Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Living with illness: The phases of the inevitable!

When illness strikes an otherwise healthy person, life veers sharply towards the exit ramp of the
unexpected and unanticipated. As of late, I have experienced various emotional phases which I was unprepared for and quite unaccustomed to. I have since come to learn that this is quite normal when a person's life circumstances change to a state of New Normal. This certainly can be caused by many life altering circumstances including job changes, relationship changes and "address" changes to name just a few.

The initial jolt from your previous state of normal usually starts with frustration and anger. Things are not going the way they were. You had everything planned out perfectly and now something beyond your control has left you helpless to stop it which has most likely manifested itself through frustration followed by anger. Depending on your personality this anger is either internalized or vented, perhaps unintentionally in the direction of the ones you love most.

Next comes despair and grief. Woe is me! Bad things aren't supposed to happen to good people. But then you think to yourself, am a really a good person? Is this New Normal punishment for something I've previously done in my life or due to someone I've hurt. Um, no it's not. Illness is simply a part of life. Jesus said in the Gospel of John, "You shall have suffering in the world, but take heart, I have overcome the world.” We should not be ignorant of the fact that life most often will not always unfold the way we had hoped or planned. Likewise, we can be confident in the fact that Jesus can totally relate to suffering, knows our present sufferings and gives us grace for the moment....and there are many moments to come. Knowing this helps me contend with bodily fatigue and a gnawing residue of hopelessness.

The mind has a powerful influence over success or failure in dealing with your state of New Normal. The Apostle Paul writing in Galatians said: "For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want." Controlling you thoughts in a balanced fashion while also keeping in frequent contact with your physician and family members will go a long way in contributing to a healthy mind. Most importantly, do not underestimate the power of prayer and a daily walk with The Lord. Not just simply when you need Him during this specific life transition but for the rest of your days. I have come to find that complete healing of the body, soul and spirit can only be found in The Lord Jesus Christ.

 .....the journey continues....  

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