How Can The Losses From Illness Lead To Friendships We Never Imagined

unexpected-friendshipsThough some friendships don’t withstand our illnesses, Kerryn shares how God can provide other, even deeper, relationships we didn’t expect.

“I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face. Peace to you. The friends here send their greetings. Greet the friends there by name” (3 John 1:14).

One very common difficulty during chronic illnesses is losing friends. It’s something extremely painful, but sadly very “normal” for many of us. I too have had to deal with this and it’s not easy.

It’s not simple for people to come to visit me, and not by choice. My sleep patterns are nocturnal, I have no energy to go out, and chemicals are a problem. This makes it very difficult for friends to visit, so they naturally move on with their busy lives.

Prior to chronic invisible illnesses I had many close friends that I could list on two hands, but that dropped away over time.

What I’ve realized recently is that my closest friends can’t be listed on two hands! I’d need my toes and to borrow fingers from others!

How could this be?!

When did this change?

God guiding me to the Rest Ministries site and the Sunroom in early in 2012 has brought me in contact with many, many dear new Christian friends. What is even more amazing is that I’ve now met three of them face to face!

The first was special timing. God orchestrated this person to be in a different state, at a conference center that was a couple of blocks away from my naturopath’s consulting rooms. I had an appointment there, as she completed her study course for the day. Divine intervention for us to meet!

Since then God seems to keep opening up opportunities to meet face to face with dear Rest Ministries friends.

I encourage you to look into what opportunities He may be opening for you to meet up with fellow Rest Ministries friends. We live all over the world and God loves to connect us online, but in person too.

May God surprise you with new friendship opportunities, despite illnesses.

Prayer: Lord, please help us with our aching hearts from the loss of dear friends. Help us to create new friends and guide us to fresh new opportunities, through Your eyes. Amen.

About the Author:
Kerryn Wright lives with her family amongst the gum trees in South Australia. She was a special education teacher prior to chronic illnesses. Her husband is carer for three of their family, who have chronic illnesses and disabilities. God has always guided them through life’s challenges, often in surprising ways.

How have you enabled yourself to grieve the loss of friendships? Have you ever considered the opportunity of meeting up with others from Rest Ministries? How can you forget the barriers and open up this possibility with the Lord?

When I read Kerryn’s devotional tears came to my eyes. O, how amazing our God is! And that Kerryn lives not in he USA, where we are based, but in New Zealand, shows how God knows no boundaries of our mere continents, even when it comes to logistics.

I hope you enjoy this song with MikesChair as they sing “All I Can Do (Thank You).” Thank God for friends and unexpected joys! -Lisa

8 thoughts on “How Can The Losses From Illness Lead To Friendships We Never Imagined

  1. I just want to clarify that I’m an Aussie, not a New Zealander. All 3 of those people that visited me are Aussies too, but 2 of them live in another state, which is at least 8 hours drive from me, making them very special. Lotsoluv Kerryn

  2. Kerryn, you yourself are one of my new special friendships that God has seen fit to bless me with! Thank you for all you do, and for who you are. Love you. Heart Hugs, Shelly ❤

  3. The hardest part of becoming disabled is losing contact with the friends that you worked with. It’s easy to get discouraged and lonely. I am legally blind and can’t drive so I am stuck at home most of the time. My on line friends have been a blessing. I got to meet one of my friends a couple of years ago. It was so exciting! Bless you Kerryn and everyone who writes the devotionals, another huge blessing!

    • Thanks Della. 🙂
      Yes, I miss my work friends too, though I do often email one of them.
      Sorry to hear that you’re “stuck at home most of the time.”
      I’m DELIGHTED to read that you: “got to meet one of my friends a couple of years ago!” That would have been VERY exciting! I think that because it’s so rare it becomes super special & we don’t take it for granted. I pray that you’re able to meet again with a friend in the near future. God bless. Lotsoluv Kerryn..

  4. Karen, Once again you spoke of something close to my heart and though it saddens me that so many experience this with chronic illness, I am also glad to hear it is not just me. Just another thing I have become more aware of and compassionate about with the chronically ill. In the past, before I struggled myself, I may have not made an effort to befriend a chronically ill person or even someone going through a difficult time because I assumed that they already have their core group of friends, who have probably been there for them for a long time and they are not going feel like opening up to me, virtually a stranger to them, at a time like this. One example of this is when a friend of mine from way back lost her son in a car accident. Of course I grieved with her and sent my condolences, but when it came to moving on with daily life, I figured she already had her good friends who she’s been friends with before this happened. Our friendship had just kind of fizzled so long ago due to different interests. She was so heavy on my heart and yet and I didn’t think she’d want me trying to be there for her now when she had just lost her son. Come to find out, she also had friends who thought it was too hard to be there for her and she was very lonely and the way I found this out was she decided to reconnect with me as God had put me on her heart due to my illness. And did I turn her away and say, “I have my friends who have been there all along, you have no right to think you can slip into my life now!” Of course not! I was actually feeling quite lonely as I had few friends who were still wanting to travel this difficult road with me and I welcomed her concern and her company! I now know that those people who are chronically ill or going though difficult times can be VERY alone and may NOT have a plethora of friends…unless they join the Rest Ministries group! I agree with you that through this group, I have a whole new group of instantaneous friends, through the common bond of illness, who truly seem to care about me. And I haven’t even been here that long! I also think that is so amazing that you have actually met several of them! That would be so special. Bless your day, Kerryn and thank you for sharing your heart once again! Love and Blessings, Tab

    • Thanks for your beautiful words Tabitha. 🙂
      Sorry to read that you have been through the loss of friends too. ♥ It really is the “norm” isn’t it!
      What you wrote about your friend going through a grief journey is VERY similar to an illness journey when it comes to friendships. I’ve heard this all too many times too.
      How wonderful that you’ve now both connected & can bring joy to each other’s lives in friendship. A special story…. thanks for sharing it.
      I’m DELIGHTED that you feel so at home on RM now & also have made some great new friends! Woo hoo! Thanks Lord. (Also BIG thanks to Lisa Copen for starting RM!)
      I pray that God will open up an avenue to meet up with an RM friend, in His perfect timing. God bless. Lotsoluv Kerryn

  5. Pingback: Chronic Illness and The 5 Stages of Loss and Grief - Counting My Spoons

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