The Strength of the Chronically Ill

chronicallillThere are a number of people I know who are currently suffering from chronic illness. Chronic illness is dealing with a sickness, a disorder, or something of that nature that won’t go away. It’s with you every day.

Those of us who do suffer from chronic illness may experience many symptoms that are not always readily apparent to others. Daily pain, irritation, tiredness, fevers, tingling sensations, mental lapses, depression, and worst of all, hopelessness. Although hopelessness is not limited to those of us who have chronic illness, for just the purposes of this article, I’m going to be discussing my understanding of it here.

After all, as of this writing, I do not suffer from a chronic illness. Through my career as a podcast host, I have had the honor and pleasure to interview many people who do. A pattern of I’ve noticed with those who have chronic illness is the fact they know how to fake it. When asked how are they doing, more often than not, they smile (or grimace) and say, “Fine.”

The truth of the matter is that they are NOT fine. They are hurting. For some, they don’t LOOK sick. They put on make-up, brush their hair, take a bath or a shower, smell good, go to work, go to church, sing in the choir, mop the floors, etc. But they’re not FINE. Most days, they’re anything but FINE. Even as they’re smiling, they’re being lashed by pain across their nerve cells. While they’re walking, nausea fills their stomach or an acidic bitter taste coats the back of their throat.

At night, they can at least be more open about their pain. Is it because in the darkness, no one is there to see the tears, the hopelessness, the anguish? Not to mention the prayers, the wishes for their chronic illness to just go away.

What’s worse than having a chronic illness? Hearing these statements:

“You’re not really sick.”

“If you’re sick, you’re not doing X or Y. If you do X and Y, then you’ll be better.”

“You need to pray harder.”

“Your faith is what is keeping you from being well.”

Newsflash: those statements aren’t helping. These will.

Do you really think those who suffer from chronic illness HAVEN’T had these thoughts? Do you really think they haven’t prayed, tried the new medicines, the new treatment, the new oil? Do you really think they haven’t tried to think positive or haven’t entertained the thought they maybe it’s all in their heads?

My heart has been heavy for those of us who suffer from chronic illness. So very heavy. They are braver than those of us who are “well” because they have not let themselves stop living. They could and maybe their quality of life is limited due to their illness but here’s the thing – they’re still ALIVE and KICKING.

It may be a weak kick. Sometimes, it may even be from lying down in bed for weeks at a time. It may be their bodies are wracked with pain, with tingles, and fevers. It may be their wallets are empty from the medications that alleviates the pain. It may be the supplements are too expensive or the naturopathic treatments are only managing the illness but not curing it. It may be from isolation because their immune systems are MIA.

They have not given up the fight yet. They’re like boxers in the ring – no matter they keep getting knocked down on their backs, they scramble back up, spit, and stare into the cold eyes of their illness with unwavering determination and say, “Is that all you got?”

The chronically ill are stronger because when no one would blame them for giving up, they refuse to. They are, in fact, stronger than most of us.

I’ve been talking more so about my thoughts and admiration for those I know who are chronically ill. But let me give you my source of inspiration.

I have to go back to the Bible and to scripture. The narrative of when the apostle Paul went to the Lord about a ‘thorn in his flesh’. The apt phrase of ‘a thorn in the flesh’ is one of the best, in my opinion, to describe chronic illness.  He went to the Lord more than once and asked Him to remove it.

“And he [the Lord] said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”

Paul’s response could have been sulkiness. He could have left the faith and said, “I’m not doing this anymore. I’m HURTING. Don’t you get it!”

Instead, Paul says this: “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong

(For full context and discussion, please read 2 Corinthians 12:1-10)

The scientific and medical communities are doing all they can to help with research and methodologies to help our chronically ill brothers and sisters. Let’s do what we can to support them with our time and our money.

We look to athletes, celebrities, and political figures for inspiration. We exalt them in some manner because they’re supposedly the ones to look up to. Maybe we should look and praise the chronically ill for the inherent strength the Lord gave them.

For my brothers and sisters who suffer from chronic illness, thank you for the strength you give me. You will be in my prayers and know that you are not alone and neither are you forgotten.

I hope you’re having a good day today.

 

 

 

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The Parker J Cole Prayer Broadcast

Parker J Cole Banner“O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name…”Nehemiah 1:11

So much has happened this summer. The world watched as the U. S. was struck with hurricane after hurricane. We watched as Puerto Rico and the Caribbean were decimated by them. Bangladesh flooded and destroyed villages and killed many more. Thousands left without homes. The ground shook in Mexico and took the lives of many. We have watched as heads of state in various countries bicker back and forth about nuclear power and weapons of destruction. Apathy has grown in our youth. Despondency in our elderly. Complacency in our adults.

