The Gratitude Project 2: Sympathetic Spoonies

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This week for The Gratitude Project, I am thanking God for friends who understand what it is like to have a chronic illness.

Jesus understands, but He also blessed me with other people.

I know Jesus understand my suffering better than anyone else. I know I can bring these struggles to God and He will listen and comfort me. I even know that He has allowed me to experience these illnesses for some reason that is for the greater good in some way. I recognize that I need to improve my prayer life and bring these problems to Him. At the same time, I believe God has blessed me with some wonderful friends.

Jesus understands, but He also blessed me with other people. Click To Tweet

It’s nice to rant about frustrating doctor appointments that don’t yield answers to someone who has gone through it. It’s comforting to mutually mourn the loss of health only two decades into our lives. It’s encouraging to have someone who pushes you to be better while also recognizing just how difficult that can be.

While I am not grateful that some of the people I care about also suffer from chronic illnesses (and I pray for their healing – if it is God’s will – regularly), I am grateful to have friends who care about me and understand my situation a little better than the average person.  

Sometimes, I do feel guilty because I see how my friends struggle and recognize how lucky I am; I know I should be a better friend. And yet, that is another blessing: despite my many flaws, these wonderful people continue to put up with me.

I’m going to keep rolling with the trend of finding gratitude despite my chronic illness to see where it takes me.

I know I just wrote about chronic illness last week, but I think it is worth discussing for two reasons. The first is the bigger reason: as Christians, we recognize there is suffering, but also recognize it has a greater purpose. Sharing our hope despite the struggles is important to share that truth.

The second reason is a more selfish one: I need to find things to stay positive. I’m only 24 and have had a string of random and difficult health issues. Between the expected stress of having chronic illnesses and struggling with mental health issues, it can be really difficult to maintain hope. I know that finding blessings in my day-to-day life is incredibly helpful in my overall perspective.

While I don’t think I’ll have something to be grateful for every week as it relates to chronic illness, I do think it is helpful, at least for me, to document those moments when I do see the good buried beneath all the test strips and empty pill bottles.

It is helpful to document when I see the good buried beneath all the test strips. Click To Tweet

Thank God for the blessings He has given me.

Thank you, God, for the beautiful people you have placed in my life.

Thank you for them putting up with me when I’m a lousy friend.

Thank you for giving me ongoing hope.

Who is someone you are grateful for?


The Gratitude Project

Get involved!

This post is part of The Gratitude Project. You can read more about it here. There are a number of ways you can get involved:

  • Find a way to intentionally express gratitude be it journaling, praying a daily examen, or something else
  • Share a gratitude moment on social media using #bctgp
  • On this post, you can share your gratitude moments in the comments.
  • You can write your own post about gratitude and link it in the comments below.
  • You can go to Anni’s blog, and in one of her blog posts about The Gratitude Project, you can share a gratitude moment or leave a link to your post in her post’s comment section.

My Other Gratitude Project Posts

Introduction: fostering an attitude of gratitude through prayer

1: Knowing God Loves Me

Chronic Illnesses

If you’re curious why I titled this piece “Sympathetic Spoonies,” I encourage you to read about the Spoon Theory.

In addition to my gratitude posts, I have written about loving God while living with a chronic illness and coming to understand why God “gave” me a chronic illness.


Comments 2

  • This is great!! It definitely is so rewarding when we find friends who truly *get* chronic illness. It doesn’t exactly make things entirely easier, but it does make the explanations a little easier – I find it easier to apologize for canceling a scheduled meet-up because I don’t feel well, with another friend with a chronic illness, simply because they usually don’t take the excuse personally!

    Friends who understand are true treasures! Thanks for linking up!

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