(In exchange for my review, Chronic-Joy Ministries, publisher, provided this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. All opinions expressed are purely my own.)
I am so thankful to be part of the launch team for another wonderful book in the “Thrive” series by Chronic-Joy Ministries! And as I read through Cindee Snider Re’s newest book, Finding Purpose, Rediscovering Meaning in a life with Chronic Illness, I sensed that a season of “new” was before me. Eagerly I cherished longings for what that “new” might mean.
Cindee has such a beautiful way of weaving Scripture with piercing thoughts and pointed questions that cause the reader to pause and truly spend time in God’s presence asking the hard questions. I found such a soul respite and hope for the journey ahead of me as I read this book.
And in that hope, I thought that surely, God would strengthen my tired frame.
Surely He would help me to get up and get moving just enough so that I could actually walk forward in a new purpose.
But instead, He chose to allow the weakness to increase, more medications to fail, and the words “be patient” to echo in my heart. And those are precisely the kind of words that Cindee and the team at Chronic Joy Ministry are accustomed to hearing also. The first chapter begins with thoughts of slowing down, and listening for the echo of God’s Presence. And each of the following chapters seemed to fit so well with the lessons God was working in my heart:
- Lectio Divina
In all of the beautiful Scripture studies and heart probing questions, the two chapters that stood out to me the most were Purpose and Contentment. Later this week, on Friday the 16th, I’ll have more to share about the results of the chapter on Contentment. But that chapter on how to find a purpose within the days of chronic illness continued to stand out to me, long after I finished reading the draft that Chronic-Joy Ministries mailed out to the Feedback Team earlier this spring.
When I first read those words, I was in the midst of learning to “manage” my fibromyalgia, as my Rheumatologist had told me was possible. I changed my already improved diet, I added in several new supplements, I began increasing my indoor-power-walking.
What?! Power walking? . . . Well, yes, if you count 5 minutes of walking back & forth around my kitchen as “power walking,” then I was up there with the best of them.
But shortly after I finished that early reading, my body decided to spiral downwards, and the old Rheumatoid Arthritis dragon abruptly put an end to any more “power walking.”
I tucked away any thoughts of “new” purpose for my life. It seemed to me that the same old struggles and resting times stretched ahead of me. My hope in God was being refined yet again.
Before He could speak His new purpose more clearly, He had more heart-working to accomplish in me.
Have you watched those refining fires burn all around you?
Have you felt the furnace heating up next to you?
See, I have refined you, though not as silver;
I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. Isaiah 48:10
After long months of waiting, and another long season of patience, the words of the beginning of Chapter 10: Choice have finally fallen onto softened heart-soil:
“Choice is a journey –a choice every minute of every day. I can either choose God or I can choose me. I can choose to seek Him in the midst of the chaos or I can allow my circumstances to overwhelm me. I can choose to live in the power of His Spirit or I can choose to rely on my own strength. But I can’t have it both ways. It’s either God or me.”
While His purposes were good for me, I needed to be in the place where my weaknesses were no longer the enemy. I could not embrace His strength until I could rejoice in my own weaknesses. HIS ways are always best.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:8-10 NIV
So, 10 months after first reading Cindee’s draft, the Lord brought His purpose home to me, and I could finally work through the Scriptures and the thoughts in that chapter to express the Purpose Statement that God has given to me in this new place:
Through all of my weaknesses, He is Sufficient in me, and my heart will Glorify Him there.
It’s not about me–it’s all about HIM, so that I can delight in HIS strength.
He wants to be that same source of strength for you, too, my friend.
I have been so blessed by this book, and I am sure that you will be blessed also. You can find the book on Amazon here. Chronic-Joy Ministry is an excellent support group for anyone dealing with chronic health or mental illnesses, offering beautiful books, blog-posts, and gorgeous daily images with Scriptures and encouraging thoughts. They are offering a give-away over on their site on the 14th, and would love to have you participate! Click here to visit them.
And, they were so gracious to offer me an extra book for a give-away too! If you leave a comment below, you, and those who have commented here during the launch of my new website, will be entered in the drawing. Come back here on Friday, February 16 to see who won, and to find out more about Chapter 9 and Contentment.
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