So based on the response from my first post, it seems like maybe I should keep doing this. (Actually, I’m pretty stubborn, I would keep doing it no matter what kind of response I got but it’s so nice to hear from so many people telling me positive things about it)! But another thing that was so glaringly evident to me is that pretty much everybody who gave me their opinion could relate to what I said-whether they had a chronic illness or not! I’ve really thought about this and come to the conclusion that we are a hurting world and that everybody has some type of “chronic illness” that they deal with. Obviously, as a daughter of Christ, I believe that the chronic illness is sin. We are a sinful, prideful world and we ALL need Jesus. But there’s so much more than that going on. Each of us has our own pain or hurt that we are dealing with. Now I don’t mean that we are all “woe is me” people, I just mean that we can all relate to each other in some way. It might be because people judge you for any number of reasons. Or it might be because of a situation or crisis that you are going through at the moment. Or maybe it’s an addict who wants to stop whatever it is that has control over them but they are afraid. Whatever the reason, IT DOESN’T MATTER! You are still in pain and you want to feel better. If you suffer from a chronic illness then you know exactly where I’m coming from. Each day you wake up not sure what you will be facing that day. Maybe it’s a good day and you feel like you can totally do this! Maybe it’s a great day and you accomplish things that you wondered if you would ever be able to do again. But eventually, that “bad” day comes. You wake up and you just know that even getting out of bed will be your greatest achievement of the day (and sometimes you can’t even get out of bed). If you are like me, you feel so guilty because of the things you can’t do anymore. It’s like you crash and you wonder why in the world you have to go through this. It’s hard to be grateful on those days because I tend to focus on what I’ve lost instead of focusing on the positive things. It seems like, on those horrible days, there is no hope. But, my friends, let me tell you this. THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE! One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned through this journey is to never lose hope. I will know that I have truly given up when I am totally hopeless. So, even on those days when I don’t have the energy to move, much less do anything else, my mind is still going strong. And I tell myself: “You are not without hope”! And it is on these days that Jesus shows me how much worse it could be. I hear of tragedies so unthinkable to me that I wonder what right I have to even complain, much less question “Why me”. It’s more like “why not me”? After all, it could be so much worse than it is. So on those days my biggest accomplishment is to turn to my Heavenly Father. I can never be without hope because I know that He is watching over me. He knows this is a bad day for me. He knew it a long time ago. If fact, He’s just waiting on ME to call out to him. And He doesn’t care if I come to him with joy in my heart or sadness or even anger. He just wants me to come to Him period. Then He will do the rest. He is my hope. That doesn’t mean He will fix it all and take away all my pain and illness. But He will get me through that moment. And you know what? That moment turns into an hour and those hours turn into a day. He gives me the hope I need for that moment. And he doesn’t just do that for people with chronic illnesses. He does that for ANYBODY in pain. You just have to bring it to Him. It doesn’t matter if you are crawling and don’t think you will get there or if you are just weary and moving slow, He is there waiting. And He won’t give up on you so please don’t give up on Him. Take that hurt you have and give it to your Heavenly Father because He says that He will bear that burden for you. Trust me, I know this to be true. I have made that “crawl” and that “weary walk” to Him more times than I can count. I’ve even stumbled and fell on the way there and He came and met me where I was. And you know what else? Not one time has He failed to be there for me with His arms wide open! He’s just waiting for you, too. Take that first step and begin the greatest journey of your life-with Him!