Click Your Heels Together Three Times and Say “I’m All Better Now!”

I have a few people in my life who have expected me to suddenly get better. Their inquiries about my health go beyond a nice “How are you feeling? Any progress?”. If I tell them I’m just the same as I was a few months ago, they react with crushed disappointment, anger at my doctors, and a list of things that they think I should be doing. Their reactions almost seem like a personal attack. From the person who believes God will heal me because illness is never part of a blessed life (so they say), to the person who as acts as if I’ve done all the wrong things and seen all the wrong doctors, they leave me feeling worse about my situation than before, even if they had good intentions. I’m disappointed, too, but I can’t instantly make my body do something that it’s not ready to do. I can’t click my heels together and immediately go back to where I started. This isn’t a cold or the flu. There’s unfortunately no quick remedy. In the wake of those interactions, I have to remind myself of some important things.

First, like so many chronically ill people, I’ve done all that I can do for myself. I eat a very healthy diet, take supplements, have gotten counseling, see doctors regularly, get physical exercise when I can (which basically means taking a slow walk through the grocery store), do my own research on my symptoms, and do many other things to help both my physical and mental health. I also pray about my illness all the time. To allow myself to be devastatingly disappointed every time those things don’t work (which is most of the time) would be terrible for my mental health. I’d just give up, plain and simple. And I can’t do that. In time, with persistence from my doctors and myself, I believe that either my body will start to heal or we will find something that will finally work. Even when people treat me like I haven’t done enough, it’s not true. I’ve done enough, probably more than enough. The rest is in God’s hands, and I have to find peace in that without being upset by someone’s thoughtless words.

Second, illness is a sad and hard thing in and of itself. I remind myself of that often. When I have a hard day, I tell myself “It’s okay to cry. This is hard.” I don’t try to pretend this isn’t happening. But life with an illness doesn’t have to be all sadness and distress. There are many people throughout history who have had a disability or serious illness their whole life, and they have lived fulfilling, wonderful lives. Lives with the burden of illness, yes, but fulfilling nonetheless. God doesn’t always choose to heal everyone. I can still find joy and wonder in the unusual circumstances of my illness. I see things from a different perspective than I used to and have both the time and inclination to do things I didn’t do before I was sick. I’ve become a stronger, more empathetic person, and have learned a deeper trust in God. So even though this illness is bad, I’ve found good lessons in it. Getting better instantly just won’t happen, and getting better at all may not happen, though I hope and pray it will. Even if I don’t get better, it doesn’t mean my life is ruined and not worth living. It doesn’t mean God has left me. My life can still be fulfilling, just in a way I never imagined it would.

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3 comments

  1. The Person Next to You · July 28, 2015

    Amen, friend! Great post!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. mechristandchronicdisease · August 6, 2015

    I can so relate to how thoughtless even well meaning people can be. People in my church actually think that I am not being healed because i am holding on to bitterness and unforgiveness or there must be some secret sin I am holding on to. I often find people ask how you are but they really don’t want to know. I am so glad that I have the Lord in my life and he helps me everyday. Despite having Chron’s disease, Asthma, Fibromyalgia, recurring kidney stones I still fight to be as active and normal as anyone else. I still have dreams and goals and I won’t be defined by any illness. I am so grateful that i have the Lord in my life and when everyone tells me I can’t he tells me I can. I trust him to go before me and prepare the way. I used to feel so wounded by those who wonder why I haven’t been healed by now but the Lord does not promise to heal everyone and like you the Lord has taught me wonderful lessons through my battle. But the biggest thing I have learned in the last year is that the Lord knows the real story he see my struggle and I can always count on him to understand just where I am in life. What really breaks my heart is when I read a blog where someone is trying to cope with a chronic illness and they don’t know the Lord. How difficult that must be. Before I new the Lord I used to try to have an emergency plan for everything that I would think could go wrong with my health and with my life. Let me tell you that’s one exhausting way to live. Now that I know the Lord and have been walking with him for some time I don’t have to have all the answers I just do my best and leave the rest up to God.

    Liked by 1 person

    • maryamu25 · August 7, 2015

      Wow, thank you for your comments! It is hard to work through people’s insensitive comments, but like you, I am so glad that the Lord is with me through every moment of this illness. And, like you, I’ve also been thinking about people who don’t know the Lord and how they cope with illness. I’m so glad I have His comfort and hope, and that I can trust Him for the future.

      Liked by 1 person

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