Coping with illness can feel lonely, and exasperating as people cannot see the pain you are in. Coping with illness that is invisible has its own set of issues, as to most people "you look just fine."
"No one gets it!" we all exclaim at one time or another when we are coping with illness. But if you feel this way on a regular basis you may be in trouble!
Why Can't I Make People Understand? Discovering the Validation Those with Chronic Illness Seek and Why gives you unique insight into why you crave the understanding of those around you when you are suffering with a chronic illness and helps you get past the frustrations you feel when people say things like, "no pain, no gain!" or "if you'd just get out of the house more you'd feel much better."
Even when you are coping with illness well, and have come to terms with your disease and all the emotions involved, one comment or look can send you reeling back to when you were first diagnosed and dealing with all the well-meaning advice and skepticism.
>> Read an excerpt from Google Books
Why Can't I Make People Understand? will help you work through this and more, such as. . .
- What happens to your spiritual life when you feel alone and misunderstood in your pain?
- How does your atitude affect whether you get the understanding you seek or not?
- How should you pray for others to understand and change their attitude about your illness?
- Is there more to coping with illness than just dealing with the physical symptoms?
- Why do some prayers get answered but with poor results?
- How should you respond when people say hurtful things about your chronic illness?
- What Biblical responsibilities are you exempt from?
- is it okay to get mad at God about it all and express your true feelings about your illness and the pain others are causing?
- How can your relationship with Christ help all of the above become less important?
Read what others are saying...
"I just finished reading Why Can't I Make People Understand? Discovering the Validation Those with Chronic Illness Seek and Why. It gave me new insight into some of my own emotions and frustration in my 4-year struggle with fibromyalgia, especially with my extended family members. It addresses many of the emotions that people with a chronic (and sometimes invisible) illness face and shows how to reflect on God's perfect will for our lives through His Word (the Bible); how to be a blessing to others through the pain; and because of the pain, we are in a unique position to bless and encourage others to turn to Jesus for their comfort in their times of trial.I highly recommend it." ~Kathryn D.
My daughter loved the book Why Can't I Make People Understand? It helped her a lot but it helped me--as her mother--just as much. A lot of the things in the book, she wanted me to know but had difficulty telling me herself. Thank you so much for enlightening me, and for giving me ways to help my daughter in her struggle. - K.
Your website and ministry are such a blessing! I received my order and my husband is reading the book Why Can't I Make People Understand? and it has really helped him so much. I can see the Lord working in his spirit and helping him with all of the conflicting emotions that he has inside. I know it is such a struggle for him but I think just knowing that he isn't alone in this is such a help and a comfort! Thank you again for all that you do! In His Love, C.
REVIEW BY: Diane Pederson, BellaOnline's Christian Literature Editor:
Every person needs validation from others. Those “others” may be family members, friends, church family, or coworkers. A chronically ill person needs this too. They long to be understood and seen positively just like those temporary-able-bodied people do. Unfortunately, Christians with a chronic illness are often made to feel that their faith isn’t sufficient or God would heal them.
Chapter 1, Rejoicing in God, reminds us that everyone is commanded to rejoice—not just those with no problems. She reviews what scriptures teach us on the subject. It is so difficult for those of us with any type of chronic problem to remember that God will continue to make us in His image even though we have problems. We are simply to turn over everything to God. That’s hard to do when you hurt or when you have (chronic problem) but it is TRUE!
Being Gentle in how we treat others is the topic of chapter two. We will never be able to make people totally understand what our lives are like. It is futile to try. When they make discouraging remarks to us, we need to remember that God isn’t as concerned with their remark as He is with our response to what they say.
The next chapter (3) teaches us about Acknowledging God’s Presence. One comment that jumped out at me was this question:
How are you living your life? As a child of God or as a victim of man? We can’t have it both ways; we can live as ones who are forgiven and offer forgiveness to others. Or we can be ones who are always distraught that life is not fair. People with this attitude always have an excuse or complaint, never choosing to accept any responsibility for their circumstances or their attitude.
Copen further explains that if we act the victim, we’re letting other people control our emotions rather than letting God’s power control us. Satan, through people, LOVES to defeat us by turning us into victims.
One of the most difficult things for me, and for many others who suffer, to do is to not worry about things. Letting Go of Anxiety, chapter 4, addresses this issue. I don’t know about you, but it is so easy for me to get upset and worry about things like finances BECAUSE chronic conditions stopped my career. It is so hard to remember that God has promised to provide all me needs and has never failed to do so for many years.
Chapter 5 teaches us about Praying and Petitioning for our needs and for others. Then Chapter 6 discusses Giving Thanks as God commands. It can be easy to pray at first, but I wonder how many get discouraged and wind up turning against God because He doesn’t answer their prayers like they want Him to! It is so hard to give thanks when He doesn’t provide that instantaneous healing we would all like to experience.
Every Christian, not just the chronically ill, need to understand the message in Chapter 8, “In Christ Jesus”. We all have an obligation to reach out to others and to lead them to the Lord too.
[ Why Can't I Make People Understand? ] is an outstanding book to have ready to give to a church member that says, “I was just diagnosed with ..whatever…” This book could be used as a devotional for them while they begin the often drawn out process of determining what medical treatment might provide some relief. It would encourage them.
Copen’s writing style is easy to read. Her writing is very logical. I particularly enjoyed reading through the review, reflection, scripture, action, and prayer suggestions at the end of each chapter. She doesn’t tell us to just “pray about it” and she doesn’t promote “instant healing” if you just believe enough.
100% of proceeds are donated by Lisa to Rest Ministries, Inc.
Author: Lisa Copen
Rest Ministries Publishers, softcover, 142 pages
Size: 5.5 x 8.5 in