Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Chronic Illness: Developing a Fighting Spirit

posted by mpratt

Maureen Pratt Author PicOh, my word, another diagnosis. Just when I thought I’d “collected the whole set” of lupus-related, autoimmune illnesses, I’ve been given another. And with it is another medication, monitoring by another specialist, and all the other things that go with it. More about the diagnosis later. In this blog, I wanted to give a few thoughts about developing a fighting spirit that does not take away from faith, joy, and having a life that contains positive and nurturing elements.

I’ve always been a fighter against the constraints imposed by lupus. Not that I try to ignore them or throw them to the wind. Rather, I try to be creative, still intent upon doing the things I like to do, albeit in a different way. “Fighting,” in this sense, does not mean “getting angry with,” but acknowledging whatever health challenge has arisen, and then moving toward the “what do I do now, medically, personally, spiritually?”

My fight always includes God. I don’t see Him as an adversary, but someone right alongside me as I move ahead. The same with my friends and family members with whom I am close (and my doctors). Drawing on their encouragement, support, humor, and knowledge is essential to avoid being a victim of a new or ongoing health situation.

Planning concretely is another good way to meet the challenge of health problems. Make and keep those doctors’ appointments, learn as much as possible, formulate a plan with the medical team, find positive ways to cope.

With these and other steps that take me from a position of “Oh, really?” to “Okay, now what do I do?” I can develop and nurture a fighting spirit within the context of faith and light, building strength all the way forward.

Prayer for Disabled Veterans

posted by mpratt
Image courtesy of Michael Elliott/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Michael Elliott/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Heavenly Father, during this weekend of Memorial Day,

I lift up to you each man and woman who has given service to our nation,

especially those who, because of their sacrifice, have returned disabled.

Be with them in their darkest hours.

When they feel weak, give them your comfort.

When they feel despondent, give them your hope.

When they feel like giving up, give them your strength.

                                                                                                              Wrap your care and love around them and their families as they work to heal.

                                                                                                       Give us wisdom to know what we can do to help them, too.

                                                                                                     And fill our hearts with determination

                                                                                                                 To make their way a little easier, their painful return a way to renewal and joy.

                                                                                                  Amen

                                                                                                          Thank you to all veterans and their families!

Illness: Is God Punishing You?

posted by mpratt
Image Courtesy of dan/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image Courtesy of dan/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Early on in my journey with lupus, a Christian said to me, “You’re not cured because you’re not faithful enough.” When I challenged her on this, she said that she though God was punishing me for my “lack of belief!”

I’ve never believed that illness in our lives was a punishment from God. He loves us, each of us. The proof is Jesus on the cross, Christ risen! But still, some people equate illness with punishment.

I understand this a little; being sick can sure feel as if we’re being pummeled. Moreover, most of us “patients” have wondered, “What did I do to deserve this?” But to think that God, in His ever-merciful presence, is inflicting us with suffering because we need “punishment” is beyond my comprehension. Perhaps our journeys with illness are tests, or ways in which we are meant to come to a greater understanding of God, or come to deeper personal growth. But pure punishment? No.

Truly, no matter how much pain we are enduring, no matter how serious our illness, God wants to bring us comfort, peace, and, yes, blessings of joy. If we cower from God because we believe we’re being punished, we will deprive ourselves of the love that He offers freely and constantly. We’ll also be weaker as we face the challenges that beset our lives – and with illness and pain, we need all the strength we can obtain! Think of it this way, we need God in our corner, not absent from our lives!

Instead of asking God, “Why are you doing this to me?” I try to ask, “What am I to learn from this?” or “What do I need to understand?” or “What do I do with this?”

I want to be closer to God, not more distant.

Blessings for the day,

Maureen

Prayer for an Unknown Person

posted by mpratt
Image Courtesy of Janes Barker/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image Courtesy of Janes Barker/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Dear Heavenly Father,

Yesterday I saw a person who seemed troubled.

We did not exchange a word, but I saw within weary eyes,

a very weak light.

I do not know what this person is enduring,

nor do I have a name or an address.

But, Lord, I know that you know,

And I also know that your love works everywhere,

even in places and people unknown to me.

Please be with the person I saw, Lord.

Bring rest, renewed vitality, and wisdom.

Rekindle the light I saw so that it burns brighter.

And let your peace settle all around, like a cloak of comfort,

Like Your nurturing strength.

Amen

Peace be with you,

Maureen

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