Having had chronic illness for over 25 years, it’s become a way of life for me. An adaptation of sorts has taken place to enable me to live as well as I can, with a disconnect between my hopes and living reality.
Do I believe I can be healed? Yes, of course. Many have prayed for that to happen over the years. Maybe God feels I am best positioned to witness to His grace just as I am? Though I don’t discount degrees of [or complete] healing taking place.
I was brought up short recently in the area of having faith enough to fully overcome my painful past. Some days the pain of it hits me afresh and I wonder if I will finally achieve a renewed view of things.
Because scars remain in our wounding places, and they are easily picked at when the enemy unsettles our thoughts. I long to move on from these reminders but on my worst days it can feel insurmountable, with a great disconnect between heart and head.
I note the irony of being a Faith writer, a woman who actively seeks to help and encourage others in their walk with God, yet who still has times of doubt about receiving all that God desires to give to her.
It takes a lot of courage to drop our defences at God’s feet and willingly open our arms to the warm embrace of Love and Freedom which He longs to give to His broken sons and daughters.
Maybe, like me, you release your doubts slowly with some things and with great ease with others that do not have such a stranglehold on your heart, mind and emotions. I hope the poem below will help you to feel less alone, especially if this is a difficulty for you too.
I believe, I really do, but where I stumble is in receiving
because there’s a disconnect between heart and head
even though you can preach it, sister, and so can I, we
can feel it, see it, say it, read it, yet still become deaf
and dumb, sit on the fence instead of leaping in when
faith demands a bigger risk than we’ve taken yet.
Words spill out upon the page and I assume they will
become assimilated by osmosis somehow, touch me
like I hope and pray they will reach and mean something
to someone else, because that’s why I write: to help
and encourage others in their own daily fight, their battle
to overcome the painful things life has done to them.
But it isn’t enough to have faith for those whose lives we touch
if we cannot have an unshakeable belief it can happen for us,
and be able to trace signs of change appearing within
making a difference we can sense, a tangible answer
to our hope and prayers, a light in the darkness, while we
continue to faithfully fan the flames of faith for others.
What it takes to change is having our minds transformed by grace. What helps us to move on is seeing how strong we already are in Christ. And asking for God’s help to receive the healing He desires to give us, as we trust more in His Word than we do in our wobbly emotions.
Help our unbelief. Strengthen our faith in you and your power to change what seems hopeless or lost to us. By your grace, grant us a renewed mindset and a changed heart. Amen
Oh, thank you for these words today! The tears are falling as I read this thought:
“sit on the fence instead of leaping in when
faith demands a bigger risk than we’ve taken yet”
In this chronic illness journey, somedays it feels so impossible to take any step, let alone a leap! But what a precious Lord we have–He never stops calling us forward. Even when that forward looks different than what I want it to look like. He still has NEW in mind, and a deeper healing than I could have envisioned. Thank you for sharing your deep heart with us here. It is bringing a blessing to me from the Lord, in the place where He is calling me. Blessings and Hugs and Love to you! xoxo
Dear Bettie, I so appreciate your openness and transparency in sharing how you feel about the words you read and how they affect your outlook on things. Living well with chronic illness takes a lot of courage. Thankfully, God provides exactly that (especially when we ask) and hefty measures of His grace to see us through each day. Though we may falter and feel like failures, our heavenly Father is always celebrating and rejoicing over us. He knows better than anyone else just what it takes to cope with pain, constraints and challenges on a daily basis.
And when we think our faith is not enough? Then God lovingly strengthens our hearts to face the things in front of us and to trust completely in His endless mercy. We may think we’re falling backwards but each step we take is actually leading us further forward. I wrote a few years ago about how the miracle doesn’t always look like we expect it to. Sometimes the greater miracle isn’t physical healing but enduring the pain and developing an ability to shine for Him in our adverse circumstances, while we offer hope and encouragement to others. You do that, sweet friend, you really do. Blessings, hugs and love! xoxo
This brings tears to my eyes, Joy. I so understand all of these feelings. Especially when those scars are scraped open again, it’s so hard to believe things for ourselves that we believe so readily for others. I love this truth-filled reminder – “What it takes to change is having our minds transformed by grace. What helps us to move on is seeing how strong we already are in Christ.” Thank you! Love and hugs to you!
Oh Trudy, while I am so thankful for your understanding, I still fervently wish that experiences like this were far from both of us. The positive side is to have kind sisters in solidarity who totally get how we feel. And though I would also prefer that neither of us struggled to believe the faith filled things we so readily share with others, it helps to know we are not alone in finding these things challenging on a personal level. Overcoming the enemy’s lies is a hard battle but we are assured of our victory having already been secured in Christ. May we join together to pray for and support one another in seeing ourselves as glorious victors instead of fearful victims. Love and hugs to you too, dear friend! xo 💜
Hi Joy! I think you have hit on a very big issue with people who write about faith. Not being sure sometimes, and struggling is so common for everyone! From best selling writers to blogger to the man in the pew. Remember the man who said “I believe! Help my unbelief.” That really speaks oceans to me.
None of us has perfect faith, and I think that’s why God loves us so much. He knows we are only human, but we keep on trying. What father wouldn’t love that about his child?
