OT: You're diagnosed with FMS. How is your faith doing?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by megchampagne, May 10, 2006.

  1. megchampagne

    megchampagne New Member

    I am Catholic. When I started feeling sick, I stopped going to church, and I even stopped praying/reading the Bible, etc. I found it hard to accept that I was being punished and wondered what I did to deserve this horrible chronic pain.

    I went to confession today and told this to my priest. He reminded me of the fact that Jesus was a perfect person who suffered the ultimate pain and death. And you know what, that was a huge comfort to me.

    But I'm not just asking Christians... I want to know from anybody how your religion/faith/spirituality has affected or been affected by your illness.
  2. julieisfree05

    julieisfree05 New Member

    Megchampagne,

    I was raised as a Christian, but my faith has been sorely tested by this illness..

    I also had to stop going to church because I was too sick, but I've found that reading books about how others have kept their faith through adversity helps.

    One of the best books I EVER read was written by a Rabbi whose son had a fatal illness (the one where you age rapidly and die as a teen?). It's called "When Bad Things Happen to Good People", and the author is Harold Kushner(?)

    I had an epiphiny about 6 years into my illness. I was having a "pity party", and asking "WHY ME??" It was like I heard a voice scream back:

    WHY NOT YOU????

    That's when I realized that there are millions of people out there who would trade places with me in a heartbeat. I might have it rough, but there are others who are dealing with things I can't even imagine. That's when I stopped feeling sorry for myself (although we ALL have our moments!)

    Remember the "Footprints in the Sand" poem?

    A man was looking back at his life and realized that through the most difficult times there was only one set of footprints, but through the good times there were two sets. He asked God, "Why did you leave me when I needed you most?" God replied, "When you were having your hardest times, there is only one set of footprints because that's when I was carrying you!" This is another powerful image for those who believe in a "Higher Power".

    I hope this helps.

    God Bless,

    julie (is free!)

    Why me Lord
    what have I ever done
    to deserve even one
    of the pleasures
    I've known

    Tell me Lord
    what did I ever do
    that was worth lovin' You
    or the kindness
    You've shown.. - Kris Kristofferson
    [This Message was Edited on 05/10/2006]
  3. jenni4736

    jenni4736 New Member

    Meg,

    I get so much when I actually attend Church. I am a very spiritual person and I do not HAVE to go to Church to feel that spirit, but it has been real challenging this go around. I can not attend right now.

    I have not picked up my Bible in months.People from the church have stopped calling. I can not accept that we were MEANT to suffer in pain. I admit I have questioned the Lord myself (which is something I don't usually do). I have always believed that everything happens for a reason.

    I am still searching for my reason, and I admit...I can't help but be a bit __________ (angry, frustrated, sad,scared,etc.). It depends on the day, or moment which adjective fits the best.

    I have to hang on to the fact that the Lord is with me on this journey. If I stop beleiving that, I am not sure i could get through.

    jenni


  4. ANNXYZ

    ANNXYZ New Member

    pretty tightly and I ask Him to direct me to answers.

    I have had this 10 years and do not have great hopes of ever being normal again. Disease is part of life , and as Christians we are not sheltered from illness . ( Paul had a physical thorn in the flesh and Timothy was often sick ) .

    I feel bad when I fail to glorify God in my illness when overcome by discouragement at times. I do feel strongly that the REAL test of our love and devotion to God is
    shown in how we handle adversity and whether we make a choice to love Him Unconditionally .

    I am always reminded of Job, when he said " The Lord giveth , the Lord Taketh away , blessed be the name of the Lord " .

    There are times that are sobering when I realize that I will probably never get over this while I am in this earthly body . The other sobering fact is that I will probably remain single the rest of my life , since most marriages require two parties contributing financially .

    In my mind I do know that God is ultimately in control , and that HE loves me and is a good God . Nevertheless ,
    I would be dishonest to say that it is an easy task to maintain perspective .

    Forgive me for digressing , but I would like to add that this site helps me feel less alone in my challenges .
  5. tlayne

    tlayne Member

    Since I was a little girl why God allows pain (physical, mental, spiritual). As an adult, I realize that there is both good and evil in this world.

    I always try to look for the positive in every situation, but I am the first to admitt that with this dd it is often hard to find the good about it. I have also questioned my own faith, or lack of. I renew my faith daily (most days), that someday there will be a cure.

    There are also a couple of scriptures that I hold on to. I don't know if I can post them here, so I won't.

    I also believe that for all things that we go thru there is a lesson or a reason, like to help and encourage others. This board has so many compassionate souls here that do just that.

