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Since I was diagnosed with serious lupus and other chronic illnesses, my faith has blossomed! I was always prayerful, attended church, and read Scripture. But, oh, my! the awesomeness that is Our Lord truly has led me on an amazing journey with and in spite of significant health challenges. I've been blessed to write books (including, "Peace in the Storm: Meditations on Chronic Pain & Illness," Random House/Image), a blog, articles - even songs! - and now would be delighted to open up a discussion with the TBCN community. Let's witness to God's wonderful work even when pain is difficult or illness is pressing. Let's talk about faith, favorite Bible verses, ways in which God has brought abiding peace in our illness- and pain-wracked lives, even when the world seems to be falling apart. So you can get to know me, I've set up an RSS feed to my regular blog, "Good Days/Bad Days with Maureen Pratt," (you'll find it on My Page) and a link to my website (with info on books, etc.) at: Maureen Pratt's Website. I look forward to hearing from you and, meantime, send lots of joy and, of course, peace! Maureen
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The question I want to ask here is: How does one find "peace in a storm"?
How does somebody deal with pain every day with or without medication?
I think at times it's difficult to really find 'peace in a storm'. My son is 19 and has some chronic medical problems, including severe eczema and cataracts. I watch him struggle with just moving some days. To know that he'll have some of these medical issues his whole life is disheartening, especially when you just want what's best for your child. I hate watching him suffer. He does get depressed but family and friends, especially those friends from church, help him a lot. The love and support is so very important. To have people that will look past your medical and see you for you is important.
Thank you for responding! I will keep your son (and you and your family) in my prayers. I completely understand being young and ill - before I was 18, I'd had pneumonia 13 times and nearly died from it on more than one occasion because of allergies to the meds, especially penicillin. One of the best things my mother did for me was to encourage my prayer life - she said, "Even if you're alone in your room and cannot do the things other children can because you're ill, you can always talk to God." That began a dialogue that continues to this day, and has really helped me discern His path for me, even with continued chronic illness. I was able to see beyond my illness, find the other gifts the Lord has given me, and really grow in faith and life! Peace, Maureen
It does get rough some days. I suffer from RA, Chronic fatigue, and Fibromyalgia. These last few years have been rough but with Christ there is hope. With Christ I have overcome severe depression from the loss of a 7 month old grandchild, my grandmother and best friend within a few months of each other, all while dealing with a bipolar violent child. I find that if I am about Christ he carries me. These last few months I have had 3 surgeries for a broken leg and ankle, but with my faith in CHRIST I was able to handle it well, even gracefully. We are also dealing with a child in kidney failure. I have found if I pray and read scripture regularly I can handle anything. It has also help to be involved with a prayer group and bible studies. I have found this verse is helpful Matthew 19:26
Michelle, your faith shines! You are so right, that "with God all things are possible." It's hard sometimes to remember, especially when we experience multiple health challenges, as you do, along with all the other challenges life brings. But, oh, how the Lord holds us and comforts us! And, how precious is the quiet we allow ourselves to drink in His Word and His presence. I have told people that this year, I'm calling "the year of comfort," and, although I say that with a smile and a nod to my comfy chair, where I can rest and read and dream, there's a very determined underpinning to it - "In green pastures you let me graze; to safe waters you lead me; you restore my strength." (Psalm 23:2) I'll keep you and your family and friends in my prayers. Peace, Maureen
Let me first say that Maureen is a wonderful christian person with an excellent skill of communication. If you have not read any of her works - you are missing a blessing.
I have been blessed to have ok health but in times of less than perfect health I have always turned to prayer. My soul passage is found in Mathew-God is with me always. This brings me peace and comfort. I know I can do all things with Christ on my side. The hardest part of prayer is asking for healing "thy will be done". God works in His time and in His plans.
Be a blessing to someone today-you never know what they are going through.
Debbie, thank you for those words of encouragement - I'm humbled, but so very happy to try to do what God's given me to do in life. I'm a work-in-progress, but He is "totally awesome" (to give a nod to my current home in Southern California)! How true is the gentle, yet powerful idea of being a blessing to someone. Truly, there are so many people in our midst, strangers and not-so-stranger, who are suffering physically, emotionally, spiritually - and they don't look it at all! Invisible afflictions and illnesses are very, very real, and to the extent that we can offer words of support and any other blessing, however subtle, we are carrying out Our Lord's work. Thanks, again, Debbie. Blessings to you, too! Peace, Maureen
Living with chronic pain can be so hard. A few secrets I found are bible time,prayer time, blessing others time
And being kind to others even if they arent kind back. And remembering the poem Footprints in the Sand
Yes, Chris, that's a wonderful poem, and a very uplifting message. I've had times when I've been in such pain, or so affected by strong medication to control lupus or the symptoms of it, that I've found it difficult to consciously pray, and yet I know that Jesus is holding me up "through it all" (one of my favorite Gospel songs, by Andrae Crouch). I know I can't handle this life with illness and pain by myself, but with God central on my "team," I can handle anything! Peace, Maureen
I don't think we can survive without God's peace
So true, Retha. Without God's peace deep within, we get buffeted around by external, unhealthful forces, don't we? All that "noise" in our world, and all that non-faith-centered influence. But, when we invite God to work within us, His peace is strong, everlasting, and oh, so, refreshing. When I wrote my book, "Peace in the Storm: Meditations on Chronic Pain & Illness," I prayed over the bible verse I wanted to start with (there are so many apt ones!). One day, I was leafing through Proverbs, and this one leapt out at me: "The human spirit can endure a sick body, but who can bear it if the spirit is crushed?" (Proverbs 18:14, NLV) We are resilient by nature, and with God, we are light! Peace, Maureen
It really helps to be involved in prayer groups, Bible studies and blogs. Knowing what others are going through and praying for them helps to take the mind off of one's own problems. I think reading books and developing a better understanding of the situation is helpful, too. Just knowing others have lived through it and found ways to be active, focusing on what they can do instead of what they can't do, is a great example of being shown hope in the storm. I think having a good support system and understanding health authorities is high up there, too.