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LTCI 3: How to balance skepticism with love

What if you don’t trust their judgement?

Hello, my name’s Emily and I’m a Skeptic.

If this sounds like a therapy group meeting, you’ll soon understand why.

But first, take a moment. Could this ‘greeting’ be applied to you?

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Talking about suffering: When we miss our chance to have the conversation

Some days we just can’t find the words in time…

I know I should talk about it,

I want to talk about it,

I planned to talk about it,

I prepared to talk about it…

But I missed my chance.

Am I a failure?

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Talking about suffering: Why answering ‘That Question’ is so difficult

‘Why does God allow suffering?’ if you find that question daunting – well, you should!

Are you a chatterbox?

Although I’ve written before about thinking before talking, and even (on occasion!) not speaking at all, the truth is…

I rather like talking.

Bring up ‘Sherlock Holmes’, the latest book you’ve read, or something God’s been teaching you… and chances are, I won’t be closing my mouth for a while.

Yet there are other topics which are less guaranteed to set off an avalanche of words. I suspect it’s the same for you.

I also suspect that one of these might be: ‘why does God allow suffering?’

It’s an important question – so why do we find it so difficult to talk about?

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Talking about suffering: When NOT to answer The Question

Questions require answers… but only sometimes..

Some questions should not be answered.

This is not because they are silly or childish (there’s no such thing as a stupid question, remember?)

Or because they are too difficult.

Or even because the answer is too scary.

No, the only reason you should not answer a question is when you have something to offer that is more important.

But what’s more important than an answer?

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Talking about suffering: Why pure motives don’t always make things right

Is the ‘right’ answer always the most appropriate?

Today’s post is the first in a series of articles called ‘Talking about Suffering’…

Why am I sick?

Will I ever get better?

What am I supposed to be doing with my life?

It can take courage to ask these questions. But sometimes, it can take even more courage to answer them.

Talking about suffering is hard! (how do you know what to say?)

Figuring out the truths about illness, suffering and the big problems of life is difficult.

It’s a different sort of hard when you are not sick yourself. How often do you feel helpless in the face of such questions? How often do you feel ill-equipped to answer your sick friend’s frustrations?

Even if you ‘know’ the right response (whether that’s an answer, rebuke or piece of advice) you might not know ‘how’ to say it.

Is this you? It’s often me!

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Can Joy be ‘chronic’ too? (I’m a resource!)

Here’s why we all need a devotion book written for someone with a chronic illness…

Something exciting has happened.

Indeed, it happened a while ago, but this seems as good a time as any to announce it!

Chronic Joy devotion books

There’s an organisation called Chronic Joy.

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LTCI #2: Am I my family’s keeper?

Am I always supposed to know the answer?

How’s your mum? How’s your sister?’

These are questions I get a lot. They’re great questions. They mean people are thinking about my sick family members, and it shows that the people around me understand that their illnesses are a rather large part of my life.

Most of the time I appreciate the time taken to ask a question like this, and the implied preparedness of the asker to listen to a ‘deep’ response.

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