Embracing life with chronic pain and illnesses.

Posts tagged ‘Christian’

Prayer

Prayer…it can be such an integral part of our lives.  I know for me, prayer is a vital life line.  It allows me to hand over my fears…frustrations…disappointments…concerns…as well as all that I am thankful for.

We learn many formal prayers….”The Lord’s Prayer”….”The Glory Be”…as Catholics, many more are learned…”The Hail Mary”…”The Apostles Creed”…”The Divine Praises”… I am sure several others have come to your mind.

We also learn to pray informally.  We are often told to use “The Lord’s Prayer” as a template for our own prayers…we are encouraged to use our own words…to speak to God as if he was in the room for us…like we would speak to a friend.

Often we can find ourselves in a rut…saying similar words as if by rote…going through the motions…not really allowing ourselves to open up and speak with our hearts not just our minds.

Many of us were taught the following pattern for prayer (referred to as A.C.T.S.):

Adoration – “Praise be to God!” -Psalms 68:35
Tell God how much you appreciate Him.

Confession – “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just, and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” -1 John 1:9
Tell Him where you have fallen short. Be as specific as possible.

Thanksgiving – Always “glorify him with thanksgiving” -Psalms 69:30
Thank God for His love, His faithfulness, His patience…express gratitude to Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

Supplication – “Make your requests known to God.” -Philippians 4:6
Tell God what is on your mind…whether it be for yourself…a family member…a friend…you can also just speak thoughts that you are having.

I know that I often pray informally…yet there are many times…especially when Fibro Fog is thick…or my mind is wandering all over…I find comfort in reciting one of the formal prayers…even if I cannot get all the words correct…it helps me to relax…to shift my focus.

Our Heavenly Father knows our hearts…He knows our needs…He wants us to commune with Him.  Whatever type of prayer…as long as it is from the heart…will be heard.

Lessons of Chronic Pain

I have learned so much in dealing with chronic pain…whether it be Pelvic Floor Syndrome, Rectal Prolapse, Spastic Sphincter, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain Disorder, IBS-D, Polyarthralgia, Colostomy, Hysterectomy, Benign Tumors, fluid build-up, Peristomal Hernia…there have been many lessons.

I know that our Heavenly Father has used these illnesses/conditions to teach me many things…the lessons have not been easy…it has been a rough road that has had its many challenges…however, I have had the support of family, friends and, of course, our Heavenly Father.

I have learned:

  • To be humble
  • To allow others to do things for me
  • To say “No”
  • To be patient with myself
  • To take naps
  • To appreciate small talk
  • To not take anyone or anything for granted
  • To appreciate the view through my window
  • To enjoy a ride in the car
  • To accept my limitations
  • To understand that I cannot always follow through with our plans
  • To know that there is no way to predict how my body will feel
  • To know that I can choose my attitude
  • To better appreciate time in prayer
  • To take more time to listen
  • To prepare simple meals
  • To ask for help
  • To smile no matter how I feel
  • To always appreciate a hug or gentle touch (no matter how much it hurts)
  • To become my own medical advocate
  • To speak up for others with similar conditions
  • To never give up
  • To see the best in those around me
  • To encourage others
  • To be sincere
  • To use my wheelchair
  • To use my walker
  • To use electric carts
  • To see medication as a tool to help improve my quality of life

I know that there are many more…my mind now draws a blank…

Each step we take…to allow others to do for us…to utilize all the tools that we have been given…is a step in improving our mental health, our relationships, and our confidence.  Our bodies may fail us; however, our faith can keep us strong.

Renewal

A new year approaches

Hopes and opportunities abound…

As the current year comes to an end

We look back at the many twists and turns…

The struggles that have made us stronger

The events that have brought us closer…

What will the new year bring?

No one knows for sure…

Yet our hearts are filled with hope

With light hearts and open eyes…

We embrace the start

Of a year not yet written…

It is a renewal of sorts

To take place on another stage…

The paths that will open before us

The mountains we will climb…

The challenges that await us

Along with the joys and laughter…

Our illnesses and conditions

Will continue to be with us…

As we continue our battle

Our eyes more alert, our resolve strengthened…

Let us take advantage of this new year

To choose to be positive…

To resolve to appreciate those dear to us

To take every opportunity to say “Thank You…

To embrace our loved ones and friends

To say “I love you” with sincerity…

To refrain from anger

Instead breath deeply and count to ten…

To really listen to what is being said

Rather than thinking of what we will say…

To pray with our entire being

Instead of uttering memorized words…

To share smiles and laughter

To not allow pain to be our master…

To be thankful for our life

To embrace each door opened by Heavenly Father…

Knowing that He is with us

Every step of our journey…

Remembering the scripture, Isaiah 40:31 KJV:

“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

We may not be able to walk far

We may be confined to our bed…

We may find ourselves fatigued

Unable to keep our eyes open…

Know that our spirit is renewed

Granted strength from Heavenly Father…

We can pray for those around us

We can lose ourself in reading the scriptures…

We can remember the trials of Job

And know that we are never alone…

So as this new year approaches

Let us each take pause…

 

To awake each day

With a thankful heart…

A Cross

A cross is more than a piece of jewelry. It is a sacred object to many Christians as it stands for the ultimate sacrifice…that of the only begotten Son of God, Jesus Christ. Upon that cross, he suffered and died…taking on all of our sins (past, present and future) as well as experiencing all pain and anguish.

