The Tug of War of Living with Chronic Illness

Living with a chronic illness means experiencing the ups and downs of it sometimes in one day. I can be fairly okay one day and the next day is a struggle. Add to that the fact that my personality is such that I do not want to give into it and do not want let it hold me back and the result is the pull of two sides one being accept it and adjust and the other being no way I will overcome it.

Photo by Victor Freitas on

Case in point is the temporary parking placard my doctor wanted me to have so I can use handicapped parking when needed. Upon receiving it, it sat there in my car not being used at all for two months. I know the stores I go to and the times to go, so the parking spot next to the handicapped spot is empty.

But last week in the midst of a flare up that caused me to have pain shooting down both legs from my back, I finally used it. I parked in a handicapped spot feeling defeated by doing so.

Since the first autoimmune problem hit in 1993, I have lived with a theme of I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. When someone would suggest perhaps I could not do something, I would stand on that verse from Philippians 4. Jesus has blessed me with eleven mission trips to other countries since 1997 for one example of Christ giving me strength.

Add in the fact that I tend to have an adventuresome spirit and it kind of complicates things even more. We had a large snow in parts of my state, but my city won’t have much. I was kind of hoping we would just so I could see how my small SUV does in the snow. As I work on finishing my book Jesus Understands Trauma, my hope is to travel to Brazil and Mexico to speak in churches.

But then there is that placard to handicapped parking that is in my car that I finally used last week. That is the push/pull of the two sides of me. This leaves me thinking it would be good to have Jesus return soon.

Such is life with chronic illness.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

15 thoughts on “The Tug of War of Living with Chronic Illness

  1. Thanks for sharing your story, I also look forward to reading your book. I have watched some YouTube videos on autoimmune diseases and I’m always in awe at the strength of the community. You have that strength and positivity as well. I hope you do get to share in Brazil and Mexico…being that you are multilingual. It would be heartwarming to hear testimony from someone like you. God bless you exceedingly.

  2. You expressed chronic illness so well, Matt! I experience much of the same. So thankful that you’ve been able to go on missions trips, and that your adventurous spirit keeps you pushing. But finding that balance is important. And it’s funny because I was thinking the same thing earlier this week. In some (most) ways, I just keep pushing past it, but at times I have to know when to rest or I’ll make things much worse. It is indeed a balancing act.

  3. A day at a time, or. half a day at a time? I know you will keep going Matt. Your push pull is explained very well. We know about that in our house with our daughter. Philippians 4 always works. Christ always strengthens those who trust him for what lies ahead.

  4. Matt, I can truly understand a bit of what you are going through. After the last injections have worn off I am hurting again from my lower back down both legs. I can however sleep better with minimal pain while laying down. So I guess the injections helped with that. I see the dr in January and go from there. It is a slow process getting out of this pain I’ve had since August.🙏

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