Grace Enough Podcast – Invisible Illness warrior
For Rare Disease Month, Erica discusses what it’s like living with a chronic illness that includes scary health events, a shortened life expectancy, and the struggle of faith and fear. She walked through two long seasons of hospitalizations and discusses how she experienced each differently in her spiritual walk. “When you have seasons of doubt and fear it doesn’t have to derail your faith, it can strengthen it.”
Hope for Those with Invisible Illness
Join Erica and her fellow collaborators, MaryBeth Eiler and Kellie LaFollette, who share their stories of loss and the reasons they still have hope, despite living with invisible illnesses. Living with an invisible disability or illness can be isolating, frustrating, and anxiety-ridden. But you don’t have to do it alone. Find Christ-centered resources from those who understand that your everyday struggles are anything but “normal.”
How to Keep Marriage Strong in Chronic Illness
Marriage, a beautiful gift from God, requires the self-sacrificing love of two sinners — and often that sacrifice is even more demanding when chronic illness is involved. Unfortunately, some statistics show the divorce rate is as high as 75 percent for couples dealing with chronic illness. Read 7 ways to keep your marriage strong in chronic illness.
What Those with Chronic Illness Want the Church to Know
During your casual Sunday morning greeting, you’re likely interacting with someone suffering from a chronic illness undetectable to you. They carry pain and weakness while putting on a brave face. We in the church often miss the need because the struggle of invisible illness is not obvious.
How to Prepare for Hard Times with a Daily Gratitude Practice
In my 43 years, I’ve spent more time in the hospital than I care to calculate. My condition, a rare connective tissue disorder, means any new twinge or pain could be serious … Life could easily be riddled with paralyzing fear over the “what ifs” if I hadn’t learned how to turn my gaze to God’s goodness in the midst of uncertainty.
Grieving My Ambiguous Loss in Chronic Illness
I can’t go on my child’s field trip because it’s too much walking. Is there a good hospital close to where I’m traveling? I need to cancel plans—again—with my friends. Chronic illness often brings unexpected losses in nearly every season. Grieving ambiguous loss in chronic illness means trusting God in layers of unresolved loss.
How God Unexpectedly Transformed My Faith Through Rare Disease
Though tomorrow is not a guarantee for any of us, VEDS has made me acutely aware of my mortality – but I do not fear the future. Nine years ago, I would not have been able to say that. But God has used this time to teach me that He is good and that trusting His goodness does not disappoint (Romans 5:5).
Bravery in the Face of Chronic Illness
This road of chronic illness has been paved with uncertainty, pain, and risky procedures that offer no guarantees. With each mile toward the unknown, my courage is tested. Fear attempts to overwhelm me, but as God continues to prove Himself, my confidence grows in His ability to give me courage exactly when I need it.
An Unexpected Rescue from Fragile Faith
As the waves of suffering and grief billowed over my head, I gasped for air. Where was God when I needed him? Doubt came wave after wave. I thought God was good. I thought God was the giver of good gifts. I thought I’d served him faithfully. Why aren’t you rescuing me, God? I’m drowning. The crashing waves kept coming.
Broken Windows and Repaired Hearts – Grief and Gratitude on Mother’s Day
“Read the broken window one!” we’d ask Mom as she settled us into bed. My brother and I were kids of the 80s, but we didn’t seem to mind the old-fashioned names in the 1950s devotional. Those “little visits with God” and nighttime snuggles meant more than Mom ever knew this side of Heaven.
Surrendering to God’s Goodness
It’s been a battle — releasing my grip on what I thought the good Christian life looked like and replacing it with what God lays out in His Word. In my mind, suffering was for missionaries and martyrs, not for the Bible-belt Christian girl who kept her nose clean and her Bible close. I thought I could exempt myself from trials, naive that any suffering on this side of Heaven is, in fact, spiritual warfare.
Devotional: Finding Identity in Christ
Like me, maybe you carry the weight of a hard-to-say, even-harder-to-explain rare disease. Maybe your diagnosis isn’t even named yet and you’re in a frustrating cycle of doctors’ visits, tests, and endless waiting. With all of the appointments and daily management of our disease, we can easily let these identifications become our identity.
Staying Connected Podcast: Erica’s VEDS Story
Erica was diagnosed with VEDS after a series of life-threatening medical events and the birth of her son. She discusses her colon ruptures, uterine rupture, and the discovery of 5 aneurysms that finally led to her diagnosis of VEDS. She talks about how her faith, her husband, her son, knowledgeable doctors, and a supportive community have helped her persevere and live positively in light of her diagnosis.
Trusting God While You Wait – An Infertility Journey
The box arrived with all of our medications, instructions, and instruments. We unpacked it with hopeful, nervous expectation. As we slowly pulled out each vial, needle, and alcohol swab, I began to cry. I watched friend after friend welcome one baby, then another. Church became unbearable at times as my arms remained empty.