How To Not Overwhelm Loved Ones About Your Illness

We need the support of our loved ones but how can we share without starting to overwhelm them? Karlton shares.

“He would not let me catch my breath but would overwhelm me with misery.” (Job 9:18)

In the early years of my affliction, when I was completely overwhelmed at the downturn in my health, I fear I laid too much of that burden upon my wife and other family members. Sometimes we become so encompassed by affliction, we fail to understand that not only are we overwhelmed, we are overwhelming those around us as well.

I have to frequently remind myself that if my burden is too much for me to bear, it is certainly too much for others to bear. I must take my heavy burden before the Lord, ask for His help, and not try to lift more than I can carry at one time.

I heard a story once about someone standing beside God, watching as God kept laying a heavier and heavier load upon people who could barely stand beneath the burden. The person asked God, “Why do you lay even more upon their shoulders when they are already sinking beneath the load?”

God then tells the person, “It is when they can no longer lift the heavy burden that they will turn and ask Me for help.”

There is nothing wrong with taking our needs to our brothers and sisters, to our friends and family members. But what I try to do is be selective. I do not go through the alphabet of every ache and pain, every symptom of my illness, every aspect of my affliction.

I tell people what I most need. I tell them at most two or three things that are of primary importance to pray for, or help me with. I avoid the “laundry list” of my illness.

Often when I pray, I sense God wants to know the single thing that is most important to me, the one thing I am most concerned about. I believe if we tackle the worst problem, we can then move on to deal with the other issues.

And when it comes to those around us, we should share our struggles, and as scripture says, carry each other’s burdens, but let us not overwhelm those who truly want to help us by expecting them to carry each and every burden in our lives.

Prayer: Dear Lord, help me with the one big issue I have today. Amen.

About the Author:
Karlton Douglas lives in Ohio with his lovely wife. His desire is to fight his battles wisely, one war at a time.

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by your difficulties? Have you ever overwhelmed others with all of your challenges?

It’s easy to have expectations that our loved ones should fill our needs when we need to talk, vent, whatever, but only God has the ability to be our “everything.” I think you will like this song with Matthew West, “You are Everything.”

Matthew wrote this song and then discovered that he had hemorrhaging caused by some polyps. He was told by his doctors that vocal surgery was the only option. Thankfully, his 2007 surgery was successful, but he still had a two-month period of silence for “vocal rest.” He shares about this in the beginning of the video. -Lisa

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2 thoughts on “How To Not Overwhelm Loved Ones About Your Illness

  1. Good job on this topic of not overwhelming others with the laundry list of our illness. I appreciate your thoughtfulness and directness, without being preachy. Thanks, Stan

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