“Invisible illness isn’t a choice. But your visible hope is!” says, Lisa Copen of Rest Ministries. So many of us have no control over our illness but we do have a choice as to how we will live our life in spite of our chronic illness and challenges. This year Lisa Copen, founder of Rest Ministries and The National Invisible Chronic Illness Week has challenged us to share our visible hope – to share what we choose.
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NIV)
Over the past 30 years I have been living with chronic illnesses of which most have been debilitating at times. Due to a mixture of low metabolism, medication, lack of mobility I have seen my weight climb to an extremely unhealthy and scary height. This past year the doctors have felt that the only way the unhealthy excess weight will come off would be to have gastric bypass surgery. Surgery of any kind can be a challenge to anyone, but when one has multiple chronic health issues it can become more of a challenge for the doctors as well to me.
I chose last year to become a healthier me – however the Lord so chooses because my body is His temple not my own and I needed to present to Him a temple worthy of His use. “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” Romans 12:1-3
So upon approval of all my doctors and the health insurance company, I began my quest to become a healthier me January 1, 2013. The doctors warned me that most of my chronic health issues would still be here when I lose my weight, but they said removing such a heavy load on this old body would help lessen the strain on the body that already is ravished by my chronic health challenges.
Since January 2013 I have lost a total of 90 lbs. I still have a long way to go with my weight loss, but I am determined to become a healthier me – physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Like most of you, I take life one day at a time. I wake up each day thankful for His provision, protection and promises as I choose each day to become a healthier me. What do you choose?
National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week is held annually in September and is a worldwide effort to bring together people who live with invisible chronic illness and those who love them. It is also a time to educate and bring awareness to churches, organizations, health professions as to how they can help the nearly 1 in 2 people in the USA who live with illness and that about 96% of it is invisible.