Five Fears of the Chronically Ill
- You will never be enough. Whether it’s pain or fatigue, anxiety or depression or even all of the above, it’s sometimes hard to think about anything but that lead weight in your bones, that fire, that ache, that scream that won’t be silenced. You try to balance even just a few relationships, keep a couple of symptoms managed, plates spinning. Will there ever be enough of you to be the person you long to be?
- You will be replaced. If you cancel one too many times people will simply stop asking you and start asking someone more dependable. Your husband will find someone attractive and thin who doesn’t sleep all the time, your friends will find more dependable people capable of enjoying fun activities with them, and your kids will find other role models to lean on who are emotionally available.
- You will never get better. You’ll simply lose more and more of yourself over time until no more of you exist. No cure will come, no medical discovery, no new medicine, no miraculous intervention—– just more pain.
- You will be alone. Pain and fatigue will be your only friends. Life will go on for everyone else but you. Eventually, it will be like you never existed. People will stop checking in and you’ll be isolated in carrying your burden.
- You will be resented. You’ll become a burden others wish they didn’t have to shoulder. Your kids will resent that you weren’t there for that game. Your spouse will resent all of that extra housework they did. Your friends will resent that you weren’t present.
This is some real and weighty stuff. What do we do with it? Like all real and weighty stuff, we take it straight to Jesus who told us that he’d not given us a spirit of fear but of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)
And we confront lies with truth.
You’ll never be enough? I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:13
Will you be resented at some point? Probably. Feel alone? Most likely. Will your physical body improve? I don’t know. Will Jesus be with you through it all? Absolutely. Can you be replaced in the heart of God? Absolutely, positively not.
So we lay our fears before the cross, replacing the lies with truth and power forward. Your turn. What fears are you facing today?