Is it always right to ‘bear’ someone else’s ‘burden’?

How do you deal with the pressure to ‘choose right’?

Is there anyone in your life who is dependent on you?

Sooner or later most of us want to sit down and plan our future, or at least make a “five-year plan”. Yet if you are a caregiver, this can be difficult.

The Bible tells us to “bear each other’s burdens.” (Galatians 6:2) – But, when those burdens interfere with your personal goals, are you allowed to set them aside? Is it possible to love your sick family member, and at the same time plan a future for yourself?

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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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Planning your own future when you have a chronically ill family member

Just because a door slams shut does not mean it is locked…

Sooner or later all of us want to look into the future. The time comes when we need to sit down with pen and paper and plan out our next few years. The problem with doing this as a Watcher is that chronic illness extends into the future too! It’s a big part of our life and we can’t ignore it or naively pretend that it will simply ‘go away’.

How then do we plan our future, keeping in mind our Loved One’s chronic illness?

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Help! I’m jealous of their chronic illness!

If you could pick an illness which one would you choose?

Imagine this. Or perhaps you don’t have to…

Your Loved One has lived with their chronic illness for ten years. There’s been highs and lows, but you’re just beginning to understand what life looks like for them and also for you.

Then a close friend receives a diagnosis. They’re sick. Chronically sick… perhaps with the same illness as your loved One, perhaps a slightly different one.

Everyone is dismayed and shocked. They surround the newly-diagnosed one with gifts of love and support. Maybe they look at you, and assume you too will visit and offer your help. After all, you and your Loved One are ‘old hands’.

Perhaps someone nudges you and quips that maybe the past suffering of your Loved One was preparation for loving this person – that all that agony was raising you up for “such a time as this.”

You know you should help. You know you should love. But instead you feel… jealous.

Continue reading “Help! I’m jealous of their chronic illness!”