In our own personal lives, we have failed relationships, painful pasts, uncertain futures, a rocky present, illness-racked bodies, lint filled pockets, unrealized dreams, wakeful nights, and tortured minds.

The hymn, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” says “What a friend we have in Jesus/All our sins and griefs to bear/What a privilege to carry/Everything to God in prayer

Often, we think of prayer as the last line of defense when it’s our first level of attack. We will be praying for all of us today. Call in at 646-668-8485, press 1 to be live on air. Or, download Stitcher on your mobile device. Or, click on the link here: http://tobtr.com/10304349.

The Lost will be Found — The Parker J Cole Show

“I didn’t want to have anything to do with God,” Muriel told me as we sat under the shade of the palms trees in sunny California a few weeks ago. “I was an atheist for fifty-two years.” 

So begins the fascinating story of one woman’s tale from atheist to believer and an ambassador of Jesus Christ.

Does God pursue those of us who don’t want to have anything to do with Him? Does His Feet tread softly behind our running steps as we race in the other direction whenever we see a glimpse of His shadow in our lives? Do we duck around the corner when we hear a whisper of His voice we cannot ignore? Will those of us who are lost, be found?

Join me as I talk with Muriel about her story of conversion from atheist to believer. You can call in a 646-668-8485, press 1 to be live on air. Or, download Stitcher on your mobile device. Or, click on the link here: http://tobtr.com/10170397.

Write Stuff Author Spotlight — Back from Broken by Rosheka Henry

Write Now Literary is pleased to announce Back From Broken by Rosheka Henry Virtual book Tour January 9-20, 2017.

Book Release Date: June 2016

Genre: Religious/Self Help

About The Book

BACK FROM BROKEN is the story of one woman’s journey back to wholeness. It is one woman’s pursuit to getting rid of what was holding her back from being who God has called her to be. This story will give you the heartbreak and bitterness that one holds onto but decides to let go of so that Wholeness can begin.  This book will enlightened you, teach you what you need to know and empower you, and equip you with the tools that you need in order to walk in your wholeness, the last thing that I hope that this book can do for you is to impact you.














About The Author


ROSHEKA SHONTA HENRY is a native of Georgia, and was raised in Alabama. She grew up to love the medical field, and spent the majority of her career working at surrounding community hospitals as a phlebotomist and patient register. She is a proud and devoted member of Word of Truth Ministries, where her father, Pastor John L. Cook is the Sr. Pastor. She is also a certified dance instructor, where she leads the dance ministry at her church. She also teaches praise dancing in the surrounding churches. Rosheka’s praise dance ministry has been featured on local television stations numerous times. She has received awards as well as trophies for her profound work in her dance ministry. She is very devoted to Kingdom work. God is her driving force. She is the author              of            “BACK                FROM BROKEN…A    DANCERS        JOURNEY                BACK  TO WHOLENESS”, which is the autobiography of her life. She has written a gospel song called “Hallelujah” song by an up and coming artist, that can be downloaded on all major online music apps, such as iTunes and Google Play. She is also a single mother of three gifted children.
Her passion in life is to empower women, as well as men, and children. Her love for mankind has driven her to pursue a path that will inspire others to be all that they can be in life and in Christ. She is an inspirational speaker as well as an advocate for women who are broken. She works closely with her church and local food bank feeding the hungry.
Rosheka has also had the opportunity to model for The Wonderful World of Fashion Show. She has been known to grace the camera with her smile for multiple companies in her area. She has a bright future in ministry and is looking to open a Non-profit Organization THE BACK FROM BROKEN CENTER for broken women looking for inner help.


Click here to read the excerpt 




Click here to follow the tour 




The Parker J Cole Show — Prayer vs Meditation

Parker J Cole BannerA few weeks back we discussed how to have an effective prayer life by understanding that prayer is the BEST weapon we have in the arsenal against spiritual warfare. On today’s show, we’ll be taking an in-depth look at prayer vs meditation. Many Christians practice yoga and other forms of alternative relaxation methods. One of those in particular is meditation. However, the question is should Christians meditate? Is prayer and meditation the same thing — one with words and one without? Does it matter?

