Have you ever struggled with a chronic illness? Or do you know someone who has? It can be very difficult to keep a positive mindset through that kind of trial. And it can begin to feel endless having to deal with a circumstance that drags on and on.

No one could ever look at chronic illness through some magical lens and call it a blessing.

…Right?

When an illness is constantly attacking your body, hope is harder to keep a firm grip on, and discouragement and depression can easily set in. So it might seem crazy when I say that my chronic illness has blessed me in several ways.

Which is why I have to share this with you today, because—whether you’re dealing with a chronic illness or not—I truly believe the lessons I’ve learned I’m learning will bless you too.

Free Endo Warrior Self-Care Cheat Sheet

Want self-care tips to help you conquer life with endo? I’ve got you covered! Get the password for the library with the free 16 Must-Have Self-Care Items for Endo Warriors cheat sheet here by filling out this form:

4 Ways My Chronic Illness has been a Blessing

I’ve dealt with a couple of chronic illnesses thus far, the first one being anorexia. Praise God, He has redeemed me from that eating disorder. If you haven’t read about how I beat anorexia, you can find my story here. Or if you prefer video, I’ve got you covered here.

The chronic illness I’m dealing with right now is endometriosis. It’s something that’s been present since I was a teenager, and at times I still deal with it. I believe God is healing me of this disease in His perfect timing, and I’ve seen a lot of relief recently.

4 Ways My Chronic Illness Has Blessed Me | chronic illness | blessings | testimony | anorexia | endometriosis | hidden blessings | trusting God | trust your journey | healing #chronicillness #blessings #testimony #anorexia #endometriosis #trustyourjourney #trustingGod #healing
Several hours after my second endometriosis surgery.

You can read more about how I’m conquering endometriosis here. I’ve got a video version of this too if you prefer to listen while you’re doing chores or such, just click here.

An awesome thing about the latest part of my endometriosis journey is how God used that season to reveal a few things to me—and bless me in the process. Yes, I just said that. It blessed me. This chronic illness was used by God to BLESS ME.

What was intended to harm me was used by God to bring something better into my life! I just had to be willing to open my ears and hear Him.

Here’s what the Lord revealed to me.

1. Trust Me with your finances

If you’re anything like me, finances can be a challenge. In fact, I was raised in a family where money was always emphasized. My dad agonized over paying the bills each month. And when my mom decided not to go back to work after my sister was born, there was definite tension in the house. Because of money.

Suffice to say that the value of money has always had a great bearing on my life, however subconscious. I recall my dad saying that we’d be eating out of dumpsters or going to live in the poor house, whatever that meant. I was around 8 so I didn’t fully understand. But it frightened me.

Once my husband and I were married, he didn’t understand why I wanted to save money. I was extremely afraid of overspending, and I knew we needed to start setting aside a good portion of our income each month. But my husband didn’t get it.

“What are we saving for?” he’d ask in frustration. I was appalled that he didn’t have the same money mindset that I was raised with. And it freaked me out that he was a spender. The thing was, he’s an incredibly generous person, which I love about him, but I couldn’t wrap my mind around the fact that—in order to become that generous type of person—you have to spend money.

I was not about tithing. At all. That wasn’t something I learned much about growing up. My mom did try to instill that in me with a special sort of allowance at one point, which I appreciate so much. But because my family had been out of church so much due to illness and caretaking of my grandma, I hadn’t had much experience in regard to giving to the Lord.

4 Ways My Chronic Illness Has Blessed Me | chronic illness | blessings | testimony | anorexia | endometriosis | hidden blessings | trusting God | trust your journey | healing #chronicillness #blessings #testimony #anorexia #endometriosis #trustyourjourney #trustingGod #healing

I believed tithing was part of the old covenant, that it was a legal requirement that was no longer imposed on us today because Jesus has fulfilled the law for us. And that’s true. But the Lord wants us to be cheerful givers. And now I can see that trusting God with the first 10% of what He blesses me with is extremely important in acting on my faith.

The first endometriosis surgery I had was after my husband and I had been married for less than 2 years. We were doing well financially, and the Lord had blessed us in those first 2 years. Then that hospital bill came. I read $20,000 and immediately felt a sense of doom and panic. Tears started streaming and my sobs were uncontrollable.