    I am still learning & growing in Christ! Tam
  6. lil_angel1198

    lil_angel1198 New Member

    going to church more often now than I was when diagnosed...however, it has nothing to do with this syndrome. It has to do with the fact that I finally came closer to God, and have been walking in my life with Him.

    This syndrome is just a fact of life for me, I don't blame God for it or anything like that. I don't feel like He is punishing me or anything.

    Remember it's not God that causes bad things to happen to people, but he does allow them to happen. It can be a test of faith, or however you want to look at it, but God didn't 'give' me this syndrome...He allows me to have it, for whatever reason He deems.

    Christian people do get sick, they get cancer, they get all kinds of diseases and they die, whether of natural causes or in accidents, etc. God doesn't say He's going to prevent us from sickness and tragedy once we become Christians. He does say He'll be with us through it all.
  7. kholmes

    kholmes New Member

    I had severe CFS relapse a year ago, and now I'm disabled with CFS and cannot attend church. I've had to ask all of the tough questions that you have. Some times, this illness has felt like a curse. When I felt especially horrible, I would cry out to God, wondering where He was. I felt like Job: cursed, useless, questioning, and in pain. Being told that Jesus, Paul, and many of the disciples suffered and had short lives was somehow no consolation.

    But for some odd reason, my faith has never been stronger. Part of this, I confess, is due to gradually feeling a bit better again. I pray frequently, and I read a lot of great Christian writers. C.S. Lewis's The Problem of Pain has been helpful (not to mention Mere Christianity), as have the books of Phillip Yancey (Where is God when it Hurts), Peter Kreeft (Making Sense out of Suffering), and G.K Chesterton.

    I've also been reading a lot of good books about NDEs (Near Death Experiences), and rather than being morbid, these books have solidified my faith that even if there is suffering in this life, we have a place of immeasurable peace, happiness, beauty, and joy awaiting us.

    Kholmes
  8. Lolalee

    Lolalee New Member

    What turned things around for me was a book entitled "When God Weeps (why our sufferings matter to the Almighty)" by Joni Eareckson Tada/Steven Estes. This illness has changed me completely (for the better). I am a Christian and I would much rather be ill and have a relationship with God than to be healthy and not know Him. I have been forced to slow down and listen to Him and appreciate the really important things in life.

    I think it is normal to go through a faith crisis every now and then. I don't think that God wants us to suffer, but He wants to be with us in our suffering.

    Bless you as you continue to seek His face,

    Lolalee
  9. lovethesun

    lovethesun New Member

    Since I've moved back to California,I'm with my old church.The warmest bunch of people that I've ever met.If I don't attend for several weeks,several people will call and see how I'm doing.

    To help me feel needed they provide a lot of crafts for me to make for our yearly boutique.Someone will always help me out If I need it.And.....everybody believes in my fibro!!

    If I hadn't gotten this,I would do work,cleaning,cooking and then off to bed.

    I am able to see my son off to school and welcome him home.We get to talk.I have all morning with my husband too.

    God is always good to me,I just don't always recognise it right away. Linda
  10. Countrymom

    Countrymom New Member

    Jesus and I are like peas & carrots.

    Try reading some of Paul's letter's, he really has a lot to say about suffering.
  11. UnicornK

    UnicornK New Member

    I take my comfort from Jesus. He told us that we are comforted by the Comforter so that we can comfort others. I take that to heart with these DDs.

    I go to church when I can, realizing the pain that Jesus suffered on the cross is so much more than the hour or so that I have pain in church. He gives me the strength. (Phillipians 4:13)

    God Bless.
  12. ANNXYZ

    ANNXYZ New Member

    and I enjoy reading the thoughtful responses .
    Thank you for posting the question.
  13. Strawberry94

    Strawberry94 New Member

    I am a free thinker, lean towards esoteric Christianity.
    I never think about it in terms of my faith that I did something wrong and I am being punished, I guess I just feel that I don't and can't know all now.

    Intellectually, I often get guilt that somehow I am morally weak and that is why I *let* the illness get me down, it is not a question of faith in God but a question of faith in myself and am I living up to what I should be in return for the gift of my life.

    The CDC study about genes has helped me some with this. My husband talks me through my darker times with this.

    I do think illness leads one to turn to the spiritual.

    This is what gives me great comfort about not being able to know WHY things happen the way they do, I hope it is okay to post it here:


    "For we know partially and we prophesy partially,

    but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.

    When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things.

    At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known.

    So faith, hope, love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love."

    1 Corinthians
    Chapter 13

    "We speak of these things in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual things in spiritual language."