These questions and many more we are going to dig into as I talk with my returning guest Marcia Montenegro from Christian Answers for the New Age.  A former channeler, astrologer, and occult practitioner, Marcia reaches and helps to peel back the veil between the subtle influences of New Age practices and beliefs that have crept into the church and the secular world.

You can call in at 646-668-8485, press 1 to be live on air. Or, you can download Stitcher on your mobile device. Or, click on the link here. http://tobtr.com/s/9056741Tune in!

Tonight on the Write Stuff — Special Edition of the Parker J Cole Show–I Miss You

*****SPECIAL BROADCAST*****

I aired this show on the Parker J Cole show about ten days ago. It has quickly become a show that has been listened to over and over again. Even through the holidays, people are grieving and dealing with pain. I hope this show encourages you as it has me.

__________________________________

The past several shows of the Parker J Cole have focused on dealing with difficult times during the Christmas season. This episode rounds it all up with a single phrase — I Miss You.

When a loved one has passed away it’s very difficult to get into the holiday spirit. The grief you may experience can be insurmountable, crushing you. It’s a black hole sucking the joy from your heart. It’s a tiny whole in the fabric of your universe siphoning away the happy times you’ve shared with you loved one.

All in all, you miss them.

How do you survive the holidays?

Join me with a survivor and author of the book “I Miss You: A Holiday Survival Kit” Gary Roe as he helps you to survive grief during the holidays. Call in at 646-595-2083, press 1 to be live on air. Or, click on the link here: http://tobtr.com/8174321. Tune In!

ABOUT THE BOOK

thumbLosing a loved one is painful. Life will never be the same.

And if this wasn’t hard enough, the holidays are bearing down upon you. What in the world are you supposed to do?

You need a grief survival kit designed for the holidays. That’s why I wrote Surviving the Holidays without You: Navigating Grief During Special Seasons.

As a hospice chaplain, I’ve had the honor of walking with thousands of hurting people through deep, dark valleys of grief. From my personal grief experiences and theirs, I’ve gathered some tools that can help you not only survive the holidays, but heal and grow through them.

Even though these holidays will be different, they can still be good – very good.

In Surviving the Holidays without You, you’ll discover the answers to these questions:

• Why are the holidays so hard?
• How can I manage my own and others’ expectations?
• Is it possible for holidays to be good this year? How?
• Sometimes I feel misunderstood, judged, and alone. How do I handle that?
• How can I grieve and celebrate at the same time?
• I need to make wise choices about what to do, when, and with whom. How do I do that?
• I don’t know how to move on. What does moving on look like?
• How can I use the holidays to grieve well, honor my loved one, and love others?

Give yourself the gift of navigating grief well this holiday season. You’ll be glad you did.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

2011-09-22_17.50.56_312px-300x139
Gary Roe has been a campus minister, church-planter in Japan, and pastor in Texas and Washington. He currently serves as a writer, speaker and chaplain with Hospice Brazos Valley in Central Texas.

He is the author of four books, including Heartbroken (Amazon Bestseller, 2015 National Indie Excellence Award Finalist) and Not Quite Healed (co-authored with New York Times Bestseller Cecil Murphey, 2013 Lime Award Finalist for Excellence in Non-Fiction). With more than 250 articles in print, he is a popular speaker at a wide variety of venues.

 

Tonight on the Show — Write Stuff Prayercast

prayerThe idea for this prayercast has been in my mind for a while. When it first popped up in my brain, I shooed it away, thinking it was just an errant thought. Over time, the idea began to solidify but I was still unsure. After all, I wanted to be certain it was something the Lord was leading me to do instead of a nice idea. Two weeks ago, at choir rehearsal, we had an impromptu intercessory prayer for one of our choir members going through. There are no words to describe what is it like to be aware of the Spirit in the room. Here, I knew the idea for this prayercast was definitely of the Lord and that He wanted me to do this.

Prayer is the order of the day. It’s as simple as that. if there was ever a time the Body of Christ needed to come together & pray, it’s now. For the church, for our families, for our countries.. The Bible verse from 2 Chronicles 7:14 says, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” Often this has been taken out of context to be used as sort of a ‘bell call’ to God to give us what we want. But this verse is calling us to humbleness, repentance, & dependence on the Lord.

For this edition of the Write Stuff, we will be taking prayer requests. Although my show focuses on authors, we’re not going to hang up the phone if you want prayer. Call in at 646-595-2083, press 1 to be live on air. Or, you can click on the link here: http://tobtr.com/s/8097353. Or, download the WLUV radio mobile app. Tune in!