Job 10:15 - If I am guilty--woe to me! Even if I am innocent, I cannot lift my head, for I am full of shame and drowned in my affliction.
We sometimes feel guilty when our life is going well and think we don’t deserve to be happy. Do you believe eventually something bad is going to happen even when good things are happening? It takes courage to be happy because maybe you believe you don’t deserve to be happy. Sometimes we’ve had ourselves wrapped up so tightly in guilt from the past that we forget what it feels like to just enjoy the moment. Don’t be afraid. Let go of your guilt and learn to be happy once more. Do you feel guilty when good things happen? Are you wrapped up in guilt? I’d love to hear from you.
Philippians 4:8 - Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.
Are we a collection of illnesses and diseases? Is this who we’ve become? No. It doesn’t have to be. Living with chronic pain and illness is a difficult road to walk on. It’s covered with pitfalls and rocks with high fences blocking the road. But we don’t have to put more rocks on the road ourselves. Pain and disease are a condition not our whole life. Do you struggle with allowing your illnesses to dominate your life? If you don’t, consider sharing with us how you stay above it. I’d love to hear from you.
Job 16:6 - Yet if I speak, my pain is not relieved; and if I refrain, it does not go away.
What we need to understand is that you manage chronic pain. You can’t cure it. Also, you must take chronic pain as seriously as you would diabetes or a heart attack. You may feel guilty taking some time off when you’re having a flare-up of pain, but pushing through it can only be handled by the body for a short time. Your body will eventually cause you to have to take a break as it places you flat on your bed. Do you find you push yourself instead of giving your body a break when you’re having a flare-up? But if you do take that break, do you feel guilty about it? I’d love to hear from you.
We compare ourselves to others and to what they have and we don’t, but there’s also another way we do comparisons: we also compare ourselves to our past. Stop doing comparisons to your past. Today can be one of your future “good ol’ days.” Turn around and look at all the areas in your life that are going well, not just those that aren’t. Finding hope can gather that rainbow when we see even a glimmer of something good on the horizon. Do you spend a lot of time thinking about the “good ol’ days?” I’d love to hear from you.
Isaiah 42:7 - To open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.
Mental illness is an island. Depression fills the inner dungeon. Fear of rejection is the bars on the windows. Emotional pain isn’t a castle on that island, but a prison with bars on the windows and gates locked in place. Anxiety holds its hand over the mouth of the one who’s trapped preventing its prisoner from crying out. Who will risk their own sanity to help us escape our dungeon? Only one who has visited that island and been locked up in their own prison. They are the ones who know what you’re going through, and sometimes just listening to their story is enough to help the captive see there’s a way out. Don’t be afraid to tell your story to someone who’s hurting. You never know. Perhaps you hold the key. Do you find yourself locked up in an inner dungeon? Are you willing to share what’s going on with your heart to someone else who may be hurting? I’d love to hear from you.
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.