    I Corinthians 2:13

    [This Message was Edited on 05/10/2006]
    [This Message was Edited on 05/10/2006]
  14. rosemarie

    rosemarie Member

    WE all have different belief's and belong to different chuches.But as I have been reading we all belive in Christ.

    " There is no obstacle too great, no challenge too difficult, if we have faith".
    " Just take one day at a time , otherwise you'll be over whelmed."

    AS we all are unique and no two of us are an exact copy of another, our lives are different , yet they are the same. We all have this illness that seems to have no name , ryme or reason , yet each of us goes on daily with this struggle called like. I know that God is there for us, all we have to do is ask and he will answer us.

    Just remember his answers are sometimes not the ones we want but what we need. So while my body is weak and I struggle to get to church I still have faith in god and the blessings he has sent to me. YOu all are one of those blessings.

    Rosemarie
  15. EllenComstock

    EllenComstock New Member

    I, too, am Catholic. Although I have had a lot of health problems the past twelve years (in addition to the FMS), I have never felt that I was being punished. I remind myself that everyone in this life has their cross to bear, some more than others. We were never told that this life was going to be perfect. This gives me something to look forward to knowing that in heaven I will never be sick or feel pain again.

    What your priest told you about Jesus' pain and death certainly is comforting to think of. Even in the midst of his own extreme torment, he forgave those who were crucifying him.

    Are you able to go to church every week? I feel bad, but I often miss church services. I bring a pillow with me as the hard pews are torture for me, but even with the pillow, it is still really uncomfortable for me. I go as often as I can.

    Ellen
  16. wuki1

    wuki1 New Member

    Faith is the one thing I will never let go of. I found this on a message board (may have been this one - couldn't find it again to give proper credit to the person who wrote it -sorry)! But I posted this at my desk and look at it every day to remind me that God cares for me and never gives me more than we can handle together:

    "The everlasting God has in His wisdom foreseen from eternity the cross that He now presents to you as a gift from His innermost Heart.

    This cross He now sends you He has considered with His all-knowing eyes, understood with His Divine mind, tested with His wisdom, warmed with His loving arms and weighed with His own hands to see that it be not one inch too large and not one ounce to heavy for you.

    He has blessed it with His Holy Name, anointed it with His grace, perfumed it with His consolation, taken one last glance at you and your courage, and then sent it to you from Heaven, with His grace and strength, a special greeting from God to you, a gift from the all-merciful love of God.'

    I may never know "why" while I am on this side of Heaven, but someday I will. For now I focus on the good things that have come of this. Empathy for people and the pain and suffering they go through, patience with myself and others (we all have limitations) and a renewed closeness to God.

    Kim

  17. Adl123

    Adl123 New Member

    Hi,
    I, too, was a Catholic - Catholic school, etc..... this added to my feelings of guilt.

    Now I believe in karma, and I also believe that God does not punish. I've come to look at these DD's as opportunities. They have had no effect on my faih. Oh, that doesn't mean I don't get angry or depressed, because I do. I just don't think they have anything to do with God other than being an opportunity for me to grow. He/She didn't cause them.

    That's what I feel.
    Terry
  18. bluebird77

    bluebird77 New Member

    Hi,
    I've been diagnosed for 2 1/2 years with FM/CFS. I have not struggled with my faith with this illness. However being a preacher's wife, I am often judged b/c I can't attend church regularly. My husband has taken my illness harder than I have, his faith has faltered many times b/c of this. I guess he feels that if he just get close enough to God then his prayers for me will heal me. I think he has come to realize that it is not a lack of faith that I haven't been healed, It's just a part of life.

    God Bless
    April
  19. megchampagne

    megchampagne New Member

    ... to an awesome question! Hehe.

    I'm way into theology so reading everyone's responses is of great interest to me and there are so many encouraging things being said here.

    But regarding karma... I have studied Buddhism in the past, and don't Buddhists generally believe that illness or imbalance is due to negative actions you have done in at least one of your lifetimes? That idea kinda makes me feel like I deserve FMS, y'know? Karma is the one thing about Buddhism that does NOT calm me down! LOL!
  20. tlayne

    tlayne Member

    Stormysky, you are so awesome! Are you a writer? If not have you ever thought about writing? I was just looking up this post so I could write down your response about.."He may not have wished this for me," , and I seen your most recent post.

    You have the talent to write what others are feeling, but can not put into words themselves! May be you should write a song about this dd and find someone to sing it! Truely, I really mean this.

    Do you mind, when I call to request, A Better life, tomorrow for all my fibro/CFS friends if I quote you? Hugs, Tam