But the only thing my husband was worried about was me and my reaction. The financial burden that seemed to be looming and the ruin I imagined pressing down upon us? He was unfazed.

I only calmed down once I realized that that $20,000 was the cost BEFORE insurance benefits were applied. Phew!

Praise God, I’m a different person today. I’m not where I should be yet, and it may be a while before I get there, but let me just say, I’ve done an about-face on the whole money issue.

Wanna know the absolutely CRAZY part?

My trust in the Lord with money has skyrocketed since our income DECREASED by 60%.

You’d think I’d be more worried and more upset about financial matters due to our small income, but the opposite is true. And how can I explain it? I can’t. Other than knowing it’s all the work of almighty God. And it’s only possible because I chose to surrender it to Him.

That bears saying again. It’s only possible because I surrendered my money mindset to God.

When the second round of endometriosis came plowing over me 6 months ago, I could face it without panicking. I had a trip to the ER, an x-ray, an ultrasound, several trips to various doctors, and eventually a surgery. The bills were not small, especially considering our income.

But here’s what I had to do: consider MY GOD.

He’d provided before, and I trusted Him to provide again. When the bills started coming in, I didn’t worry. I was a bit concerned, of course, and I thought about a plan to be able to pay what we owed. But it was far from the all-encompassing fear I’d known before.

I thought, Oh Lord. How are we going to find the money to pay for all this?? And immediately the answer came to my spirit:

Trust Me with your finances.

Ah, yes. Thank you, Father!

I truly believe that if I hadn’t faced the financial adversity that my chronic illness brought, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I wouldn’t have gone to my Father for provision. I would’ve fretted and tried to handle it all myself, and I wouldn’t have been able. I would’ve gotten discouraged and doubted the Lord.

But because of my chronic illness, the Lord has helped me grow in that area. He’s blessed me financially because of it, by helping me to rely on His hand at work. Even when it’s unseen.

Free 5-Day Surefire Money Makeover Challenge

Struggling with finances and need ways to start cutting costs and seeing savings ASAP? I’ve got the solution! Start my free 5-Day Surefire Money Makeover Challenge here by filling out this form:

2. This is only one of many seasons that make up your life

If you’ve read the story about how I beat anorexia, you know that there was a point where I felt utterly trapped. All the while I’d been fighting the hunger and fighting food, striving to keep from eating so I’d lose weight.

It’s not easy. It seems sometimes like it’s easy for anorexic people to not eat. But it’s not true. At least not at first. I wanted to eat so bad. I was soooo hungry. Then some unknown switch was flipped in my mind, and I couldn’t bring myself to eat or to touch food.

The thought of food became like some sort of poison to me, that’s how I started to view it. And it got to the point where it was easier to not eat. Which is extremely messed up, by the way. (So if this is you, you need help, my friend. Please reach out!)

Time was passing and I was getting skinnier and skinnier, and I COULD. NOT. EAT. I couldn’t make myself. That’s when I got scared. It was like something beyond me and I couldn’t control it. I felt like I’d be stuck that way forever, and I knew it would eventually kill me.

4 Ways My Chronic Illness Has Blessed Me | chronic illness | blessings | testimony | anorexia | endometriosis | hidden blessings | trusting God | trust your journey | healing #chronicillness #blessings #testimony #anorexia #endometriosis #trustyourjourney #trustingGod #healing
Me, at a literal and figurative crossroads.

But then God revealed to me that it didn’t have to be that way. That I could turn to Him. That my life—or what was left of it—didn’t have to continue that way forever. That there was an escape. That He was that escape.

Praise God, I surrendered to Him and invited Him into my situation. And I realized that, no matter what I’m facing, it won’t last forever. If I invite Him in and ask for His guidance and help, whatever struggle I’m facing is only for a season.

When I had my most recent endometriosis surgery 6 months ago, I thought it was going to be amazing. I was looking forward to it so much because I’d been in such pain for months. I was finally going to get some relief!

As I was waking up from surgery, in and out of consciousness, I heard someone say something like “hole torn in her bladder.”

I was still fighting to wake up and I couldn’t open my eyes yet. I remember asking for someone to help me get up to go use the bathroom. The nurse told me I had a catheter in. That I was going home with it and I’d have it for at least 10 days.

Umm, what? Nope. Just nope. That’s not how this was supposed to go. They were supposed to FIX me, not tear my a hole in my bladder. That catheter was a nightmare to me. And to hear that it wasn’t coming out? I couldn’t fathom it.

