Where Do I ‘Belong’ When I Live With Chronic Illness?

“My beloved is mine, and I am his;” Song of (Solomon 2:16, New American Standard Bible)

Have you ever put a jigsaw puzzle together and upon picking up one piece – wondered where in the world it fit? It may not even look as if it belongs to the puzzle you are making. It simply doesn’t seem to belong.

Sometimes, that is how facing chronic challenges can feel. It is as if we are that puzzle piece that just doesn’t seem to belong. We may have felt we belonged somewhere else before our illness, or if we are one of the many who have grown up challenged, we may never have felt we belonged anywhere.

It’s not a good feeling.

I belong to a chat group for folks with chronic illnesses and somehow “belonging” became our topic: Just where do we “belong” now?

According to one of the lesser-known psychologists, Alfred Adler, belonging is one of the most important needs we have. We need to know where we fit in.

I’ve spent the last few years searching out where I belong now. All the places I formerly ‘fit,’ have been left behind me. It’s been a huge loss. Yet, even as I struggle, God opens new doors. I am making new friends, finding things I can do even while homebound, and ever-so-slowly, feeling I belong somewhere.

And in my searching for a place to fit in, I began to realize there is one place I have belonged all along. You see, God doesn’t mind that I can’t go out to eat and visit anymore. He doesn’t mind that I tire easily. He doesn’t turn away and leave me because I have bad days. He even puts up with my ill temper and cries of loneliness. He listens. And shows me He is still there – caring.

I think it is vital for us to have a sense of belonging. I think it is vital for us to fit in. While it is good to find those places in the earthly realm, I think we will never find a true sense of belonging until we realize that we belong to Him.

Scripture tells us that We are His Beloved. He is ours.

Today, I pray you make Him yours.

About the Author:
deni believes that the only true way to deal with chronic pain and chronic illness is to bring them to the feet of her Lord and Savior. Her multiple challenges (Ankylosing Spondylitis, Porphyria, Celiac Sprue, and Atrial Fibrillation to name a few) have taught her many things about herself and her Christian walk. It is her fondest desire that her lessons may be helpful to others as they walk the path of chronic challenges. She may be reached at EncouragingWords@me.com. Her website is
http://www.pathwaysforchange.com/Encouragement

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7 thoughts on “Where Do I ‘Belong’ When I Live With Chronic Illness?

  1. deni,

    How true, we do belong to Him! Yet we still seem to keep feeling the need to belong somewhere else – but as you remind us, God is giving us new ways, new friends, new things we can do – we just need to notice them.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Fiona

  2. Really great devotional! This is exactly where I was living this weekend. Spending time with a young and active neice and didn’t have the energy to go anywhere with her. I really struggled with feeling like the boring relative with nothing to offer. A friend reminded me that I didn’t need to go anywhere to show love – I could do that right where I was. Sometimes I wrestle with God because I can’t do things my way, so I convince myself I can do nothing – instead of asking for His plan and what impact He has already carefully constructed for me to have.

    Thanks so much for the reminder that our value is never diminished in His sight!

    God bless,
    Faye

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  4. Fiona and Faye – thank you both for your responses. How similar the lives we all live are – and our human needs. What a blessing that we have a God who understands and reaches to us, even in our pain.

    In Him,

    deni

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