Philippians 4:6 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Here we are at another Thanksgiving. Preparations are being made for a family dinner with all the trimmings – turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, salads and desserts. But for the one battling chronic pain preparing a meal and having guests arrive at your home, can push you over the top.
It’s hard to clean that turkey and lift it into the oven. You cringe as your back fills with searing pain. And, just the thought of having a lot to do, can put you over the top.
This year, you want to have a joy-filled, thankful day. But you’re having trouble finding something to be thankful for this year.
Your family knows that we aren’t well, but they want you to at least act like you’re happy to see your guests.
So, you push yourself and push yourself until the meal is done. Now it’s time to put out the food and sit down to eat it. From somewhere comes an internal cry from the amount of pain you are in. Would your family understand if you tell them you’re not well?
I think it depends on how to balance showing your love and wanting to retreat to your bed that’s calling your name. How did you get to this point? Why did you volunteer to make the meal this year?
It’s because you want to find a way to be thankful and show it. How can this pain you feel make you more thankful? I think it all boils down to perception. Even if you want to run away to your bedroom and lock the door, so you won’t be disturbed.
Let’s find something to be thankful for in the midst of your pain:
Migrainemantras.com posts in their article some additional things to be thankful for when you have a chronic illness, “8 Reasons I’m Thankful I Have a Chronic Illness,” such as knowing your body causes you to be more focused on what your body is experiencing. In addition, learning how to set boundaries and learning to say, “No” sometimes causes you to have a more balanced life.
In closing, look at the Bible verse above. It admonishes us to not be anxious, which would include chronic pain and, in every situation, not just some situations, pray and give thanks to God when you’re asking for him to help you get through one more day. It won’t be easy but learning to be thankful can be just what you need to live your life despite chronic pain.
Philippians 4:6 - Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
This next week we will be celebrating Thanksgiving Day. And even though it is the day we set aside each year to think about what we’re grateful for, many of us have feel anything but being grateful.
I’m speaking to those of us who each day suffer with a chronic health condition. What can we possibly be thankful for when our lives are filled with pain and sickness?
But we can choose to look at life differently and with gratitude.
Yes, no one enjoys living with a chronic health condition, but we have just as much, and even more, to be grateful for. For those of us who suffer, finding something to be grateful for can seem out of reach. But there always is at least one small thing that we can and should be thankful for.
You may feel like you don’t even know where to begin to change your way of thinking, take a look at the article on takingcharge.csh.umn.edu, “10 Ways to be a More Thankful Person.” The article shows how feeling thankful can improve our health with the examples of as developing the habit of thanking yourself as you develop healthy habits, and savoring the good moments by stopping a few minutes to focus on the thing we can be grateful for so that when things are tough you have the memory to call to mind.
Things aren’t always going to head in the right direction. You will experience pain and suffering caused by your chronic health condition. But you don’t need to add negative feelings into the mix. It can add more sorrow than you need to carry. Yet, as you’ve seen in the article above, you can find something to be grateful for even when you’re suffering.
Take a look at the Bible verse above. It says to not be anxious about anything. It seems like an impossible task when all we can see is our life tumbling out of control with no way to stop it. But there is something we can do. We can pray. And as we pray we aren’t to just ask for our needs, but to tell God how grateful we are that we’re not in this alone. Remember that this coming week. Be thankful in all things.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.