May God bless you with his powerful spirit on your hard days, so you come to a newer, higher place of faith. And may you feel him hold your hand in the darkness of those days too.
Hi Ceil, thank you so much for your kind, encouraging thoughts. I’m exhaling in relief as I read. There’s such joy in knowing we’re not alone in our struggles. The verse you mention was on my mind when I wrote this post. I give thanks to the Apostle we term “doubting Thomas” for how he paved the way for us to have permission to ask the awkward questions and to be open about how doubt sits alongside our faith. I love the way you depict God as a loving, ever patient Father, smiling even as we wrestle with our how, when and why, like puzzled toddlers needing answers! Bless you for your lovely closing blessing. It’s exactly what I need. Love and hugs to you, dear friend! xo 💜
Joy, thank you for these words. I totally understand and it was if I was saying this to myself. It’s so hard when we give and give and give and yet, still hurt inside. It’s difficult when there are times of unbelief because of all that life has done to us.
I needed to read this this morning. I need to let the words soak in. I pray God’s healing will continue to work its way to the outside. Since being ill, I have found God has been doing a great deal of soul healing. Slowly. Deeply. But still, there it is, glimmers of light in the deep dark places.
God bless you, my beautiful sister and friend. Thank you again for your raw honesty. You are not alone. Hugs xx
Tanya, you give so tremendously that it’s not surprising if you feel dry, drained and depleted at times. We need to become refuelled and refreshed ourselves, as well as offering help and encouragement to those in need. That inner hurt is heard by our Chief Shepherd. He carries us tenderly when we feel unable to do much at all.
God’s work within tends to take precedence over outer healing, but it doesn’t rule out the opportunity of it happening. Soul healing can feel uncomfortable, yet it’s a necessary moulding to change us into greater Christ-likeness. Praise God for those “glimmers of light in the deep dark places”! And for granting us insights to share on the journey. God bless you, dear sister and friend. Your beautiful soul shines so brightly for Him. Thank you for your honesty here. I really appreciate you taking time to leave such a considered response. Love and hugs. xo 💜
The Lord has been teaching the message to my heart of His healing being internal more than we can see on the outside. Still the changes can be visual in the ways we behave and react when life gets hard. Blessings, sister!
Hello Chanda, I totally agree with the insights you have shared. Far more goes on beneath the surface than we might realise. God works first and foremost on our hearts but the effects of a renewed mindset do become apparent in the way we act or react. Thanks for stopping by. It’s lovely to hear from you again. Bless you, friend! 😊💜
What a beautiful, faith-filled post! My own issues with chronic illness have been acting up in the past few months. What you have written here speaks to the challenge many of us who are trying to walk with God and serve others face regularly. It always helps to hear that someone else is facing similar challenges. There is a strength in realizing we benefit from sharing our challenges with our “tribe”. We can be here for each other. There is a lot of compassion and understanding to be offered to others that resides in the hearts of failth-filled people who are walking this chronic illness journey. Thank you for providing these living messages of faith and healing! I send my prayers and love to you and your family, as well!
Dear Nelda, I am so sorry to hear how you are struggling with chronic illness right now. These bad seasons tend to knock us flat just when we desire (and often need) to be strong. It definitely helps to share our struggles of life and faith with our “tribe” and you are a vital part of mine. Together we are stronger, if only because of the sheer relief of knowing we are not alone. You have exercised tremendous encouragement and sweet support to me and I am honoured to call you friend. Thank you for being here and revealing the compassion of Christ through your words. I am truly thankful for your love and prayers and send the same to you and yours, with loving hugs across the internet! Bless you for letting me know how you are currently situated. I hope and pray your health will rally and improve very soon. xo 😊💜
Your beautiful and poetic words here strike a chord with me, especially as you write about scars and wounded places and unsettled thoughts. I’m constantly fighting the words on repeat in my head that tell me maybe I don’t have enough faith to see God change me or my circumstances or others, but that’s when I too, pray Lord, help my unbelief! I love those vulnerable words in the scriptures and I’m joining you in asking God for a renewed perspective and stronger faith this season! Sending much love! xoxo
Hi Valerie, the lies we hear in our head are hard to ignore, aren’t they? Thankfully, God sees into our hearts and answers even the merest speck of faith He finds there. We tend to think we need to have faith enough to see all our prayers answered, our mountains moved and life’s challenges lesson or vanish somehow, forgetting that God makes those things happen if and when it’s according to His will and timing. May we both rest in knowing He loves us so very much and always has our best interests at heart. May our faith be strengthened by His grace and our Hope not diminish during life’s storms. We may face uncertain seasons but we trust in One who controls the waves that threaten to overwhelm. I love how willing God is to grant us wisdom when we ask Him to. Much love and hugs returned to you, dear friend! xoxo
I believe. Lord, help my unbelief. Yes, dear one, that is a prayer I pray often. We are weak but He is strong. You are a great encouragement to me, friend.
Dear June, it’s an oft repeated prayer on our journey of life and faith, isn’t it? And one our Lord loves to answer. Thank you for being here, sweet friend. You encourage me every time you stop by! xo ❤