But I didn’t have a choice.

Once I got home, the reality set in. I was terribly sore from having bits of tissues cut out of my insides, having my ovary removed, having the wall of my abdomen stripped, my bladder scraped and a hole torn in it and patched up, having other endometriosis adhesions severed and cut out—plus the incision sites were sore.

I could barely move around. I was hunched over like a 100-year-old lady and moved with about the same speed. I had to carry my catheter bag with me everywhere I went.

4 Ways My Chronic Illness Has Blessed Me | chronic illness | blessings | testimony | anorexia | endometriosis | hidden blessings | trusting God | trust your journey | healing #chronicillness #blessings #testimony #anorexia #endometriosis #trustyourjourney #trustingGod #healing
My “yellow purse,” as my doctor called it.

And then? And then?! I started my period. I already had post-op bleeding, and then that. And it was the worst one ever. And it lasted for 2 weeks.

The ovary that was removed snatched away half of my hormones right along with it, and after a few days, I began to feel it emotionally, and it was a new level of misery.

I couldn’t believe what was happening to me. Why did this happen? Why this catheter, why the hole in my bladder? Why did I have to have the ovary removed and my chemicals go to a whole nother level of imbalance? I didn’t plan for this!

It’s going to be like this forever! (insert uncontrollable sobbing) I wish I hadn’t done any of this! (add a dash of pitiful blubbering)

Then the Lord was like, Excuse me (tap tap)… nope.

That’s when I remembered His words in Ecclesiastes (and that Byrds song, if I’m completely honest):

To everything there is a season,

A time for every purpose under heaven:

A time to be born,

And a time to die;

A time to plant,

And a time to pluck what is planted;

A time to kill,

And a time to heal;

A time to break down,

And a time to build up;

A time to weep,

And a time to laugh;

A time to mourn,

And a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones,

And a time to gather stones;

A time to embrace,

And a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to gain,

And a time to lose;

A time to keep,

And a time to throw away;

A time to tear,

And a time to sew;

A time to keep silence,

And a time to speak;

A time to love,

And a time to hate;

A time of war,

And a time of peace.

Eccl. 3:1-8, NKJV

To EVERYTHING, there is a SEASON. So that voice that was telling me it was going to be that way forever? That was the devil.

And that’s exactly what he wants us to believe. He wants to steal our hope. He wants to distract us from God’s presence during those times when we feel desperate and things seem impossible.

I had to remember that my feelings are NOT the truth, God’s word is the truth.

And He tells us there is a time to heal!

And that whatever we’re going through is but a season!

4 Ways My Chronic Illness Has Blessed Me | chronic illness | blessings | testimony | anorexia | endometriosis | hidden blessings | trusting God | trust your journey | healing #chronicillness #blessings #testimony #anorexia #endometriosis #trustyourjourney #trustingGod #healing

So friend, when you start to feel helpless and that thought that whatever you’re going through is going to be that way forever, stop the devil in his tracks. Rebuke him and speak aloud God’s promise in Ecclesiastes 3!

Without having gone through those times, I would still be listening to the devil on that one. Which is horrifying to think about. God blessed me so much with the revelation that He won’t allow anything to last forever. That He has a purpose through all things.

Even when it’s hard for us to understand, we have to believe and trust Him. His ways are much higher. We’re not called to understand, just to trust!

If I hadn’t had that experience with my surgery, I’d wouldn’t be as close to God as I am now. Think about that! Every time you decide to trust God and His word to see you through a circumstance, YOU. ARE. GROWING!

This is our food, my friend!

3. I am beside you, follow Me through this

This seems like a no-brainer, right? But when you’re in the midst of a challenging situation, it can be easier said than done. I don’t know about you, but sometimes—and I try so hard not to do this—but once in a while I find myself wondering, “Why??”

Why do I have a chronic illness? Why anorexia? Why endometriosis? Why did endo come back? Why a second surgery? Oh my gosh, WHY did my bladder tear?! WHY a catheter?!

And it was like my Daddy God just said, “I’m beside you. Follow Me through this.”

Because here’s a little secret I learned. I was there in the middle of that situation whether I liked it or not. And questioning it and wondering why and trying to figure out the reasons for what was going on was going to get me nowhere.

