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Special Occasion Wednesday Writings

The Seasons of Chronic Illness

Nothing better illustrates the nature of life than the seasons of nature: seasons for growth, seasons for harvest, seasons for work, and seasons for rest.

To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.

Ecclesiastes 3:1

In May we announced a season of rest (at least from The Valley) for us as Emily got married and Melissa finished grad school. After praying and talking, we’re taking another break from The Valley’s blog and social media for the month of November. Emily is undergoing major surgery and Melissa’s health is affecting more areas, and we need to step back from some of our responsibilities to focus on these needs.

We hate to hit “pause” on this ministry and community, but know that we’ll keep praying for you and working behind the scenes as we can!

Before we go, here are five simple words of advice for navigating the rough seasons of life (that we’re reminding ourselves too!):

1. Remember that seasons are temporary.

No storm lasts forever. No matter how long it lasts, there’s always an end to the rain, the wind, the thunder and lightning. (If we’re honest, we recognize that some storms may not end while we’re still on earth. As Christians, however, we have confidence that some day, in God’s presence, ALL storms will cease and will be less than a memory.)

Hang in there. Eventually the valley will open up and you’ll find yourself in sunlight once more.

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.

Revelation 21:4

2. Ask God for strength.

As Carolyn Hamlin wrote in the well-known song, “Your will cannot lead me where Your grace will not keep me.” God will never bring you to a valley He won’t lead you through. When the pressures squeeze in or our strength drops away, that’s when He offers to hold us, to carry us, to be our strength in new and more powerful ways.

He gives power to the weak,
And to those who have no might He increases strength.

Isaiah 40:29

3. Immerse yourself in Scripture.

Study the Psalms or passages that bring comfort to you. Memorize verses about God’s faithfulness and how He helps and guides us. When you start feeling overwhelmed and anxiety creeps in, quote these verses to yourself. Cry out to God. He hears us and keeps a record of all our tears (Ps 56:8).

Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.

Psalm 119:105

4. Let Jesus comfort you.

Jesus knows our pain and our sorrow. He experienced rejection at the deepest level when He went to the cross to die for our sins. He is our great Comforter who offers rest to all those who come to Him (Matt 11:28-30).. Sit at His feet and let His peace that passes all understanding wash over you (Phil 4:7).

The LORD your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.”

Zephaniah 3:17

5. Don’t worry about tomorrow.

It’s easy to fret about the future. We look at the calendar and wonder how we’re going to make it through the week, endure one more doctor’s appointment, or recover from another procedure. But God hasn’t given us the grace for that specific event yet. He only gives the grace and peace in the moment. Trust Him to provide what you need when you need it.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Matthew 6:34

Remember, God will never leave you or forsake you (Heb 13:6). He is for you and not against you (Ro 8:31). He has a good purpose for this season (Ro 8:28) and loves you eternally (Ro 8:35-36).

4 replies on “The Seasons of Chronic Illness”

He’s been teaching me patience. (My condition has gone to different areas also.)

I am praying for you both. Rest well in the Lord. πŸ’•

Liked by 1 person

As a mentor told me (Melissa), waiting is a spiritual discipline. Patience is one of the hardest lessons for us humans to learn, but thankfully our Heavenly Father is so patient with us!

Thank you so much, we appreciate it. We’ll be praying for you too!

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