Contributors

meet

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to share our stories, our faith journeys, and our pain–of living with chronic illnesses. We are honored to share a bit about ourselves.

If you wish to contact our devotional writers personally, (rather than leave a public comment on their blog) they will have provided contact information if they wish. Each writer does check the comments on their devotionals as well.

Patricia Armstrong

Pat is a retired elementary teacher of 34 years who lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and Harrisonburg, Va (Shenandoah Valley). Patricia and her dear husband, Richard, will move full time to Harrisonburg, when Richard retires in 2 years. Patricia has been dealing with pain from peripheral neuropathy for over 12 years. She is thankful that God has given her the strength to draw closer to Him during this time. Patricia enjoys church activities, reading, gardening and many volunteer activities where she can serve Him by helping others. Rest Ministries has been a real source of support and comfort. You can contact her here.

julie-buckleyJulie Buckley

Julie resides in Wisconsin with her husband, whom she married in 1977. She has one grown son who was a miracle child born at 28 weeks’ gestation and a lowest weight of 1 pound 8 ounces. She worked from home as a medical transcriptionist for 28 years, which was the perfect job for someone with physical limitations. Her hobbies are reading, drawing and being out in the woods. In her spare time, she teaches a preschool Sunday School class as well as doing puppets for church.

In 1995, after several misdiagnoses, she was diagnosed with mixed connective tissue disease (scleroderma, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and polymyositis) by Mayo Clinic. After struggling physically and spiritually for many years, her relationship with God has grown tremendously, and she has a passion to share what she has learned with others who have the same struggles. She has a blog site called Healthy Souls to help people achieve health spiritually, even if they are not healthy physically.

Fiona Burrows

Fiona lives in Melbourne Australia. In her mid 20’s she was involved in two car accidents that caused damage to her neck and back. More than 20 years later she is still learning how to live with chronic back pain and the other challenges and limitations it has brought to her life. Whilst no longer being able to work full-time, at present she still works part-time and enjoys being able to help people as part of her role as assistant to a Financial Planner.

She has enjoyed writing over many years, and more recently has been privileged to share some of the words God gives her, through the Devotionals at Rest Ministries. Rest Ministries has been a source of great encouragement for her. Her prayer is that what she writes may be an encouragement to other people and that they may see the wonderful God who gives her life a meaning. The one who makes it possible for her to get up each day to face whatever the day holds, knowing that He is there with her and that it too, is a part of His plan for her life.

Vicki Chandler

Vicki understands special needs as a patient, parent, and professor. She has had multiple sclerosis since 1993. She lives with her husband and her adult son, Chris who was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Her other son and his wife practice medicine. Vicki has over 34 years of experience teaching in public schools and in Christian schools, in regular classrooms and in special education classrooms. She was one of two administrators who founded a Christian school which grew to 1,000 students by the fifth year. With multiple areas of certification (elementary education, special education, and vision) and a master’s degree, she’s often asked to serve as a parent advocate and consultant. She also does teacher training at Christian teacher conventions. Vicki enjoys photographing God’s creation. Through her online community she reaches out to other parents of children with special needs.

Lisa Copen

Lisa is the founder of Rest Ministries, which she began in 1996, to help people find others who were also living with daily chronic pain and illness, but who also believed God was still the foundation of their lives–even if He didn’t heal them here on earth. She has lived with degenerative rheumatoid arthritis since 1993 and also has fibromyalgia, osteoporosis, and other secondary illnesses. She is a survivor of the flesh eating bacteria which she contracted in 2008. Lisa has written a number of books on behalf of Rest Ministries and finds her joy in writing, speaking, and teaching.

She lives in San Diego with her husband and son and she has recently become a (reluctant) homeschooling mom. You can find her in the Sunroom or on the Rest Ministries Facebook page. She also loves Pinterest and maintains a Rest Ministries Pinterest account and her own Pinterest account as she shares her love of mason jars and beach decor.

kay-davisKay Davis

Kay Davis lives in Fort Worth, Texas with her husband Ron. They have three awesome daughters and sons-in-law who have blessed them beyond measure with their eight precious grandchildren. For more of Kay’s writings you may visit her blog http://singingbirdcage.blogspot.com that is titled Songbird. She finds solace in writing and prays that God uses it to draw others to Himself.

