The fatigue and squeezing feeling around my heart had now been there for two weeks. So the questions began. Should I call my doctor? If so, do I call my family doctor or one of my specialists? Is this a new symptom of one of my current chronic illnesses or is this a new symptom that needs to be evaluated separately? Is this a side effect of one of the medications? How long do I wait till I call a doctor? And on and on . . .
Those of us who grapple with one or more chronic illnesses ask these questions on a regular basis. As a result, confusion can reign and we end up shifting our focus entirely to our new symptoms or to our illness, sapping our joy, peace, and much needed energy.
What we often forget is our answers are only a prayer or a Bible verse away. We need to pray specifically for answers to the questions we have, and we need to keep reading our Bible daily as God often answers us there, with a Scripture we may have read many times, but suddenly, one that has new meaning to us.
If you are married, your spouse also can be a treasure chest of wisdom because he/she lives with you and your illness daily.
In the verse from Jeremiah above, God was reaching toward His people, encouraging them that He would restore them, and they would not stumble. But He instructed them to pray as He brought them back.
We also need to pray as we ask for restoration of our bodies, minds, and spirits. Although God may not tell us specifically whether to call the doctor if a new symptom appears, He promises to walk with us through the process and to lead us beside streams of water on a level path where we will not stumble.
Prayer: God, help us to trust that You will guide us through the many tears and the confusion that comes with chronic illness. When we have questions, remind us to stop and pray, knowing You will bring us on a path where we will not stumble. Amen.
About the Author:
Jackie Confalone lives in Pennsylvania with her “groom” of 30 years, Gary. They have 2 grown children. She “lives” with three invisible illnesses, ulcerative colitis, endometriosis, and late stage lyme disease, and each of her family members has at least one chronic illness. She feels blessed that God has used her experiences to help others with chronic illnesses. She has started posting some writings at http://jackieconfalone.wordpress.com/.
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Where do you find answers when you are confused about a new symptom that appears in your life of chronic illness?