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Living With Chronic Pain and Illness

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A man standing in his bedroom, gripping his lower back in pain
Chronic illnesses cause profound physical, emotional, relational and spiritual pain. Discover the keys to living well with a chronic illness.
Nearly 1 in 2 Americans (133 million) Chronic Care in America: A 21st Century Challenge, a study of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation & Partnership for Solutions: Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (September 2004 Update). “Chronic Conditions: Making the Case for Ongoing Care.” Available online http://www.partnershipforsolutions.org/DMS/files/chronicbook2004.pdf*. live with chronic conditions and illnesses, such as arthritis, multiple sclerosis (MS), diabetes and lupus. Their symptoms‚Äîlike pain, fatigue, muscle aches and weakness, disturbances in vision, cognitive difficulty, intestinal distress and memory loss‚Äîaren’t always visible to the naked eye. Harder still, friends, family and co-workers can’t always recognize a sense of loss, loneliness and isolation. Despite the obstacles sufferers must overcome on a daily basis, experts agree that, yes, people living with chronic conditions can live full and meaningful lives, regardless of the severity of their condition. In this series of articles, we want to explore the impact chronic illness has on life and relationships. You’ll learn how sufferers develop rich prayer lives and intimacy with God, rediscover latent gifts and abilities‚Äîeven launch new ministries and careers. Faced with physical and emotional limitations, they discover joy in life’s simple pleasures: the laughter of a child, God’s artistry in nature and a slower, more reflective pace of life. Mental health experts, pastors and the chronically ill weigh in on the issues that matter most‚Äîhow to adjust to life, rebuilding your life after the diagnosis and what the Bible says about pain and suffering. We talk about the grieving process, feelings of purposeless and the loss of identity those with chronic illness often experience. We discover that, although our chronic illness robs us of many aspects of life, it cannot take from us our greatest freedom‚Äîto choose God in the midst of our suffering, to seek His glory despite our pain. In his book, Man’s Search for Meaning, Holocaust survivor Dr. Viktor Frankl shares this story:
“We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms‚Äîto choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. ” Available online at PBS.org: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/questionofgod/voices/frankl.html*.
We can choose to become bitter about our illness, or we can choose to use it as a catalyst for growth. We can choose to focus on what we cannot do, or we can look for opportunities to use the abilities we have to honor God. We can choose to believe that the most significant seasons of our lives are past, or we can choose to believe God’s Word‚Äîthat He delights in using the weak to confound the wise and that His power is made perfect in our weakness. We hope this series of articles inspires you to make healthy choices‚Äîto seek God in your pain, to find the help and support you need and to turn obstacles into opportunities for growth. The choice is yours.

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Your Teen Needs You Most of All

No parent of teens is perfect and even the best can learn how to better connect with their son or daughter. Get practical action steps to better connect with your teenager in 8 Essential Tips for Parenting Your Teen in this FREE video series!

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.
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Understand How to Respect and Love your Son Well

Why doesn’t my son listen to me? Have you ever asked that question? The truth is, how you see your son and talk to him has a significant effect on how he thinks and acts. That’s why we want to help you. In fact, we’ve created a free five-part video series called “Recognizing Your Son’s Need for Respect” that will help you understand how showing respect, rather than shaming and badgering, will serve to motivate and guide your son.

Reconnected: The Digital Experience

Is the love there, but not the spark? Reawaken fun in your marriage and move from roommates to soulmates again with the help of this 7-part online video experience. Learn how to connect emotionally and spiritually as husband and wife using techniques such as dreaming together and establishing deep, heartfelt communication. The Digital Experience includes 7 teaching videos, an online study guide and access to additional tools and resources to help spouses reconnect.

Next Steps: Marriage Assessment

We want your marriage to be thriving and healthy. Take the free Marriage Assessment from Focus on the Family to learn how to strengthen your bond with your spouse and get the tools to help you need to grow closer together. 

Next Steps: Fruit of the Spirit Devotionals for Couples

The Fruit of the Spirit Devotional is a free series of nine short videos to get you into God’s Word and inspire you to seek the Holy Spirit’s help in loving your spouse.

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