Pamela Doheney

pamela-dohenyPamela Doheney lives in Northern California with her best friend and supportive husband of 42 years. Together they have two grown children and two grand children. Pamela used to enjoy riding horses but had to release that to God just two years ago. After being throw from a horse in 1997 and breaking her ankle, she was soon after diagnosed with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. She also suffers from chronic sciatic pain. Pamela now enjoys her Maltipoo Abby and traveling with her now retired husband in their little fifthwheel and wondering where God will lead them to a new home. She currently lives on 5 acres that has become too much for her and her husband. She lives and walks, as best she can, by grace and the Spirit.

karlton-douglas Karlton Douglas

Karlton lives in Ohio with his lovely wife. A devotional writer for Rest Ministries for many years, he has learned through his afflictions and diseases to rely upon the Lord.

Debs Edwards

Debs Edwards lives in South Wales, UK with her husband Simon and her two children aged 9 and 14. debsphoto aggravated rosacea for 18 months. She is able to continue to work on a part-time basis as a health researcher for 2 days a week at Cardiff University. After being a busy person for as long as she can remember it has taken her a while to adjust to having to slow down and to allow herself to rest when she needs to. Debs says that she is enjoying spending more time with her family. She is so thankful to God that she has been able to enjoy a deeper relationship with Him through her illness.

Debbie Farmer

Debbi Farmer lives in North Carolina with her family. She suffers daily from chronic pain. . . and knows the struggles we face in suffering.

bridget

Bridget Gazlay

Bridget resides in the beautiful West Michigan. She struggles with Fibromyalgia, Endometriosis, IBS, Arthritis, and Migraines – but she doesn’t let that hold her down too much. Her main job as a Business and Finance Specialist and side job as a devotional writer and artist keeps her very busy!

She loves writing and has had over 200 devotionals and a few articles published since 2003. She also designs fabric art and had a craft book published in 2005. Bridget has the best of both worlds as she now puts mini-devotionals on the back of all her cards.

Bridget’s prayer is that readers who come across her writing or fabric art would see that she allows God’s creation to be her inspiration. When she has a free moment, Bridget likes to spend time with her nephew, friends, worship at church, sing praise songs, and spend time in prayer and Bible study. Contact Bridget at uniquelyfabric@yahoo.com or visit her Business Facebook Page.

cynthia-giles2Cynthia Giles

Cynthia Giles is twenty-four years old and attends a university in Kennesaw, Georgia. She will graduate with a degree in Integrative Studies, with concentrations in English and Writing. She is also a spoken word artist and public speaker whose performed at coffee shops, youth conferences, and university events. Her accomplishments include opening for an Emmy award winning journalist, competing in a slam sponsored by Relevant Magazine, and receiving publication in Share, an art and literary magazine.

Her accomplishments give her hope that God is the author of her life story. She believes that God will take every circumstance in her life and turn it around for her good. As a result, she is using her chronic pain as a testimony through devotional writing. She has persevered through chronic pain in her back and neck for over six years. The pain is due to a car wreck and other circumstances. Often, young people feel alone in their pain and she thinks it’s important for others to know that she can relate to that feeling. She desires to give a voice to young people who deal with chronic pain and other health issues. She believes that suffering cannot compare to the glory that will be revealed through all of us. She hopes that her writing becomes a light in a dark place for those in need of hope or healing. You can learn more about Cynthia Giles at her website, www.cynthianicolegiles.com or connect with her on Facebook at facebook.com/cynthia.spokenwordartist.

shellyShelly Hendricks
Shelly Hendricks is a wife and mother of 2 amazing kids. She lives in rural Missouri, but has lived in 7 different states in the past 15 years. She was a teacher and a librarian in another life, but she’s always loved to write and dreamed of being a writer. She also suffers from Intracranial Hypertension, Interstitial Cystitis, and Essential Tremor, among other issues (mostly caused by the primary 3). She had brain surgery in 2012 and now considers herself to be a ‘bionic woman’ who is learning to walk again. Disability has been hard to deal with, but she depends on God for all strength and hopes to encourage others on this journey, through her blog at http://reneweddaily.com

dianeDiane Katala

Diane Kalata lives in Florida. She has three grown children, and a wonderful husband who offers much support. She enjoys leading a women’s bible study group as well as a chronic pain and illness support group. She enjoys art and writing as well. She is a colon cancer survivor, but deals with chronic digestive illness and pain. Her greatest joy is encouraging and sharing with others all that God has done in her life and continues to do.

dorthea-loveDorothea Love

Dorothea Love is blessed to come from a family of believers. She gave her life to Christ and was baptized at an early age. Currently, she lives in California with her husband and their two adult children.

