Chronic Disease comes with many layers. New layers arrive unannounced, catching me off guard.

Dearest Reader,

Summer in The Wilderness Place is in full bloom. Pleasant warmth has turned into oppressing heat. Our hummingbird feeder is in use, and I’ve had a conversation and close encounters with a few. My favorite reading spot sits near an abundance of Zinnia blooms, thus sending the tiny creatures inches from where I sit.

Life in The Wilderness Place is hard; I won’t tell you any different. However, God’s beauty in the wilderness is breathtaking.

Chronic Disease comes with many layers. New layers arrive unannounced, catching me off guard.

Yesterday, it was one of those days. Another layer, more stripped away, anxiety and fear, sat nearby. It’s not much, but I have learned with Chronic Disease, a little is often too much.

Tweaking medications, a decrease in weight, temperature changes; small things that add up and derail you. Again.

Again, there’s wrestling, adjusting, the customary pity party, and much to Sweet Lola’s dismay, a fair amount of foot-stomping.

With each layer of Chronic Disease, there’s a stripping away of something that was.

How does one adjust to the dance of one step forward and two or four back?

My personal experience is this:

  • Take a step back, process what was and what is to come.
  • Make a list and reassess.
  • Make space to grieve what was.
  • Let it go and take the necessary next steps.
  • Adopt flexibility. (Not easy for someone who claims to be inflexibly-flexible. I wonder where that fits on the enneagram?)

I heard Kate Bowler, author, and podcaster of Everything Happens say this: 

“Life is Chronic.”

Life. Is. Chronic. Regular, ordinary, life is a wilderness.

Each step, though carefully planned, tends to bend and twist towards the unknown.

Whether it’s Chronic Disease or regular life, the same steps apply.

  • Take a step back, process what was and what is to come.
  • Make a list and reassess.
  • Make space to grieve what was.
  • Let it go and take the necessary next steps.
  • Adopt flexibility.

Today, I’m experiencing a significant setback. 

This morning my Sweet Man reminded me of the Scripture I have been memorizing.

Several weeks ago, Stacey Thacker, Author, Bible Study Teacher, and creator of Girlfriends Guide to the Bible announced her summer Bible Study: Psalms 91. I signed up and began to memorize Psalm 91, beginning with verses one and two.

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.'” (ESV)

I do not believe one skinny minute that was a coincidence. In the time before seeing my neurologist, I was working through the first day’s homework in the waiting area. I was struck breathless with my observation.

The Almighty God covers me with His shadow when I am dwelling, abiding, in the secret place with  Him.

I believe the Almighty God’s shadow is BIG. Every moment of fear, anxiety, and disappointment, God has been covering me and protecting me.

Is it easy? No. Is my faith tested? A bit. Do I trust Him with this? YES! Have I screamed, “This is not fair?” Absolutely.

My faith may look gritty at the moment; my heart dinged and dented, my fragility more tangible-But my God, the Almighty God is covering me with his shadow.

Dearest One, chronic disease is chronic, life is chronic, and the wilderness is unknown, but God’s shadow has not moved one degree!

I am here to encourage you, equip you, and guide you as you redefine your wilderness. You can comment below or send a private email to tlmashburn@yahoo.com.

Your Wilderness Guide,

PS: Catch my in-depth teaching: What We Have In Common With the Disciples from Mark 8!!

If you have been following my Instagram Stories, by now, you’ve heard about the H.E.A.R. Method and H.E.A.R. Journal. I would love to have you join me on this journey. The H.E.A.R. Method of studying the Bible has taken me more in-depth than ever before! If you would like to learn more email me at tlmashburn@yahoo.com 

PS: My first book, Mornings In The Word, is available now. Order your copy today.

“There is no space to live well or love well, much less pursue the God who created us to be in fellowship with Him. We close the gap between what we need and what we want with more. Our spinning lives and broken hearts are empty while appearing full. We paste a smile on our face and tell anyone who asks we are okay while inside we are shattering a million different ways.” -Mornings In The Word