I had to go through this thing, it was happening regardless. But while I was stuck in my recliner after surgery, not being able to do anything but wait, I had to decide whether or not I was going to submit to the Lord.

I could be bitter and “why me” and dare to question Him, or I could trust Him with all of it.

I had to remember that He is my Daddy! It pains Him when we’re in pain. But I think a lot of the time we’re hurting more than we should because we’re choosing to dwell at a point that He only means for us to pass through.

A lot of the time we’re hurting more than we should because we’re choosing to dwell at a point that He only means for us to pass through.

Free Ecclesiastes 3 art print

Want a little help remembering God’s promise that nothing lasts forever and everything has its season? I’ve got you covered! Get the password for the library with the free To Everything There is a Season art print here by filling out this form:

Related posts

Many times throughout my journey with endometriosis I’ve felt overwhelmed and gotten to the point where I just wanted to give up and “whatever happens happens,” especially after my last surgery.

But God opened my eyes those few months ago to the truth that He is with us through EACH. AND. EVERY. STEP.

He’s gone before us wherever we go! There’s nothing that happens to us that He hasn’t ordained or isn’t fully aware of. I’m still letting that one sink in daily, not gonna lie.

And you know what? I could feel sorry for myself and wonder “why me” all day long, but in all honesty? It’s not my place.

I’m absolutely uncomfortable without knowing what to expect in all situations. I hate not knowing. I want to know where, when, what, how, why—all of the things.

So it’s no surprise that I’m still a work in progress when it comes to trust in some circumstances! Is it just me or can you relate? I just want to know, I want to understand why!

But God has brought me this revelation: I don’t need to understand. It’s not my business. It’s HIS business. Things can happen and I don’t need to know why. It’s not for me to know everything or understand it, it’s for me to trust Him.

4 Ways My Chronic Illness Has Blessed Me | chronic illness | blessings | testimony | anorexia | endometriosis | hidden blessings | trusting God | trust your journey | healing #chronicillness #blessings #testimony #anorexia #endometriosis #trustyourjourney #trustingGod #healing

It’s for me to know that He’s beside me, and to believe that and follow Him, regardless of where He leads.

I’m still learning this every single day, and I’m so thankful. Because it’s a peace of mind that I have now to know that—yes, I can let go of my need to know! I don’t have to think or feel like I’m in control of it all, because HE is in control.

Is there a safer place to be in all existence than choosing to walk alongside our Creator God?

I can just envision myself being carried in the palm of His hand. If I’m so stubborn and willful that I think I can micro-manage His plans—if I jump up and try to go my own way—umm, gonna run into some bumps.

Needless bumps.

But if I choose to trust that His plan is best and I just rest in His hand, what a much smoother ride I’m gonna have. And I’m probably gonna see some amazing things that I would’ve missed while I was struggling to go my own way.

4. I will be glorified, and something good will come from this

HUGE. Huuuuuuuge. I’ve learned this through my battle with anorexia and my endometriosis journey, but I’ve also been able to see this even after losing my mom to cancer.

How can anything good come from stuff like that?! My friend, it’s truly unfathomable to people who don’t know the Lord Jesus.

Which is why it’s so important that we continue to seek Him during our trials and sorrows. Because the world is watching me and it’s watching you. They want to see how we respond as followers of Christ.

I’ve heard it said that the only Bible some people will ever read is what they see in us.

When I was fighting my eating disorder, I had all the feels. Bad feels. Depression, worthlessness, hopelessness… but God showed me that my feelings are NOT truth, His word is truth.

And His word declares that I’m forgiven, righteous through Christ Jesus, loved, treasured, a daughter of the Most-High God, full of worth, full of hope, and purchased by the blood of His Son!

4 Ways My Chronic Illness Has Blessed Me | chronic illness | blessings | testimony | anorexia | endometriosis | hidden blessings | trusting God | trust your journey | healing #chronicillness #blessings #testimony #anorexia #endometriosis #trustyourjourney #trustingGod #healing

When I was recovering from my last endo surgery, I become very depressed for a time. I was miserable. I wondered if I’d made a huge mistake.

As I mentioned earlier, they removed an ovary so my hormones were thrown out of whack, plus there were the effects of the anesthesia, plus the pain, the immobility, the isolation, plus the feeling of unproductivity, and on and on I could go.