She has lived with chronic pain and illness for over 30 years. Her struggles have taught her to trust in the transforming power of God’s love. She relies on God to strengthen her and help her. She lives her life based on the promise that God’s grace is sufficient for her weakness. She believes that God can use the very illness and pain that she once thought made her inferior to encourage and uplift others.

Her goal as an author is to inspire her readers. She prays that anyone who reads her work will give God the glory for His love and faithfulness.

slpayneS. L. Payne

S.L. Payne lives in North Carolina with her family. She has had fibromyalgia since preschool, but is thankful for God’s faithfulness throughout her entire life. The fibromyalgia makes life interesting when chasing after her three young biological sons and foster kids, but it has taught her to see God in everything. The three boys have supplied the humor.

Formerly a Southern Californian, she graduated from Biola University with a degree in Psychology which has proved immensely valuable as a foster parent. While not easy, she feels strongly that God can use each of us despite whatever challenges we face; God is bigger than the pain. She loves to do home design projects with her architect husband and laugh with her kids because they are usually up to something “creative”.

Her blog is The Proverbs 31 Project at adventuresofaneverydaygirl.blogspot.com where she writes about what God is teaching her, often in hilarious ways, and her attempt to follow God in every aspect of life. You can also follow her on Twitter @saralynnpayne .

Sandra Platt

Sandra Platt is a freelance writer who has been in the ministry with her husband for nearly twenty years and has two wonderful young adult kids. She lives in a beautiful area of rural Indiana.

Sandra graduated from Toccoa Falls College, and has taken a course from Christian Writers Institute. She enjoys cross-stitching, baking, and being outdoors. She has written for Rest Ministry for six years and has enjoyed the fellowship and friendships she has made there. You can read more about her illness from her 30 Things Meme.

lauraLaura Ruszczyk

Laura Seil Ruszczyk lives in Western New York with her husband and three children. She retired in 2012 from a 23-year career as a school counselor due to chronic illness and is thankful for all the children and families that enriched her life.

Laura always loved writing and studied journalism in college. She spent four years as an editor of a weekly newspaper.

She is amazed that her dysautonomia diagnosis –deregulation of the autonomic nervous system- has taken her life in a new, but familiar direction. She runs a HopeKeepers group and is parish advocate for those with chronic illness or disabilities at her church and writes for Rest Ministries. This wouldn’t have been possible without a diagnosis and nudge from the Holy Spirit and for this she is grateful.

In her spare time, Laura enjoys spending time with family and friends, listening to music and is currently in the market for a recumbent trike bike so she can get back to her beloved biking – something she had to forgo due to balance problems. She can be reached through the Sunroom. You can get to know what Laura’s daily life is like from her 30 Things Meme.

rhondaRhonda Sawtelle

Rhonda Sawtelle lives with chronic headaches and pain due to failed back surgery syndrome. Her philosophy is “Create a positive day!” She enjoys watching football, NASCAR, and golf, and creating digital scrapbooking, and reading. To read more about how Rhonda creates a positive day, even while living with pain, visit her blog: http://createapositiveday.blogspot.com.

lynn-severanceLynn Severance

Lynn is a former elementary classroom teacher. She retired in 1992 for health reasons after 27 years in this beloved career. She is single, never married, and lives in an apartment in Lynnwood, Washington, grateful to still be able to live on her own.

