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July: Rest Ministries
Topic Started: Jul 20 2013, 07:45 PM (177 Views)
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What is the Five Week Challenge? Diane shares how commitment isn’t the norm for the friends of those who are ill.

“He remembers His covenant forever, the promise He made, for a thousand generations.” (Psalm 105:8)

How good are you at staying committed to something?

I have a dear friend who also is chronically ill. We have had many discussions over the fifteen years that we have been friends about how grateful we are that God put us together. We have each made a point of reaching out to one another consistently, either by calling, visiting, or now texting, in order that we would continue to nurture our relationship. We have made a commitment to one another.

We have often talked about the fact that we have passed the “Five Week Challenge” What is the Five Week Challenge, you may ask? This is our own little timeline she and I had half-joked, half-seriously discussed about as the amount of time before individuals stop contacting you when you are chronically ill.

We have found that most people (not all–there are exceptions), such as friends, acquaintances, or church members, usually do not have the staying power to continue relationships with a chronically ill person that lasts past the five week point.

That’s not to say that they don’t try or don’t intend to. It is just that many do not know how to deal with someone who does not get well, when prayers seemingly go unanswered. They run out of things to do or say when they call. This often leads to a gradual reduction in their contact until the contact is very rare or none at all.

Until the last ten months, my life with chronic illness was one in which I would still have some points of recession, and could enjoy opportunities of feeling well, allowing for outings and activities at various intervals. But that has not been the case now for the past ten months. In this time God has shown me a new truth of the Five Week Challenge in my own life.

Yes, the typical loss of contact has occurred, but more importantly, God has opened my own eyes to my own lack of commitment to others. Though I am usually committed to praying for those who I feel I have a kindred spirit with, those who suffer with illness, He has asked me how committed am I to pray, call, and show my concern when I myself am struggling?

Or how willing and committed am I if it isn’t a health concern at all? One may be having a financial or an emotional burden. Does that make it any less important? No!

God has assured me, in every circumstance I/we must continue to be faithful, to be committed to those He calls us to love, support, and pray for. How kind He is and gracious to show me that the very thing that can sometimes cause me pain and hurt feelings, I too am guilty of. But being a God who is merciful, He gently uses every circumstance to show me how to learn and grow, that I might become a better example of His love to others.

Prayer: Dear Father, Thank You so much for the gentle way you teach us; for Your never ending covenant with us. I know, Lord, that You will always far surpass the five week challenge; help me, Lord, to be committed to showing Your love and faithfulness to others. Amen.

About the author:
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. But her greatest joy is encouraging and sharing with others all that God has done in her life and continues to do.

Have you had people in your life who have stuck around past the Five Week Challenge? How does it make you feel when someone commits to being a part of your life, even though it is challenging?

There will always be people who disappoint us, because only God can fulfill all of our needs. And we will disappoint others. . . But that doesn’t mean we cannot try our best to reach out to others! Our experiences can always be used to offer others the compassion we ourselves would appreciate. I love this song by Brandon Heath, “Give Me Your Eyes.” He sings about how He wishes He could have the eyes of God for just a few seconds so he could be able to see who was hurting deeply and the people who need encouragement who he keeps missing. Beautiful song! -Lisa

The post Can Your Commitment Pass the Five Week Challenge? appeared first on Rest Ministries - Chronic Illness and Pain Support. PO BOX 502928, San Diego, CA 92150, USA
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Chronic Illness or Pain Daily Christian Encouragement

Moving Forward with God When Illness Threatens our Future - 2013-07-24 09:00:12-04
forward Moving Forward with God When Illness Threatens our Future Is it hard to move forward when your illness seems to hold you back? Bronlynn shares.

“He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live” (Acts 17:26).

Perhaps you have heard the expression “moving forward” in reference to letting go of something difficult and moving on to a healthier state emotionally or relationally. Right now I am dealing with moving forward in a literal sense–to another state.

My husband is planning to retire next year and we want to move closer to our children. We have lived in this area for 32 years so this will be a major adjustment. We will soon be visiting various locations hoping to finalize where to move.

Although I am more than ready to downsize, I am already becoming anxious about how I will survive this move. I am concerned about finding the right grocery stores, doctors, and church. I am wondering how I can pack and unpack with my back and fibro issues. So many anxious thoughts, and I don’t even know when or where we are going yet!

This verse in Acts is a great comfort to me. Although we may not know where we are to go, God does. He will guide and direct us. It may be very challenging and require much patience and faith on my part, but God will bring me through it.

Even if we are not facing the difficulties of moving, chronic health problems bring other struggles. The above verse says much more to me than the fact that God has chosen where and when I am to live. It reminds me that there is no aspect of my life that is not under His divine control, including my pain and problems. He has a plan and will direct me through it all. I need to trust Him and move forward through whatever I am facing.

Life is not stagnant. Some things improve and others become more difficult, but we are all walking out what God planned for us. Each step is bringing us closer to the best location ever–our eternal home–so let’s keep moving forward.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, what a comfort it is to know that You have a perfect pre-ordained plan for my life. As I give You all my fears and uncertainties, give me the faith to trust Your plan and move forward in my walk with You. Amen.

About the author:
Bronlynn Spindler lives in VA and is blessed to have the support and encouragement of a wonderful husband and three grown daughters. God’s grace and strength have brought her through thyroid cancer and continue to sustain her through ongoing back pain, depression, headaches, multiple sensitivities, eye pain, and fibromyalgia.

What uncertainties are you facing in your life right now? How can the knowledge that God has determined everything in your life help you deal with them and bring you strength and comfort?

As we prepare to make major decisions in our life, remember who you follow and serve–wherever you end up. Bronlynn thought you may enjoy this awesome song with Chris Tomlin, “I Will Follow.” Even if you aren’t making any major changes, but just trying to hold on, this song is a comfort. -Lisa

The post Moving Forward with God When Illness Threatens our Future appeared first on Rest Ministries - Chronic Illness and Pain Support.

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