When You Need Joy in Hard Times

When your body is screaming in pain, your house is a mess, the laundry is piled high, and your dog throws up on the carpet, you definitely need joy in hard times! That describes my reality right now, but thankfully, God had mercy on me this morning and helped me with the whole perspective thing. It was just in the nick of time, too, because as I write this, it’s soon going to get even crazier as we start dog-sitting a puppy.

In James 1:2, God plainly tells us that He wants us to be able to rejoice in our stressful times. He says, “when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy” (NLT). But, if you are anything like me, you might be wondering how that is even possible.

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When your life is ruled by “I CAN’T”

Today I had to ask my husband to come get me from work and take me home. 

I had been sitting at my desk, and when I got up, my back muscles contorted, causing a massive spasm which literally threw me on top of the desk. I imagine I was quite the sight as I was holding onto my keyboard for dear life, not able to get to the chair and trying desperately not to hit the floor.

One of my worst nightmares was unfolding as I realized I was going to have to call my boss and coworker to cover for me. I was going to let people down and have to accept the fact that, at least for now, I am not able to fulfill my work responsibilities.

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I hate, more than anything else, to not be able to do what I know I should be able to do. Lately, I have been saying, and have been believing, and have been coming to terms with those two little words a lot:  “I CAN’T!”

Please join me over at Arabah Joy’s blog to find out what to do when your life is characterized by “I CAN’T.”

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When You Are Frustrated with Healthcare Professionals

When I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, the rheumatologist (who I never saw again) told me that fibromyalgia was related to being a perfectionist, and that I needed to exercise. And that was it. That was all that his many years of training and experience could bring him to say.

When I told a family member (who shall remain unnamed) that I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia (just like his sister had), my unnamed family member replied with, “She’s crazy!” (meaning, the sister, of course, but implying that those with this diagnosis are crazy). Again, he was a healthcare professional.

Now, before I go any further, I should tell you that I am also a healthcare professional, a bachelor-prepared registered nurse of twenty-five years. I was taught that nurses are healthcare advocates for their patients. I took a Florence Nightengale pledge to care for my patients compassionately and be their advocate. I take this very seriously.

I choose to believe that all healthcare professionals go into the field of medicine to help people. We all take a pledge when we graduate. Yet when I got out of nursing school, I was surprised to find that so many doctors and nurses are what I call “jaded.” They have become burnt out in patient care and become immune to people with pain or other illnesses they cannot understand. They have worked a long time (most of them), and are just trying to get through their unbelievably crazy shift.

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When It Hurts Too Much

When we think of “sad,” we think of tragedies happening, people dying, hope being lost. I want to tell you a story about a different kind of sad, perhaps the most tragic of all, which is found in Matthew 8: 28-34 in the Bible. Bear with me as we explore a story of sadness on our journey of hope.
In this story, Jesus goes to a place called the “region of the Gadarenes.” I confess, I don’t know much about this place, but I do know that there were two demon-possessed men who immediately came out to taunt Jesus. They knew who Jesus was and asked why He was there, “to torture us before God’s appointed time?
They knew Jesus had power over them and that He was going to order them out of the two men’s bodies, so they begged Him to send them into some pigs nearby. Jesus did so, and the demons caused the pigs to run away, plunging to their death over a steep hillside and into a lake.
You would think this is a good thing. You would think that the people would be celebrating the release of two men who are now free of demon-possession. You would think the people would beg Jesus for more of His healing power.
But not these people. Instead, they begged Jesus to go away and leave them alone.
And I asked myself, “Do I ever do that?

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When You Need Help to Persevere

If you are human, then at some point in your life you have probably asked the four words, “Is it worth it?”

Is this marriage worth it with all its difficulties?

Is this job worth it with all the stress?

Is this friendship worth it with all the drama?

Is this ministry worth it with all it takes out of me?

Is finishing school worth it with all the work involved?

Is this treatment worth it with all the side effects?

Is this life with chronic illness worth it if nothing ever changes for the better?

And it is when we are faced with those questions, that pain and fatigue scream at us a resounding, “NO!”

What do you do when you are in this situation?

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