In 1983 she awakened in a full fledged vertigo attack. She has lived in constant dizziness since that moment. A last attempt at therapy in 2005 left her body in a total collapse having taken away compensating mechanisms that had helped her function since 1983. She is currently in “God’s rehab.” Lynn underwent surgery in 1987 for an aggressive form of breast cancer with 6 months of chemotherapy treatment. Thankfully all is still well. She loves music and reading but with limited visual energy has discovered the joy of audio books. She thanks God for His daily strength and care and is finding it a great privilege to be a part of the Rest Ministries writing team. Contact via Sunroom.

jackie-smithJackie Smith

Jackie Smith lives at the foothills of the magnificent Smoky Mountains in Knoxville, TN. She has Sjogren’s Disease and migraines. Sjogren’s is an autoimmune disease that attacks moisture producing glands, particularly the eyes and mouth and causes debilitating fatigue. Jackie had a bilateral mastectomy over 25 years ago. She is so blessed to be a survivor. A few years ago she had her colon removed, necessitating a permanent ileostomy. The good news is that it wasn’t cancer.

Jackie has her master’s degree in Child and Family Studies. While she has never been able to work using her degree, it comes in handy with the 5 children and 13 grandchildren she and her husband of 35 years share. She finds writing about her Lord a joy and privilege. She is described best by a phrase in the song, MY TRIBUTE, “The voices of a million angels cannot express my gratitude. All that I am and ever hope to be, I owe it all the Thee. To God be the glory.”

bronylnnBronlynn Spindler

Bronlynn and her husband Rick live in Virginia and have three grown daughters. As well as home-schooling her daughters, in her healthier years she worked at a public library and for a pediatrician. She plays the piano for her church worship team, leads a Bible study and pain support group, and co-leads a handmade card ministry for her church. Bronlynn enjoys family, her cat, gardening, crafts, reading, and birding. She has had thyroid cancer and has lived with chronic pain for 26 years. She struggles with headaches, back pain, depression, fibromyalgia, and eye problems. Her life verse is II Timothy 4:17 – “But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength.” You may view her blog of devotionals at www.aplaceofsprings57.blogspot.com

Elizabeth-VendleyElizabeth Vendley

Elizabeth Vendley is the wife of David, 51 years old, and lives in North Central Michigan. They have raised seven children now ages 18-28. Elizabeth has lived with severe Interstitial Cystitis since 1996. Her passion is glorifying the Lord by writing out the lessons He has taught her. She would love to hear from readers through the Sunroom. Elizabeth knows what trying to raise children while ill is about; her children were ages 12-1 years old when she became a “medical anomaly.” The Vendleys are homesteaders and try to produce as much of their own food and clothing as they can. Home canning is a favorite aspect of this for Elizabeth. She enjoys reading, water aerobics, and her American Eskimo dog Mindi.

Elizabeth has enjoyed writing for several Amish/Mennonite publications, contributing essays, stories, and how –to articles. Humor is a major tool in coping for her as well as journaling. Elizabeth and her husband David had the unusual calling to join the Amish faith in 1991. Five years later a complicated surgery left her with disabling pain and medical involvement. The response of the plain communities has proven to be an excellent model of Christians bearing each others burdens. She welcomes readers to see her musings and gleanings in her blog http://evendley.blogspot.com/

Deni Weber

Deni lives in Indiana with her husband, mother, sons, daughter-in-law and grandchildren. She is challenged by Ankylosing Spondylistis, Celiac Sprue, Atrial Fibrillation and other chronic conditions. Deni and her husband are raising her late daughter’s children and homeschool them. Though sidelined for now by her illnesses, deni writes, draws, and is working on several tools for use with Special Education children. She is finishing her second book Out of the Darkness, revealing how God held on to her through the loss of her daughter. Deni sees God leading her on a “parade of daily adventures ” affirming that all the events in her life lead her to a more intimate knowledge of God’s grace, mercy, and abundant love. Visit her blog, “deni’s ramblings” at http://www.pathwaysforchange.com

Rev. Charles Wells

charlesCharles is a minister, ordained in Sept. 2007 through the Association of Evangelical Churches. He is originally from Warren, Pennsylvania but relocated to Paris, Texas in July of 2012. He has been married to his wife Lori for 11 years and has two children, a son named Matthew who is 10 and a daughter named Kelsey who is 7. Charles has been actively involved in nursing home and church ministry. He currently is ministering in a men’s Christian drug rehab center in northeast Texas.

