Over the last 20 years of my personal experience with chronic illness, I have encountered just about every opinion on the matters of faith, healing, and "why" I'm sick. I've had more prayers prayed over me than can be counted, and more suggestions than one could possibly put into action in a lifetime.
Sigh. The prayers and suggestions have all been very well meaning and full of honorable intentions.
Though I'm a strong proponent of locating any over-attachments to your illness, or discovering any places in your soul where you have allowed sickness to become your identity, I have to keep coming back to this...
Sometimes...sickness just isn't your fault. It has nothing to do with a decision, a choice, a sin, or anything else that was within your control. Sometimes sickness just happens.
Just like we can over-attach to our sickness and have a hard time stepping into our healing, we can also blame ourselves and heap mounds of guilt, regret, and shame on ourselves. Both of these extremes can lead us into further sickness. So let me say this again:
It's not your fault.
You have MS? Fibromyalgia? Lyme? Hashimotos? Migraines? It's not your fault.
There's nothing quite as devastating as being sick and then having an extra scoop of shame dumped on you. It makes sickness feel even heavier. It puts one more helping of "impossible" on your plate.
So you know what? Don't allow it.
Don't allow that lie to creep into your life. Yes, we all make choices. And yes, no one makes perfect choices all the time. So, if you're thinking you're sick because of that time you made a midnight run to Krispy Kreme donuts and ate the whole box...or you had that one cigarette at church camp when you were in junior high...just stop right there. That's probably not why you're sick.
We all feel a sense of yearning and that things are "not quite right" on this planet. This is because our spirit is connecting to the deeper truth that the world is indeed fallen. It isn't perfect. When we are surrounded by high school shootings and genocides...you better believe there is evil in the world, and not everything is as it should be. Yet. I love that word YET. It gives me hope.
So if I can offer any consolation to your heart, your soul, your faith, and your inner sense of hope: Give yourself the gift of unshaming and unblaming yourself. Take a breath. God is still in control (though it can feel otherwise at times). And, He is not finished yet. This world has dark patches, seasons, and even decades. Yet, God is completely good, completely powerful, and completely kind - all at the same time. He is still working all things together for your ultimate good.
This sickness you are enduring does not get the final word. It doesn't get to steal your faith or joy unless you choose to let it. And shame isn't your present or your future if you choose to believe this truth: this sickness you're experiencing is not your fault or your true identity.
Let me nutshell this for you:
- Your sickness is not your fault.
- God isn't finished yet.
- Lies usually feel like truth, but they're just a little twisted. Take note of the twist.
- You have every reason to wake up with hope. God sees you, God loves you, and He's moving your mountains even when you can't see it.
And by the way, if there's still that little voice telling you some of this sickness is because of an attitude or some place of bitterness you're holding on to - then let it push you into repentance. Repent quickly and honestly, then be done and move on in freedom.