Expectations and why they’re good: Christmas

Did you know that it’s impossible not to have expectations?

Try it.

However vague, we always have some sense of what an event or a holiday or a job or a coffee-date will be like. Often, when we say we had “no expectations” what we really mean is we had “low expectations”.

Christmas and the holiday season bring a lot of expectations.

What comes to mind when you hear the word “Christmas”? Food, fun, community, isolation, stress – whatever connotations you have, they will form part of your expectation for the season.

Christmas and the good thing about expectations

Chronic illness can make expectations necessary.

Continue reading “Expectations and why they’re good: Christmas”

How to admit you are no longer praying for healing

“Do you still pray for healing for your mum?”

The question startled me. It startled me so much that an answer burst from my mouth before I had time to think.

“No.”

My response startled me even more.

“Not as much as I used to,” I continued. As if an explanation would make that two-letter word more palatable. “Sometimes. But I mostly pray for her symptoms now.” A pause. “Do you think that’s wrong?”

“No,” my friend answered. “I think that’s okay.”

Continue reading “How to admit you are no longer praying for healing”

Why I feel uncomfortable when people offer to pray for healing (even though I’m a Christian)

“I’ll pray God will heal your friend.”

“I’ll pray God will heal you.”

Sometimes these promises make me feel uncomfortable. Have you ever been on the receiving end of an offer for prayer? I’ve used the word “offer” but it’s more of a statement really.

After you share the health struggles of yourself or someone close to you with a Christian friend, there’s often silence. And then –

“I’ll pray for healing.”

How does this make you feel? I’m embarrassed to admit it, but often it leaves me feeling uncomfortable. Here’s why:

Continue reading “Why I feel uncomfortable when people offer to pray for healing (even though I’m a Christian)”

What to do when you are unable to serve your local community due to sickness

There are seasons for all of us where we are not able to do all we want. When chronic illness enters the picture, these seasons can be long indeed. It can be especially difficult when we are unable to serve or help our local community.

For those of us who are part of a church, a neighbourhood, a sports club or a community group we know what it is to volunteer our time and energy. It is a worthwhile and often enjoyable experience.

It can be challenging and even draining, but there’s something about working as part of a team toiling towards a common goal that can be very uplifting.

If you are a Christian, it is also part of fulfilling Jesus’ command to “love your neighbour”.

Yet illness can get in the way of even our most passionate desires to serve. Being available for a Loved One struggling with their health can mean we are unable to give of our time or energy.

So what do we do?

Continue reading “What to do when you are unable to serve your local community due to sickness”

Can I be a missionary if my family member is sick?

You have a family member who is sick. It’s a chronic illness, but you feel called to be a missionary overseas.

Such a calling is a blessing, but it raises a problem.

I’ve been gone a while, and in the next few months I would love to do a few blog posts on what my life looks like after my mum’s diagnosis, and what God’s teaching me. For now though:

Is it right to leave your chronically ill family member behind?

Or are you bound to your home country to serve them as long as they live?

These are hard questions.  There are 4 areas we need to examine before we can make a decision:

1. Examine your ‘calling’ to be a missionary

Why do you want to go? It’s easy to be filled with a desire and hide behind the phrase ‘God is calling me’ – but are you sure He is?

Excitement?

Do you want to go overseas because it sounds more exciting than caring for your Loved One? Perhaps it seems like an escape or even a retreat!

Continue reading “Can I be a missionary if my family member is sick?”

Prayer, Chronic Illness and Healing (Part 2)

The Bible has some pretty in-your-face things to say about prayer and healing. Jesus, as He walked on this earth prayed some big prayers.
But where do these truths fit in my life when my loved ones are not healed however much I pray?

Prayer, Healing and Chronic Illness (Part 2)

I’m continuing my mission to make the resources on this website easier to find – so here is my second ’round up’ of prayer related posts. The first post included the articles:

{POST 1}

Prayer + Chronic Illness = ? (or why we need to make up our minds about prayer)

prayer and chronc illness www.calledtowatch.com #chronicillness #suffering #loneliness #caregiver #pain #caregiving #spoonie #faith #God #Hope

and

{POST 2}

Why you should pray for healing in Chronic Illness (and 3 reasons why it is so hard)

praying for healing why 2 www.calledtowatch.com #chronicillness #suffering #loneliness #caregiver #pain #caregiving #spoonie #faith #God #Hope

Prayer and Chronic Illness (Part 2):

{POST 3}

Why praying for healing is tricky (a look at those troublesome Bible passages I used to hate)

As I watch people in my life suffer yet cling to the knowledge that I serve a good God, I have struggled with the Bible’s teachings on prayer. I used to read the verses which seemed to promise immediate physical healing with great cynicism.

At last I decided it was time for me to look into them properly, and I was somewhat surprised at what I discovered when I left my pride and preconceived ideas at the door.

praying for healing 2 www.calledtowatch.com #chronicillness #suffering #loneliness #caregiver #pain #caregiving #spoonie #faith #God #Hope

{POST 4}

How to pray for healing from Chronic Illnesses (Jesus prayed, I prayed, and neither of us were answered!)

It’s all very well for me to know that I OUGHT to pray – but how do I really go about praying for someone with an ‘incurable’ disease? I decided to look at the sort of prayers Jesus prayed – and also whether or not they were answered..

right way to pray for healing 2 www.calledtowatch.com #chronicillness #suffering #loneliness #caregiver #pain #caregiving #spoonie #faith #God #Hope

 

// What sort of struggles have you had with the idea of prayer? I’d love to hear about them!

PS: Enjoyed the post above? Get the next one delivered straight to you! Sign up for email notifications  

I’m also on Facebook, Pinterest & Twitter! Meet me there for more interesting reads, resources and community.

Prayer, chronic illness & healing (Part 1)

Prayer. Healing. Chronic Illness.
These are tricky topics, and ones I’ve struggled with quite a bit. In these two posts you will find my thoughts… and why prayer has often seemed like a simple ‘wish’ when really it’s more like a magic wand.

Prayer, chronic illness & healing

{POST 1}

Prayer + Chronic illness = ? (Or, why we need to make up our minds about prayer)

When I was little I used to search the chip packet for wish chips.

Chips in general were rare, and those double folded chips were even rarer. When you ate them you were meant to make a wish. Like wish bones in chickens and blowing out birthday candles.

Every time I crunched a wish chip, I wished for the same thing… read more

prayer and chronc illness www.calledtowatch.com #chronicillness #suffering #loneliness #caregiver #pain #caregiving #spoonie #faith #God #Hope

{POST 2}

Why we should pray for healing in chronic illness (and 3 reasons it is so hard)

If a wizard doesn’t have a wand, we begin to doubt whether he truly is a wizard. If he has one, and doesn’t use it… well that’s just silly! … 
Often my prayers for my Mum’s healing seem repetitive.

They exhaust me.

I don’t feel like dragging sickness into my prayer life… read more.

praying for healing why 2 www.calledtowatch.com #chronicillness #suffering #loneliness #caregiver #pain #caregiving #spoonie #faith #God #Hope

{HAPPY CHRISTMAS}

Christmas is coming up, and I want to thank you for following my blog. When you sign up you’ll receive 3 downloadable and printable cards suitable for someone with a chronic illness – and anyone in need of some love!

PS: Enjoyed the post above? Get the next one delivered straight to you! Sign up for email notifications  

I’m also on Facebook, Pinterest & Twitter! Meet me there for more interesting reads, resources and community.

Should I be encouraging my chronically ill friend to serve?

We can’t really be expected to hold our friends accountable when they can barely get out of bed… can we?

Accountability and encouragement are two things we talk a lot about as Christians.

Similarly, we know that the Bible calls us all to serve God.

But what do we do when our friend (who we are supposed to be encouraging to serve) is chronically ill?

Surely sickness lets them off the hook?

We can’t really be expected to hold them accountable in this area when they can barely get out of bed… can we?

To read the rest of the post head over to Blogs by Christian Women where I am guest posting this week!

 

PS: Enjoyed the post above? Get the next one delivered straight to you! Sign up for email notifications  

I’m also on Facebook, Pinterest & Twitter! Meet me there for more interesting reads, resources and community.

Sickness and Jesus’ response

We can talk on and on about how we ought to respond to our chronically sick Loved Ones.

We can outline what the Right Thing to do is, or make lists of What Not To Do.

But in the end, if we claim Jesus as our Saviour and role model, the only thing that really matters is how He responded.

Like father, like son.

Like Saviour, like saved.

Being a Christian is copying Jesus.

But Jesus is impossible to copy!

When we think about Jesus’ response to the sick, we think immediately of his miraculous healings – and then we give up.

In case you haven’t realised … we can’t heal.

Of course we can implement medicine or relief strategies, but we can’t wave our hands and miraculously banish sickness.

If only.

Continue reading “Sickness and Jesus’ response”

Can Jesus really sympathise?

“Jesus knows what you’re going through.”

The Bible tells us that Jesus as a High Priest can sympathise with all of our sufferings. That He knows what it is to be human.

I have often rebelled against that.

Was Mary sick with an incurable disease? Was Joseph? Did one of Jesus’ brothers or sisters suffer from epilepsy or depression or MS?

If not, then how can He possibly know what it’s like to be a Watcher?

How can He possibly sympathise with me?
Continue reading “Can Jesus really sympathise?”