Friday, April 8, 2016


I have come so far in this journey the last 15 months with Crohn's disease. 
(The 7 years searching for a diagnosis was quite the journey too.) 

Lately, I have asked God if this is to be my story. Is suffering my thing? 
The other night, I watched a video where a lady shared about her suffering and how she is letting God use her through her suffering. 
She is not well, and may never be, but she has found joy in God through it all. Not to say that she doesn't have terrible days- she admits that she does. 

That's what is so hard for me. I can have a good day and then it transform into deep pain in less than 20 minutes. It's so hard. 
I've began to ask God, how can I serve you through my suffering? 
How can I portray the love of God more than constantly crying out that I'm in pain? 
I find so much joy in my life and I am blessed beyond anything that I could have ever have expected. How do these both exist at the same time? 
My friend, Kelly wrote a post this week on Christian phrases to avoid. The comments section is so enlightening. My suffering and someone else's suffering may look completely different, but we all question it and what it means in the big scheme of things. 

Even as Christians, things we say to each other can seem hurtful. This really made me think about the things that I might say to someone.
As someone who has suffered, I also struggle with sharing my struggles because I don't want to sound as if mine are just as bad or worse than someone else's. I don't want to diminish their struggle. I, myself, have felt that so many times.
Because I don't have cancer or something that is well known, I feel less validated in my pain and the way people understand it.
Not that I necessarily need to be validated, it just makes it more difficult when interacting with people or explaining what is going on with me.

I know with certainty that I have been shaped by this disease now.
That shaping comes from enduring it, having time to reflect, some really good books that I've been able to read, and relationships that I have in my life.
I've also lowered expectations and learned to know how to make preparations for what we have going on. If I know what to expect and how I can pre-prepare, we are most of the way there!
My house may not be as clean as it used to be, but the things that matter are getting done and I am focusing on being present and making memories with those who matter the most.

I still also make time for people outside of my inner core.
I visit an older gentleman through our visitation ministry and a girl through a mentor program in our public schools. I also meet with a mentor through my church.
These relationships have had such an impact on my life in such different ways.
It helps me to look beyond myself and try to invest in others.

I can never begin to understand life and why suffering exists. I believe that deep down, we all want that question answered. I do know, however, that hope and joy exist as well.
As Charles Stanley said,
Our heavenly Father understands our disappointment, suffering, pain, fear, and doubt. He is always there to encourage our hearts and help us understand that He's sufficient for all of our needs. When I accepted this as an absolute truth in my life, I found that my worrying stopped.

This is the hope I cling to:
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.
His oath, His covenant, His blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.
When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found;
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.


  1. I'm glad that you're sharing your suffering. I'm not glad that you're suffering, by any means. I pray daily for your comfort. I'm glad you're sharing though, because I think we hide our sufferings too much in order to appear a certain way. You have a chronic disease. It's not just going away. It may not have the advocacy of other ailments, but that doesn't take away from the fact that you do suffer from it. Your life is changed by it. Sharing our sufferings is how we know that we're not as alone as we felt.

    There is this temptation, I think, as christians to make our lives appear clean, tidy, organized, perfect. They're not, no one's is. We aren't perfect, we are being sanctified by the Holy Spirit, meaning we are a work in progress. We will all suffer, in one way or another, until we shed these earthly bodies. Never be afraid to share. We are meant to support one another.

  2. I enjoy reading your posts, I am especially touched by your honesty with how you are dealing with your Crohn's Disease. I have a friend who is much older than you that has suffered for many years of this disease. She goes through periods of remission and does great, but when it comes back she suffers terribly! I just took her today for her first infusion of remicade (sp?) and pray that she will soon feel better. Because of her Chrohn's (and yours too!) I have learned not to take my health for granted. Please know that I will keep you in my prayers. Because of Him, Johna


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