But God again reminded me that my feelings are not to be relied upon. It’s His word that shines a light on the truth of my identity. And His word declares me redeemed by Jesus’ blood and healed by His stripes!

If I’d kept quiet about my experience with anorexia, I could have missed the chance to warn others. I could have missed the opportunity to share how God has healed me from that and given me redemption. I could have missed the girl who reached out to say she was struggling and my story gave her hope.

If I would’ve kept quiet about my endometriosis story, I would have missed countless chances to encourage others who are going through it and needing a glimmer of hope. I would’ve missed that girl who wasn’t able to bear it by herself any longer and was thinking of ending it all.

And all glory to God for what He has done, even if in the smallest of ways, or in huge ways that we never could’ve seen coming! He will turn our tests into testimonies if we let Him.

Not only have my stories been able to bolster others up when they need a bit of encouragement, but I’ve been SO blessed in many ways. And I know I wouldn’t have those precious pieces of pure gold without the refining fire.

Sometimes we can see it easily.

Sometimes we have to look HARD.

Sometimes it seems like we can’t see any good.

But we TRUST. HIM.

And we remember that it’s not for us to know all His plans, or understand them.

And that’s okay.

Because we know He is more than worthy of our trust.

And we know that His ways are higher.

We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose. | Romans 8:28, AMPC

Beyond blessed, even with chronic illness

When I was struggling with anorexia, I never thought anyone would find out. And I certainly wasn’t going to tell anyone. Ever. If people knew how driven I was to become skinny and the lengths I would go to to achieve that goal, they would try to stop me. So I was never telling.

But here I am, telling you.

When I was fighting endometriosis, it was intense. And the things I went through were very personal and physical. Definitely not sharing about that because TMI, am I right? LOL.

Yet here we are getting real with that.

Because even though those things can be uncomfortable to share or talk about? I don’t have a choice. Because they. have. blessed me.

4 Ways My Chronic Illness Has Blessed Me | chronic illness | blessings | testimony | anorexia | endometriosis | hidden blessings | trusting God | trust your journey | healing #chronicillness #blessings #testimony #anorexia #endometriosis #trustyourjourney #trustingGod #healing
Happy and blessed!

It sounds completely crazy, I know!

But God has used my story to bless me in these 4 huge ways, and I cannot not share what He’s done.

  1. I’ve learned to trust God more and more when it comes to my finances—and that warped money mindset I had before? I don’t think it would’ve come crashing down without this journey.
  2. I’ve been so blessed to realize that nothing in this life lasts forever, that EVERYTHING has its season. Mind-blowing revelation for me. The devil will whisper (or shout) to us that things will never change, but it’s hollow and untrue, because God’s word tells us something different!
  3. I’ve learned that, no matter how hard my circumstance may seem or how impossible it might feel that I’ll ever get through it, I know that God is right beside me and will never forsake me. Without chronic illness? Who knows how long it would’ve taken me to submit to that one. (Hashtag me, shrug.)
  4. And I’ve learned that God will take anything we bring to Him, no matter how trying and terrible, and use it to bring Himself glory and ourselves good.

And all 4 of these blessings have something immense in common. Friend, do you see it?

TRUST.

Whatever trying season you find yourself in today—financial issues, chronic illness, job loss, family problems, or any number of things, PLEASE know this:

God can turn that mess into a blessing. But you have to turn it over to Him. Press into Him and rest in Him. Trust Him. Believe His promises and receive His blessings!

Free Endo Warrior Self-Care Cheat Sheet

Want self-care tips to help you conquer life with endo? I’ve got you covered! Get the password for the library with the free 16 Must-Have Self-Care Items for Endo Warriors cheat sheet here by filling out this form:

Related posts

If you enjoyed this post, click below to save it to your favorite Pinterest board!

4 Ways My Chronic Illness Has Blessed Me | chronic illness | blessings | testimony | anorexia | endometriosis | hidden blessings | trusting God | trust your journey | healing #chronicillness #blessings #testimony #anorexia #endometriosis #trustyourjourney #trustingGod #healing

Free Ecclesiastes 3 Art Printable | free printable | Bible verse art | Bible verse printable | Bible verse | seasons | Ecclesiastes #freeprintable #Bibleverseprintable #Bibleverse #Ecclesiastes #seasons

If you enjoyed, please share!

2 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *