Being the spouse or friend to someone who suffers from chronic pain or illness is a job in and of itself. The exhaustion, fatigue, frustration, stress, etc.… is almost too much to bear most days. Then to top it off, there is a sea of guilt and additional frustration with yourself for allowing those negative feelings to creep into your life. It’s this constant and vicious cycle that feeds on itself until it builds into an F5 emotional tornado that will wipe out anything in its path. So, what does it take in keeping a healthy relationship when one of you is in pain?
Related Post: God Has Called Christians to Have a Heart for People
If you are the spouse or friend of someone suffering from chronic pain or illness, my heart goes out to you. My wife suffers from Fibromyalgia along with a few other things and it has impacted our lives greatly. But I don’t believe for one second that God is going to let this suffering go to waste, and I believe the same can be said for your situation. Too often I have seen God open doors for my wife or myself to witness to someone because of her/my pain. However, that doesn’t mean our life is perfect and that we don’t have ugly days.
Below is a list of helpful tips/advice I have either learned or been given along our painful journey. I pray that those of you suffering can find help /hope from one or all of the following;
– When we aren’t honest with the reality of how hard life is, we waste God’s offering of Peace
– Trying to do things in our own strength, we waste God’s offer of power.
– Keeping the pain to ourselves and pretend everything is fine and perfect, we waste opportunities to minister to others walking a similar path.
– The less time we spend together with God, the less healing that can be performed.
– If we don’t give this to God on a daily basis, the enemy will use the pain to drive a wedge between us.
– Build up the individual in pain through their love language, because they more than likely already feel guilty for putting you and them through this.
– Reassure that person that the pain is not their identity and that it’s not their fault that life is this way.
– Don’t keep the same expectations of yourself or your loved one that existed before the pain.
– The caregiver needs to take care of themselves mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically to properly care for the one who’s suffering.
– Have a network of friends or a support group to turn to to vent/cry with. The enemy will run wild if you keep everything bottled up.
– Start a journal for your eyes only to be real and raw to God and yourself.
Above all else, know that God is right there with you. I know firsthand there are times (more than I would like to admit) it doesn’t feel like God is on the same planet, let alone room. If that happens simply call the name of Jesus, over and over again. Don’t be afraid to literally get down on your knees with tears streaming down your face calling for him.
Of course, reading/memorizing scripture is always helpful in these situations too. Take a few of these and guard them close to your heart in time of need;
Psalm 34:18 – 18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted,
and saves the crushed in spirit. (NRSV)
Psalm 147:3 – 3 He heals the brokenhearted,
and binds up their wounds. (NRSV)
Revelation 21:4 – 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death, sadness, crying, or pain, because all the old ways are gone.” (NCV)
Psalm 23:4-6 – 4 Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,[a]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord