Resources on Ministering to Someone Who is Chronically Ill

Regular readers, friends, and family know that I have struggled with chronic illness since I was in my early teens. Certainly, I am at a point in my life where my history with being sick and my current health doesn’t rule my life as it once did. Generally, I think I live a pretty normal life, perhaps with just a few more bumps in the road than a generally healthy person would face.

That said, I am still knocked over sometimes in realizing the difference it makes in one’s life to have been or be chronically ill. It gives you a new lens with which to see the world – in both a not-so-good way but also in some more positive ways. I realize that no matter how much better I get, I will bring that lens with me.

I was just reading the blog Journey to Somewhere which is written by a lovely woman about my age, who goes by the pen name Penguini, and who is in the congregation where I am the intern minister. I wanted to point it out because I am impressed with her ability to capture life as “a sick person” through her writing. I think for ministers, friends, or family who want to be there for someone who is struggling with chronic illness (or who has come through a chronic illness), Journey Toward Somewhere can be a helpful resource.

Journey to Somewhere also pointed to But You Don’t Look Sick, an online magazine “about living life to the fullest with any disability, invisible disease, or chronic pain.” In particular, Penguini pointed to an article on But You Don’t Look Sick called The Spoon Theory that I think deals well with helping friends and family better understand the day-to-day reality of chronic illness. Among other things, there is an article, 10 Tips for Visiting Someone Who is Sick, and there are also book reviews, and even a section called “sick humor” which is, of course, always important when facing illness. :)

Thanks to Penguini for her blog, writing, and, in general, her wonderful self. May all of those out there who are facing illness find healing, strength, and hope.

If you know of other good resources, please feel free to list them in the comments.

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2 Responses to Resources on Ministering to Someone Who is Chronically Ill

  1. Penguini says:

    I’m so glad you’ve found my writing to be meaningful. I’ve been trying to write out my thoughts more and not let them just swirl around in my head, soon forgotten.

    And I find The Spoon Theory to be a really helpful way of putting things into words that people not dealing with chronic illness can understand more easily than trying to explain how our energy and symptoms can fluctuate so much from day to day. And it crosses over so many different chronic illnesses since so many of them include that exhaustion and unpredictibility.

    I hope you’re having a good week so far!

  2. Susan says:

    Changing My Mind: A Journey of Disability and Joy by Chris Maxwell is an awesome book about living with a disability. In it, the author describes his battle with epilepsy and brain damage caused by an attack of encephalitis. In a journal style of writing, Maxwell reveals his personal struggles with a ‘man he never would have chosen to be.” Thankfully, with the help of therapy, family, friends and his faith he has been able to resume a somewhat normal (whatever that is) life and live in spite of his disabilities. And the cool part is that all the chapters are song titles because music played a part in his recovery. He has a website too. It is http://www.chrismaxwellweb.com.

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