Many choose to wear a cross…there are many reasons why.  A cross is worn to show our Faith in God…it is worn to remind us of Christ’s suffering…it is worn to remind us that we have been forgiven and now have a direct relationship with our Heavenly Father…it can be a treasured possession given to us at our baptism by a dear friend or close family member…whatever the reason…it holds a special meaning to the wearer.

I know that I wear a cross with an emerald in the center. I wear it because it reminds me that there is nothing that I will bear, be it pain, disappointment, setbacks, that Jesus Christ has not dealt with on a greater scale.  It reminds me that Heavenly Father will not test me beyond what I am able to bear through His strength. The emerald is for my Sister…a wonderful reminder that she is with Heavenly Father…looking down on us…praying for her loved ones and friends.

 

God Speaks

God speaks in so many ways…sometimes it is through a friend’s voice…sometimes it is an impression…sometimes it is in something we read…

Last night, I had some very heavy thoughts…wanting to somehow become more proactive in our community for those that are living with chronic pain (those with the condition/illness as well as family members, co-workers, friends).  I know that there are quite a few individuals dealing with this…just like I am.

The strong impression of pursuing working with the American Chronic Pain Association weighed heavily on me…I just kept praying for the right direction that I should pursue.

This morning another strong impression was given to me…to speak to a few individuals in town regarding a potential meeting place and trying to formulate my idea into a more concrete idea.  Keeping in mind that I am severely limited…as are some that I would like to reach out to…

Then I sat down and read the daily devotional for today, December 8, from “A Catholic Woman’s Book of Days” by Amy Welborn.  It reads in part:

“…God chooses each of us, too. We live in a hurting world that yearns for the healing touch of God’s love.  It seems beyond us.

But I have to remember this as well:  If God wishes me to be a part of this great work, He will give me the gifts I need to do it, and I have Mary’s prayer and witness to guide me along the way…”

Talk about a wonderful answer to my prayers last night! A great reinforcement to push ahead and to discuss my idea…to set about a meeting site…and further contacting the ACPA for the materials….

Darkness

From seemingly nowhere

The long dark tentacles

Reach out to encircle…

The ever growing darkness

Threatens to completely envelope

To block out any light…

With gnarled fingers

It scrapes its way

To cover all within sight…

It brings its partners

Despair and depression

To further set its trap…

It yearns to take hope

To strip away peace

To destroy our Faith…

As with the darkest night

It can be fought

With a thin frail light…

A simple small flame

As that dancing on a candle

Can pierce its grasp…

A Tranquil Thought

The scripture reading today in my in-box was perfect!  Just the scene that a body wracked with pain and a brain thick with Fibro Fog needed…

It is a reading from Isaiah 11:6-9:

The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.

And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.

And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den.

They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.”

The peaceful scene described instantly calmed my mind…strengthened my resolve for the day.

The amplified symptoms I am experiencing today are truly temporary. The symptoms will settle back to “normal”.

For now…I can focus my mind’s eye on this tranquil setting…all in harmony with God’s plan…all free from pain…

Look to the Sky

Eyes drawn ever upward
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Searching the sky…

At times a trace of clouds

Or a plane leaves its track…

The trees stretch

Standing tall to pierce the sky…

At times we catch movement

Of birds in flight…

Wings spread wide to embrace

The power of the current…

From a brilliant blue

To the darkest black…

Colors abound above us

Caught in the beauty of the sunrise and sunset…

These are but a few

Of the glories seen with the naked eye…

At night the myriad of lights

Stars, planets, suns, galaxies abound…

Our Spirits sense the Divine

Our Heavenly home…

That where our Heavenly Father dwells

That which was made possible through Christ our Lord…

Intuitively we search upwards

Knowing that there is One greater…

That there is a Creator

Who is the Alpha and the Omega…

Majesty

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The majesty of the Rocky Mountains

As I am blessed to view from a high meadow

Fills my heart with joy and peace.

The vision of the old homestead

Sitting silently in front of the Aspens

With the sage meadow stretching around.

The quiet stillness with no breath of breeze

Speaks of the enormity, the great expanse

Of Heavenly Father’s magnificent creation.

I am overwhelmed with emotion

My eyes drink deeply of the beauty

Taking in the vibrancy of colors.

The sudden stabbing in my hands

Disturbs my state of mental bliss

As pain courses through my body.

The mountains form a strong backdrop

I feel a tear fall from my eye

As I once again lose myself in the vision.

Gratitude Journal

I had the pleasure of attending a “Gratitude Gala” this evening….a wonderful soup and salad dinner with women of our community.  

The opportunity to get together with friends is always nice (especially when not feeling well). Yet the “program” left a huge impression!

Three ladies had been asked to speak about what they are thankful for…each spoke from the heart…from a favorite fond memory to the idea of having a Gratitude Journal.

Each of us was challenged to keep a Gratitude Journal…to write one thing that we are thankful for at the end of each day. This could be done in a Journal…a notebook…on computer…on our smart phone (via Instagram or the like). It can be written…can be a photo with a brief description…whatever our preferred way.

I am excited to accept this challenge! I would encourage each and everyone to try this! 

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