One day while browsing cards I saw one with Winnie the Pooh and Piglet on the front, walking hand in hand. Their conversation when like this:
“Pooh?” Piglet said.
“Yes, Piglet?” “Oh, nothing,” Piglet said. “I just wanted to be sure of you.”
Kathy Troccoli, Christian worship artist says, “I’ve asked this question of close friends at different times in my life, in many different ways. I need the safety, the reassurance, the knowing that they are there and that I am loved.”
Chronic illness affects friendships. It is no secret. Some of our friends will drive us to the doctor’s appointment and take us to lunch afterwards just to listen.
Others will ignorantly, but well-intentioned, buy us a box of chocolates two days after we share that we are diabetic, forgetting that we can no longer eat sugar.
Some will rush to our side.
Others will never call again.
How much we need friends along this chronic illness journey! One of my good friends who live with mutliple sclerosis told me years ago, “If I could have my health back but had to give up all of the friends I have made since my diagnosis, I wouldn’t choose health. I can’t imagine being without the friends I have made since then.”
That’s saying a lot. I would hope that I would choose my friends over my health, but somedays I am not so sure. There are times when I feel much more isolated within my disease and cannot join my friends for outings. I cannot drive far with my cataracts, I cannot sit in the sun due to the medication I am on. I cannot walk very far to join them at Sea World with their children. It’s not really my illness per se that holds me back, but rather all of the symptoms and side effects that prevent me from participating in certain activities.
One thing I am sure of, however, is that God does want us to have friends on this journey.
He is sad when He sees us suffer alone. He desires for us to have fellowship with other Christians and I think He smiles when He sees two of us with chronic illness gather in His name.
If you have been hurt by friends since you were diagnosed with a chronic illness–take heart! God has a special friend reservered out there just for you. Search for him or her. God doesn’t want you to carry the burden alone. He knows we all need friends to walk beside us on this journey of chronic illness.
Prayer: Lord, I am lonely. Even though I can be independent and I turn to you, I still need friends, people who understand and accept me just as I am. Please send special people into my life to fill this need you created in me.
About the Author:
Lisa Copen is the founder of Rest Ministries and she has lived with rheumatoid arthritis since 1993. If you enjoy these devotionals, you may love her book Mosaic Moments: Devotionals for the Chronically Ill which includes devotions from about 20 writers and a journey through Lisa’s first ten years of living with a chronic illness.
You can now read this on your Kindle. Find out more at http://TodaysDevotionOnKindle.com
If you could describe the “perfect” friend, what qualities would you look for?