Charles has had three major back surgeries that in the end resulted in the fusing of his whole lumbar spine. He still deals with chronic pain due to the nerve damage and a condition called drop foot in his left foot. God has used these physical thorns in great and mighty ways to minister to countless people for Jesus. Charles enjoys to spend time with his family and his black and silver dapple dachshund Annie. He likes to read and loves to watch sports, especially his beloved Pittsburgh teams (Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins). He also enjoys web site design, as he has designed websites for several different ministries. You may contact Charles through his blog at http://revcawells.wordpress.com.

kerrynKerryn Wright

Kerryn lives amongst the gum trees, in South Australia, with her husband and 3 young adult sons. Prior to illnesses, Kerryn was very involved in leadership, in her church, using creative ways of presenting worship. Her career was as a special education teacher. This background has helped her to look at new and different ways of doing things now that she is chronically ill.

Her wonderful husband is carer for their family. Their youngest son has a mild intellectual disability, amongst other needs. Kerryn and their middle son have spent a total of 10 years (combined) with severe chronic fatigue syndrome and multiple chemical sensitivities, amongst other illnesses. The Lord’s sense of humor often causes their family to chuckle amongst the pain. God has always guided them through life’s challenges, often in surprising ways.

Being a “shut in” Kerryn is confined to her bed or recliners, but it doesn’t confine her heart, soul, passions and faith, which she loves to share. She feels humbled and privileged to express her life and the joy of the Lord’s presence through her devotionals on Rest Ministries. Contact via Sunroom.

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36 thoughts on “Contributors

  1. I just found this site. So glad I did. I’m a writer with a couple chronic illnesses and many days are sheer struggles for me. I work outside the home as well as write. There’s so much I want to do but my illnesses keep me from it. It can be depressing when I can’ t keep up with other women my age. So continue the good work. It’s nice to know there are people out there who can relate to how I feel.

  2. I have enjoyed and been blessed by the devotionals.
    Have not seen any by Denny Dowd lately. I know she dealt with many illnesses,can I get an update, please.
    Thanks

  3. I am so blessed to have found this ministy. I have been suffering with chronic pain for the last 20 year due to arthrtis, I also suffer from manic depresstion and migrine headaches that cause me to have TIA’s/mini strokes. We are raising two of our grandchildren which is a blessing and a chore.We all love to salt water fish and go to the beach. I love to read, write, and play with our grandchildren. Once again Thank You for your blessing though our Lord.

  4. Why is my devotional “LIFE IS GOOD” not put on this list. I have been part of the devotional team for 4 or 5 years.

  5. Sandra, I have found that some of my devotionals that are used never show up on this site, either. I thought it might be because I am not a member of the Sunroom. Some will be sent out by email, but not shown on here. And I know some that I submit are too lengthy to even be sent out by email, or maybe just not the right thoughts to be used. Perhaps Kay DeCarlo or Lisa Copen could answer your question. Just a thought.

  6. I too was wondering how Denney Dowd was. I always loved her encouraging devotionals despite her very serious illness with cancer. Mary

  7. I have had Denny Dowd on my mind more & more often of late. I loved her messages & admired her very deeply. Even with all of her pain she remained so devoted and gave me such encouragement. Please, if anyone knows how she is & give to her our love and prayers. I would be very grateful if anyone can help me with my inquiry. Thank you and God Bless You All.
    Donna
    bolddonna@yahoo.com

  8. Mary and Donna, I wish I could give you news about Denny Dowd. We used to e-mail each other once in awhile. But after she had the check up to see if her long, last treatment had helped her I e-mailed her and didn’t hear for some time. She was very discouraged about her prognosis. I’ve since sent her two or three more e-mails to let her know I was praying for her, but have never heard back.

    She was sure an inspiration to me.

  9. I have a picture up in the sunroom, and really enjoy sharing my devotions with you. “Deeper than the Ocean” is a recent one, “Setting my heart on Pilgrimage,” and many others in October.
    I would like to be considered a Contributer. I will come up with a nice bio if you’d like.

  10. Pingback: Get to Know Our Devotional Writers | Rest Ministries Chronic Illness Pain Support

  11. To those who asked about Denny – I can tell you that she is still alive and is on Facebook. I met her there through another friend. I don’t know the status of her health but her sense of humour is strong as is her faith in the Lord. She is active on Facebook. Hope you receive this update and are encouraged. I will send her a message that she is missed here.
    Heather

  12. Heather, thank you so very much for the update on Denny. She has been such an inspiration to me. I miss her devotionals and e-mails. She was so transparent about her struggles. And her faith in God was so evident.

    Blessings,
    Beth

  13. Everyone is so wonderful to write encouragement for us each day! I would love the opportunity to help with the writing from time to time. I’m not sure I could do it regularly (every week), but I would love to help fill the gaps when writers want/need a break away.

    I am a Christian Minister with nothing to prove except the love of Jesus.

    Thank you.

  14. I have been receiving the devotionals for about a week. I am so grateful to have found this group. I don’t feel alone now. I suffer from COPD , and osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia. The pain has brought me to the place of doing very little. I don’t get out much and can’t do much without severe pain. So glad to have the devotionals. Thanks to you all, Judy

    • I am so glad, Judy! This is exactly why Lisa founded Rest Ministries, so none of us would feel alone.

      I hope you are having a low pain day.

  15. I would love to help by offering an encouraging devotion once in a while. It looks like you could a man to help write sometimes. PLEASE let me know what I have to do to help out.

    Rev. Keith Bowling

  16. Hello Keith – I noticed this comment from you and wanted to direct you to the Rest Ministry site where the writers’ guidelines are. I will put the link below as there is so much on the site. I know I have trouble navigating it, myself.

    Personally, I’d love having a man’s input. There are a couple of men who contribute at times but as you noted, those times are scarce.

    Bless you – hope to see your name on a devotional “soon” ( hope first that you find this note!)

    Lynn

    http://restministries.com/devotionals/write-it/

  17. I would like to thank Debbi Farmer for her writing on April 4, ” Having a Long Lonely Night? Jesus Is Up And Knows Exactly What Pains You”. I SO needed it today. I had an awful morning with pain from numerous knee surgeries and therapy this morning for the most recent surgery and i spent most of my therapy time in tears. I felt as if frustration had draped me like a dark blanket! I came home, checked my email, and there was my today’s devotional that Debbi wrote. Thank you for the reminder of just how close our Heavenly Father is to us and how very much He loves and cares for us even when we can’t find the right words to pray.
    May HE bless you in your physical suffering and bless you as you continue to bless others.
    I KNOW that i am…

    In HIS Grip,
    Laurie =)

  18. It is such an encouragement to read your bio’s. You are all so inspiring and motivating amidst the pain of your lives. I pray I can become such a light. Thank you all for your uplifting words and personal testimonies

  19. An absolute Answer to my many prayers. I am so very Blessed by the uplifting words and encouragement I read on a continuing basis. Thank you for your ministry ~ I suffer from several chronic diseases and have recently had a very abrupt change to my daily living. The isolation and loneliness of living 24/7 with a chronic illness becomes almost unbearable at times. Thank you for your lives, lives lived and shared for HIM!

    • Gertymae: I’m so glad you find these devotionals encouraging. i agree that, as you said, “The isolation and loneliness of living 24/7 with a chronic illness becomes almost unbearable at times.” It’s a constant battle, I find, not to become resentful and ungrateful for what I do have to be thankful for.

      But God will fight for us and is right there with us even when we don’t feel His presence. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).

  20. I am so glad to have found this site. Someone who can relate to our daily struggles and successes in normal living. It surely helps to improve days to read of others joys and triumphs and faith!!!!

  21. Hello- have read through some of these devotionals I sure could use some uplifting! Single mom of two pre teens and have a small cleaning business. found out this year I need a hip replacement at fourty five and have had a severe skin disorder wich no one has been able to figure out- have been prayed for by many and I continue to pray and press into the lord. Have not been able to afford surgery and working has been really tough. please lift me up in prayer that the Lord will give me wisom to take care of my situation.

  22. Iana, please know that I am praying for you. He is able to make a way. I will pray for wisdom and the resources to do what you need to do.

  23. Hi! I love the readings each and every day! I’ve had fibromyalgia for 17 years and recently went through 20 weeks in bed with it. I’m doing much better now and walking again with my husband and my dog here at the beach in Southern Calif. I would love to write some devotionals as I’m an avid blogger. I have been on disability for 17 years and live with my husband and my dog (who really understands my needs and is so helpful!) We’re actually taking her into the nursing home now and she visits with my mother in law who is on Hospice. What a difference she makes in her day when we are there! Thank you ladies for all your inspirational writings and sharing from your life experiences. God bless.

  24. I am agnostic so I am not quite sure if this site is for me. I have been diagnosed with dsytonia in 2010. my first year was a disaster. I had so many problems I really dont know how I made it through. I moved back in with my parents in 2011. since then I have tried to eat better, work out and take the meds. I have depression as one of my symtom but its not the main issue. Everyday I wake up in pain and go to bed in pain. My meds have increased so much I cant believe I need this much to sustain my life. Unfortunately there is no cure and stabilizing my condition, at least to me, is not possible. I have thought about suicide constantly so I can stop the pain. finding out who your true friends was a hard one to take in. Isolation hits me hard during the holidays. I try but I get worse and I dont know how to cope with dystonia yet. knowing that I will never get better is hard one to take. I havent made one friend since I have come back to live with my parents. and even if I did, I dont know how to respond when a person asks what do I do? my life is dull as it can be, doctors and rehab. my frined suggested that I write a journal…so here I am.

  25. Hello Tammy

    I’m just beginning to reply to these devotionals and comments because I desire support and friendship with folks “WHO GET IT”. I also wish to support others by showing compassion, caring, validation and understanding to all. If you or others wish to Correspond with me directly by EMAIL (see below) please do

    Tammy, your suffering is palatable. It is hard, it is difficult and I honor your feelings. I wish I could give you a hug. The isolation is very difficult. Chemical Sensitivities, a Primary Immune Deficiency, Peripheral Neuropathy, Arthritis, IBS, Arrhythmia, CFIDS, Sciatica, Disordered Sleep, Allergies and more have taken away the joy of Christmas for me this year and isolated me from attending church and family celebrations, but my husband is strong and supported me through the neurological brain scrambling of constant fragrance and scent assaults to my system, body pain as well as grief from recent deaths of two important people in my life. It feels like too much to handle. When I am emotionally stressed all my discomfort is magnified. Sometimes when I feel overwhelmed, hopeless, scared, angry and it seems that no one understands I also consider stopping the pain, but my beliefs, faith and consideration for my family keep me from acting on those fruitless desires. This site is comforting to me because I know that I’m not alone, it makes me step out of my issues and see the bigger picture. The music seems to give me the most hope and comfort. When able I visit a lady who is home bound. She is an inspiration to me and she takes my mind off of myself. I won’t push you to convert or challenge your beliefs, but I will share my insight and my belief that there is a purpose for each of us and that purpose will be revealed by God even when it is hard and painful. For me, things look better and I feel better sitting under a big oak in the sunshine or sitting quietly alone reflecting and praying in our beautiful sanctuary. Deep cleansing tears help release some of my pain and discomfort that each illness presents and then I think more clearly, make better decisions, find hope and sometimes more energy. I see God’s Grace and I feel better. I hope you will also find support to carry on. Terripat67@gmail.com
    Write to me and I will answer.

  26. I’m inspired by all your writers stories (which I read all of them) but I’m also a little discouraged because I am so non function and these women (and men) sound like Superstars with all they do. I can’t even GET to church and many of them are leading worship, working outside the home, home schooling, writing, etc. Some of them are doing all of it. I don’t know how they can accomplish so much and be so sick. I really don’t want my husband to see this or he will expect me to do more.

    • Lorre

      I can relate. It is hard not to compare and expect to DO what others do. It is a daily struggle for me not to judge my abilities or lack of and not feel less than. Every now and then I have a victory and I stop, look up and think that must have been God because I didn’t just DO that on my own. My prayer for us is that we not judge ourselves too harshly and pray for understanding from those that fortunately do not walk in our shoes.
      Blessings and Comfort, Terri

  27. I love your site! I’m enjoying the people who write! I have ALS! It’s just starting but I have twitches. And leg cramps and my fingers cramp up sometimes. I thank God everyday…. And praise Him! I have a Brave CD and I love it! My favorite song is “Give Me Jesus” it’s by Moriah Peters! And “Brave”! I really love all the songs!

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