“You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in Your Word. (Psalm 119:114)
Hope can be a difficult thing to have when you have a chronic illness. Chronic illnesses are long-term or even life-long struggles we have to deal with. Sometimes the future can look pretty depressing when you realize that you may never get better. Hope is a thing I personally struggle with sometimes. But God can give us hope.
When I first was diagnosed five years ago with migraines and joint hypermobility syndrome (a disorder where over-flexible joints cause pain and weak muscles), dealing with the knowledge that my pain may never go away was hard. I was twelve and it was hard to accept my new normal.
It’s still hard to look ahead and see what God wants to do with the broken, chronically ill me. I don’t know how I am going to handle this in the future and sometimes it can be scary. But I try to find hope and strength in the Lord. I know that He has a perfect plan for the chronically-ill-me.
When you have an illness people don’t always understand you or your illness and sometimes they equate your appearance to feeling better or think that your new treatment must have magically made everything better. When your friends and family don’t understand it is easy to lose hope. .
We have to remember that God has a plan through our illness. Maybe one day you will be healed. But maybe–just maybe–your story and your illness could help other people. We have a linear, narrow perspective of ourselves and we don’t know the future. God knows what He is doing and He loves us more than we can ever understand. He has a plan to use our illnesses for His glory and with His glorious plan we can find peace and hope.
Prayer: God, Help us find hope even while we are ill and hurting. Help us realize that You are in control. Amen.
About the author:
Brittany Alexander is a 17-year-old student with celiac disease, joint hypermobility syndrome, and migraines. Although she has been chronically ill most of her life she tries to make the best of it. She enjoys math, computers and clarinet.
How do you plan to find hope in the Lord?
There will be times when our prayers seem unanswered, when we suffer setbacks and disappointments, but we can be assured that God has never left our side and never stopped putting our needs at the top of his list. This song is “Every Beat of My Broken Heart” with Hawk Nelson has some powerful lyrics about God’s faithfulness even when we are not healed or our prayers are answered the way we had hoped. -Lisa