I have a chronic illness: Is God calling me to sacrifice my health?

Dear Emily,

I have a chronic illness, and I’ve recently been challenged about what it looks like for me to serve, specifically in mission (whether domestic or overseas).

Today’s post is my thoughts in regards to a series of questions I was asked by Wendy.

Q1. Why does it seem noble to sacrifice personal comfort to serve God in a third world country, but not to sacrifice your energy (as someone who has chronic fatigue) to serve in my own country?

Firstly, I think you’re right when you say there’s a difference between giving up your health security in a general sense (moving to a 3rd world country) and specifically sacrificing it, knowing exactly what the consequences will be.

Both scenarios involve potential daily suffering, but they are different, and I think it’s very important to acknowledge that at the very beginning.

Continue reading “I have a chronic illness: Is God calling me to sacrifice my health?”

You cannot do it all (but what if you want to?)

When I think of ambition, I see someone fighting tooth and nail to get to the top of their career ladder
… and to be honest, that’s not me.

When I think of ambition, I imagine an athlete, struggling to stay ahead of their peers, striving for Olympic gold
… and to be honest, that’s not me.

 

When I think of ambition, I picture a work-a-holic father, shutting out his family and surviving on toast and beans in his desire for success
… and to be honest, that’s not me.

 

And yet, I’ve come to realise over the years that ambition can take different forms. Or perhaps what I am about to describe is not ambition exactly – and yet ambition is the best word I’ve found so far to describe it.

 

Ambition says, “I can do it all”.

What makes Ambition wrong?
What makes Ambition right?
Am I being called to give Ambition up? Am I okay with that?
 

And how can our ambition get in the way of our love for others and our calling to Watch?

Today this post is hosted over at my personal blog.
Read more about my thoughts and personal struggles with Ambition here. 
 

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LTCI 4: Why Illness is not everything

I recently went to a conference where I met a lot of new people.
Which (necessarily) led to lot of introductions – and because this was a writing conference, it also led to a lot of answering the question: what do you write?

Which in turn led to explaining about this blog, and after that, about my Loved Ones – namely, my mum and my sister. After the first five times I got my ‘blurb’ down pat:

“I write a blog about loving people with chronic illnesses, as my Mum has multiple diseases including pernicious anaemia and type 1 diabetes (with all its associated problems) and my sister had a brain tumour and now her body does not produce any hormones.”

It was a ‘neat’ answer, but after offering it a couple more times I found myself growing increasingly uncomfortable. I found it difficult to repeat, to the point where I had to practically force myself to say it and felt like I was rushing to get it over and done with.
Why?

Continue reading “LTCI 4: Why Illness is not everything”

“I’m fine, don’t worry about me!”(Watchers, we are not Saints)

“I’m okay.”
“I’ve got this.”
“Honestly, it’s fine, I promise.”
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that we are only a Watcher, and instead begin to think that we are (or should be) a “saint”.
This is what it looks like:

Watchers, we are not saints

Do you…

  • …. feel guilty all the time. I’m not a good Watcher. Not even passable. Why can’t I do anything right?
  • … gloss over your hardships and sacrifices. Oh I don’t do much, not at all. Yes I spent all day driving my loved one to appointments in the rain, but that doesn’t matter. It was nothing!
  • … never share your problems. I’m going fine. One’s got to do what they’ve got to do! Other people have it worse, after all.

Continue reading ““I’m fine, don’t worry about me!”(Watchers, we are not Saints)”

My Daughter has Chronic Fatigue (Helen’s Story)

“The journey is slow, and it consists of tiny steps.” May this interview be an encouragement that there are others out there too, struggling to love and seeking to give, all the while figuring out what it looks like to do exactly that.

It’s time… for the first interview with another watcher!

The blog series Another Watcher’s Story is a compilation of interviews with other people just like us who are in a relationship with someone suffering from a chronic illness: mental or physical. They may or may not be in an ‘official’ caregiving role, but they have a unique tale to tell.

The purpose of this blog is to remind us that we are not alone.

So without further ado, let me introduce Helen, the mother of a daughter who suffers from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Continue reading “My Daughter has Chronic Fatigue (Helen’s Story)”

2017 taught me that my timing is not always right (and that’s ok!)

They say you never stop learning. Though sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what you’re learning while you’re learning it!

Often I come away from a season in my life with the sense that I’ve just learned something: that my character has been shaped, that my knowledge has grown… but am unable to put into words exactly what.

That’s why I Iove reflection. Over the last few months there’s been an increasing pressure on my soul because I learnt something in 2017 that is important, and I don’t want it to dissipate as the calendar flips over.

Instead I want to cradle this truth close  as I march out into 2018. So here’s my attempt to put it down in letters on a white screen, so that the lesson might be worth the learning.

2017 taught me that my timing is not always right

2017 was full of projects…

Read more here

this post is published in its entirety on my personal blog, but I felt it was helpful for us over here too!

//What about you? What did 2017 teach your heart?

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Chronic Illness won’t let me celebrate the New Year 2018

As the old year ends and the New Year begins, society gears up to welcome in a new period of life. Parties and fireworks are often external signs of our joy and anticipation of a fresh start.

Many of us begin to make New Years resolutions… but the problem is these simply may not be applicable for you or your loved one suffering from a chronic illness.

With chronic illness, the most common resolutions may seem:

Unachievable (because you have limited energy):

Learn a new skill or language
Organise your life

Ridiculous (If only you had these problems):

Get a better work/life balance
Only party 1x per week

Heart-breaking (if only you could!):

Be the healthiest you possible
Achieve your dreams

Continue reading “Chronic Illness won’t let me celebrate the New Year 2018”

Traveling, chronic illness and character preparation

If you share a life with someone who struggles from a chronic illness, travelling can be difficult, exhausting and even terrifying.

As we progress further into December, many of us are preparing to go on holidays.

Recently I went away, and beforehand I did some preparation. Not the ‘buy insurance’, ‘print your papers’, ‘get the correct address’ sort of preparation, which unfortunately I was rather sadly lacking in (thank you Long-Suffering Friend!) – but character preparation.

What’s that, you ask?

It’s the type of preparation that I’ve discovered is essential for me to ‘get the most’ out of a holiday – as a human, friend, Watcher and Christian.

While this was one of the few times I travelled without my loved ones who struggle with chronic illness, many of the ways I prepared were born out of  holidays I’ve taken with them in the past.

These 5 ways are (in my mind!) applicable whether you’re travelling with chronically ill friends or by yourself, and even whether you’re going overseas or simply staying at home and taking some time out.

However, because they’re not specifically about chronic illness, I’ve published them on my other blog.

Here’s a taster image! Read the post here!

travelling as a christian www.gloryafterwards.wordpress.com #travel #christmas #hope #prepare #life
PS. I took this photo while I was away!

// I’d love to hear your thoughts! Do you agree, disagree? How do you prepare for holidays?

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!

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