Writing the Story of Your Illness
We can feel isolated and powerless when living with chronic illness, but what if your story begins to bridge those barriers? What if your story begins a conversation? Opens a door for someone to connect, to feel less isolated and alone? What if your story offers a glimmer of hope to someone standing at the edge of hopelessness?
What if your story starts the conversation?
Click here for a great resource to help you write the story of your illness.
Writing Your Own Lament
Pushing our pain aside, covering it up or feeling shame because we feel it, diminishes our human experience. Even Jesus cried out in pain, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46b)
If Jesus, God in human flesh, cried out in anguish in the garden of Gethsemane and from the cross, if he wept over Lazarus’ death, why do we feel it is faithless to lament? Why do we fear to embrace what God so clearly expresses in His Word?
Illness, pain and grieving are messy and complicated. Yet God says, “Take heart.”
Click here for a resource to help you experience and write your own lament.
Finding Purpose Resources
BIBLICAL PURPOSE STATEMENT
By definition, purpose encompasses our intentions and objectives. It’s the reason something exists or was created, the reason we act or choose not to act.
Often when we think of purpose, we think in terms of employment, relationship status (daughter, son, friend, husband, wife, mother, father, neighbor), volunteer or service work, or contributions to society. And while those are good and valuable, they are only a partial definition.
Click here for a resource to help you develop your own purpose statement.
Allegory is a beautiful, artistic form of storytelling that weaves difficult or abstract truths in ways that are easily relatable and understandable. Meaning is often woven through places and characters named for their qualities, strengths or weaknesses.
Click here for a resource to enjoy writing your own allegory.
The Practice of Holy Reading
Lectio Divina is the ancient practice of slowly, contemplatively reading the words of Scripture, an invitation to encounter God through His Word, to pay close attention, to be fully present. As we step into the practice of holy reading, we begin to discover the underlying spiritual rhythm of our lives, a rhythm sewn into the creation of the world. Day follows night. Tides rise and fall. Months and seasons change as we note the waxing and waning of the moon. And we learn to celebrate new life, sometimes even as we grieve significant loss.
Click here for a resource to help you enter into this ancient practice.
Embracing Worth Resources
MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION
The Biblical definition of reconciliation stems from the Greek root word kapar, meaning to change or exchange. At its heart, this word embodies both the relationships between each of us and God, and our relationships with each other.
Without reconciliation, without change or exchange, our sin forever separates us from God. We have no power to restore that broken relationship, no way to atone for our sins.
Click here for your FREE guide.
What we experience because of chronic physical or mental illness can not only be difficult to explain, but difficult for those who don’t experience it to understand. But there is a tool that can help.
Click here for a FREE resource.
I Take You in Sickness & in Health
PRAYER OF EXAMEN
More than 400 years ago, the ancient prayer of Examen helped the Franciscan Monks intentionally seek the Presence of God. It was a retuning to or a refocusing on God in order to reflect on the day and discover God’s Presence eve.
At its heart, Examen is simply sharing our day with Jesus and seeking His direction in prayer.
Click here for this free guide.
BUILDING YOUR BUCKET LIST
Bucket lists are way of charting our hopes and dreams, the things we‘d love to see and experience before we die. You can write a bucket list for each season of the year or for specific seasons of life.
Items on your bucket list don’t have to be extreme or expensive. They can include things like going to a new restaurant or to a concert in the park, learning to play chess or learning to write a memoir, or watching the sunrise.They are a wonderful opportunity for you and your spouse to begin to dream together again.
Click here for this free guide.
Even More Resources
CREATIVE WAYS TO USE OUR STUDIES
Looking for creative ways to connect with others as you unpack the Chronic Joy studies? This FREE printable does just that! Click here for Creative Ways to Use Our Studies.
CREATIVE WAYS TO SERVE
Chronic illness can make serving in traditional or culturally familiar ways more challenging, but not impossible. We invite you to discover creative new ways to love God and love others right where you are, however you are able. CREATIVE WAYS TO SERVE
Free Printable Facts
These quick easy fact sheets can be used with those in your sphere of influence – friends, family, churches, small groups, co-workers and neighbors too promote knowledge, awareness and education.