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Chronic Illness - Chronic Pain Articles Available to Read and Reprint

[not available for reprint]

When Friends Turn Away Because They Don't
      Know How to React To Your Chronic Illness

In my life friends have come and gone like autumn leaves in a fall rainstorm; momentary blazes of color, until the ill-wind blows. With every leaf that fell from my fragile friendship tree, they drained the sap of life from my very heart. I struggled to protect myself from the onslaught of good intentions that lacked the conviction and perseverance necessary to stand by me in the darkest, bitter storm blast.

Fair-weather friends and even family spoke of help and encouragement, but they grew weary in the day-in and day-out nurturing of my life. I grew afraid to seek the sun, or trust a kindly word, because when the novelty of my illness wore off these friends became phantom memories, as elusive as a cobweb in the sun.

They pulled away and turned away and their absence became a roaring echo in the chambers of my heart. The silence of their good intentions accentuated my lonely cries, until at last, I could cry no more...

But when the tears were dry and the trust was gone, God sent you, Jesus, an unexpected breath of fresh air in the midst of the stagnant emptiness. And in time I learned that we were as alike as we were different, and the differences only added body to our friendship.

You really cared and suddenly I wasn't alone anymore. You will never know how often the sound of your voice helped me to face one more pain-racked day. There have been so many times that I just wanted to die and you provoked me to live. You have been a much better friend to me than I to You and I am so grateful that God sent me the gift of your friendship. So often you are the still, small voice that God has used to motivate me just one more time.

I do not know how to properly or adequately thank you for the gift of your friendship. Words seem insufficient and there is so little I can say. But I hope that you know how grateful I am and I hope that my life reflects in some way just how thankful I am. You are precious beyond measure. You are my best friend, Jesus.

Reprinted from ...And He Will Give You Rest
monthly support newsletter, Volume I1, Issue 8. © 1998.

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