Nine years has gone by in a flash!
April 19, 2005, my book, “Peace in the Storm: Meditations on Chronic Pain & Illness,” first appeared in bookstores. I remember holding my first copy, looking at the cover, and wondering, “What will become of this? Who will find it? Will it be of help?”
Truly, my impetus for writing the book was to help others living daily with chronic illness and pain to walk closely with God. A few years before, I had been diagnosed with lupus, and was in contact with many more people who had the disease or other serious health challenges. One of the things I heard from my fellow patients was, “Why me?” And the next thing I heard was usually, “What will my life become?”
Each person’s journey from diagnosis onward takes a distinct, individual path. Ups, downs, curves, detours, straight-lines – yes, it’s different for each of us. But, even if I couldn’t discern what someone’s life would be, I did know one thing: Without faith, we cannot possibly get through it all.
It was with this beginning that I took meditations and prayers that I’d been writing in a journal and began “Peace in the Storm.” All along my writing the book, which was exhilarating and exhausting, I kept in mind my fellow patients and their loved ones and asked, “Where is God in the moments? Where is God in each individual’s life? Where is faith in the questions that have no answers?” I focused on specific examples, practical questions – no “just have a positive attitude and you’ll be fine” – because it is in these things that we truly live out our faith and find God’s comfort and guidance. Yes, even when there is a fog around us so thick that we can’t see anything but blur.
Blessedly – and I praise God every day for this – “Peace in the Storm” finds its way into the hands of those who need it. Church support groups, patient groups, individuals, and even medical professionals and caregivers – I am so grateful to be able to help others, even when I cannot physically be present to do so!
As the book’s journey continues, I can’t quite give definitive answers to the first two questions that I asked when I held the first copy of “Peace in the Storm.” “What will become of this?” and “Who will find it?” are open-ended, ongoing. But the answer to my question, “Will it be of help?” is clearer: Yes.
Not only has, praise God!, the book been helpful to others, it has continued to bless my life. There is nothing more uplifting in a life of pain and illness than to know that you can be helpful to others.
So, I encourage you – find your “Peace in the Storm.” Find a way that you can reach out and bring light to other people, no matter how tired, isolated, or pained you are. This is our ministry-in-illness, our portion-in-pain. And this is our very special way to take what we’ve learned and believe and help others to hope and heal.
Thank you to all who have and will find “Peace in the Storm!”
Blessings for the day,