My Husband was sick this past week. I knew something was bad when he told me in the middle of the night that his throat was sore - so I got up and got him some medication. The next day he had school and work but he sent a text asking for me to pray for him to get throught his shift at work because he was feeling so achy. When he got home I took his temp. and he had a fever which continued to get higher through the afternoon and evening. Finally he feel to sleep and I knew he was REALLY sick when he didn't even want to eat his mom's homemade chicken soup with dumplings (which I had made for him).
Sometimes it's good for those of us who have continual health issues to take care of someone else who is in pain and feeling horribly sick. While there are distinct differences in having a passing illness and being in constant pain or illness - it can be helpful for us to see how it feels to be the one caring for something who is sick. It's important to feel the worry over if something could be seriously wrong, to know how it feels (even in part) to watch someone you love deeply feeling pain and sickness. Not only does it move our eyes from the constant danger of selfish interspection, but it also helps us feel what it's like for those who are close to us to deal with our health issues. I wanted to snap my fingers and make my husband feel better. I LONGED to take away his fever and pain he was having. I wanted to do anything to make him drink and eat and feel ok again. I hated seeing him suffering. I would a million times rather be the one who was sick (and I did end up catching a mild case of whatever it was he had) than the one watching someone suffering. This is probably how my husband feels when I am in noticable pain or sick.
I think the discipline of thinking outside of ourselves is so healthy and needed. It isn't a pity party. Life isn't just about me and my comfort. I (and you) need to think how it feels for those who are close to us and love us. Our chronic pain and illness that never goes away causes GREAT pain to those who love us as well. Maybe it causes more pain to them than it does to us. So for all of you who are reading who love someone who is dealing with chronic health issues: thank you for sticking with us. Thank you for loving us even though our lack of good health causes you pain. Thank you for being here when we feel alone. Thank you for not giving up. For going to yet another doctor appointment. For reminding us to take medication or vitamins. For cooking for us when we don't have the energy. For finding little ways to ease our discomfort. There are really no words to thank you enough.
Lastly, in living well while dealing with chronic pain or illness, those of us on this side of the fence can ease the pain of those who love us and want us to be cured. When I choose to live in joy even when life is no fun - I ease the pain that my husband (and others close to me) feel when they look at my life. No, I am NOT always happy. Life is NO fun at times. Pain HURTS - badly sometimes. But, there IS joy and hope and meaning even in a life lived with pain - and that is because of Jesus Christ. Grab onto that joy and hope and meaning. If you don't know the peace and joy that Jesus can give please talk to me about it! I would love to share the best new I have ever heard with you. He is the reason I live.