Some of you who have been reading the blog or seen occasional chatter on Facebook are aware that several years ago I began a season of disabling migraine that led to a diagnosis of chronic migraine disease. I wrote about it a couple of times, for instance here.
Along the way in the last four years, I’ve met some amazing people with chronic pain or illness stories of their own, and I’ve been so grateful for the honesty with which they enter their own stories and open themselves up to what there is to learn from the experience of a body that has stopped working, perhaps abruptly, in ways that interfere with daily life and perhaps without expectation that it’s ever really going to be the same again.
(That certainly has been my reality. At the moment, my disease is much better managed than it was even a year ago, but it’s still a presence in my life.)
When people can speak transparently about chronic pain or chronic illness in ways that demonstrate they are nevertheless pursuing wholeness of life, they also bring a message of hope and encouragement.
Others who may be struggling with their own relationship with pain or illness need to hear that word of hope and encouragement.
One of the people I met a couple years ago is writer Liuan Huska, who has a new book, Hurting Yet Whole: Reconciling Body and Spirit in Chronic Pain and Illness. It’s coming out in a few weeks from InterVarsity Press, and I’ve had the privilege of reading an early copy. Since this is a topic that intersects with my own journey that I’ve written about here, I wanted to recommend it to any of you who may be living with chronic pain or illness—or who may have a friend or family member who is. Liuan takes on the topic by telling her own story and weaving in substantive faith reflections and stories from others with personal experience. Multiple thought-provoking angles make for worthwhile reading, and her writing style is smooth and careful and well-connected.
Grace and peace.