety in my blog, my blog has grown a lot. I am thankful God comforts others through my blog.

2- Living with chronic illness for over 25 years has given me empathy that helps me to relate with my refugee friends who have suffered in life.

3- I am much more observant with other people. For example, because of having clinical depression, I have watched videos on youtube and read articles. Though I have not been suicidal, I learned about the semi colon tattoo.. That opened up a friendship with a young woman who has that tattoo.

4- I have been able to experience the Lord in ways I never did before I had chronic illness such as seeing him come through for me time after time.

The main thing for me is remembering this life is temporary whether we have it easy in this life or have struggles in this life, it is all temporary. There are a few things that helped me:

1- Starting my day by listening to worship music and praying

2- Confiding in people I know I can trust.

3- Being open and honest with my doctor about all symptoms.

4-Thanking God even when I don’t feel thankful because of depression. On the days I feel numb, I thank him for things anyway. I am honest when I do so. I usually say something like-God I don’t feel it right now but thank you for______..

5- Keeping my mind active by reading the bible, reading other bloggers, reading books, practicing Spanish, and even doing online crossword puzzles.

Last but not least of the reasons to praise God even though life is difficult- He is worthy of our praise. He deserves our gratitude. Everything we have is because of him. The air we breathe, the food we eat, our salvation, EVERYTHING we have is because of him.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

35 thoughts on “Chronic Illness and Gratitude?

  1. Great post, we not only Praise God on the mountain top, but we Praise him in the valley of our struggles. He never promise it would be easy but he will walk us in our journey. God bless you my friend

  2. Thank you for sharing this, lessons you learnt and ways to keep praising God in the mountaintops and in the valleys. Reminded me of the worship song by Hillsong called ‘Highlands’. Below is my favourite verse from that song

    “So I will praise You on the mountain
    And I will praise You when the mountain’s in my way
    You’re the summit where my feet are
    So I will praise You in the valleys all the same
    No less God within the shadows
    No less faithful when the night leads me astray
    You’re the heaven where my heart is
    In the highlands and the heartache all the same”

  3. Your life is proof that God works all things together for good when we love Him and are called according to His purpose. Thanks for sharing big brother.

  4. Thank you so much for this beautiful sharing !! Thank you for the tips you have given , especially 4&5 . When I’m sick , I find it extremely difficult to praise & thank God , I feel so numb & disconnected . Will try out your suggestions next time !! God bless you !

  5. Thank you for sharing your testimony man of God!

    We say, “God is good” often in a specific situation, when God heals our body, when a biopsy returns benign, when God bless us with employment and when a rebellious child turns back to God.

    But what about when that child is still out there doing the fool or you don’t find employment and you are struggling to make ends meet? Is God good then? Can we still give God thanks?

    God is good all the time because the Bible says that He is. God cannot be good one moment and not the next. He can’t be good in one situation and not another. The season of my life caused me to reflect on this truth. I recently had a conversation with a lady I’ve been witnessing to and inviting to church and she told me that she’s been out of pocket because she been working, bought a house and all these great things are happening in her life because God is good. I was grieved in my spirit because she’s deceived, yes good things may be happening in her life because He rains on the just as well as the unjust but the scripture tells us what does it profit to gain the world and lose your soul? We shouldn’t just declare God’s goodness when things turn out the way we hoped. The scripture teaches that our circumstances do not dictate nor define God’s goodness (1 Thessalonians 5:18, Psalm 34).

  6. What a powerful testimony! God has been good to you. Through it all, you can still stand up and give praise and thanksgiving to God. This is a true example of giving God the sacrifice of thanksgiving.

      1. I still don’t understand. Are you saying the semi colon means that the person will committ suicide at a later date? And is the tatoo suppose to be a warning sign?

      2. It means the person has decided not too and that the story of their life will continue. It is as sign to us that we should be compassionate and understanding.

  7. Thanks for sharing. I have a loved one who struggles with chronic pain as well as depression. Your focus on the “what” instead of the “why” can apply to all of us in our daily walk of faith.

  8. Absolutely big bro. Everything we are is because of Him.

    Thanks for sharing and being open with us via your blog big bro.

    And knowing that when we ask “why the process” instead of “why me” we gain enough strength and see the good even when all might seem all bad.

    Truly when we are weak, then we are strong in Him.

    Keep the faith gear on bro. 🤗

  9. Your ministry may look different than what you anticipated, but you definitely have a ministry. You are reaching and touching lives for Jesus through every post! God bless you!

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