I recently began reading a book that I borrowed from our local library, Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver. (aff) Despite it being a library book, I’ve never wished to underline more passages in a book than I do this one. This book is filled with so many little nuggets of revelation and points to ponder. Please join me as I share some of these points with you in the coming weeks.
The story of Mary and Martha
The premise of the book is based on the scripture passages found in Luke 10 and John 11-12. Where we are introduced to two sisters named Martha and Mary. Martha being the busy sister, preparing constantly for “company” while Mary spends the day at Jesus’s feet, sitting quietly in the presence of the Lord.
If you happen to be Christian, I’d love to encourage you to head to your local library or over to the Amazon bookshelf and get your hands on a physical or digital copy. Join me as today we take a look at how this unique section of the book applies to life with a chronic illness. And I encourage you to explore how these elements might play out in your own life, even for those of you without chronic illness.
In the following study, we will look at The 3 Deadly D’s found in Chapter 2 of the book. Grab your book or just keep reading to learn about how these elements apply to living well and finding faith when you live with chronic illness.
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The 3 Deadly D’s with chronic illness
In Chapter 2, Weaver introduces us to “The 3 Deadly D’s.”
She explains that these 3 Deadly D’s are the foundation in which Satan wiggles his way into our hearts and minds. If you think about it, it becomes very clear how potent these are when you live with a chronic illness (or for that matter, even if you don’t!).
The 3 Deadly D’s – Distraction
When you live with a chronic illness, it is the quiet times that can feel the most painful. When we are left alone with our bodies, it seems like all we hear is the shouting of our joints and the screaming of fatigue. Louder and louder they call to us until we fill the sound with anything else we can find- Netflix, YouTube, or a multitude of other chores of daily life. Before you know it, the distractions we use to manage our pain become distractions from our relationship with Him.
Not to say that any of those are inherently bad, but when we turn around and use them to drown out our relationship with the Lord, as a distraction from our quiet time with Him, then Satan finds just the opening he needs to find his way into our hearts.
“When we’re distracted, discouragement is just around the corner. Weariness creeps in as life overpowers us. It causes us to say and do things we would never consider saying or doing otherwise. Discouragement breaks down our perspective and our defenses. Though we may have just completed great things for God, weary discouragement tells us we’re useless, hopeless, and abandoned.” (19)
Never in my life do I feel discouragement like I do when I am in the throes of a full-on flare. No matter how close the end of the flare actually is, it feels like it will never come and I become extremely discouraged with every single thing. I feel like the worst parent, spouse, and student of the Lord ever created. I become discouraged with the medicine that I’m on, the steps that I’ve taken to feel better, and every decision that I’ve made to manage my diseases. Soon, all I can see around me are my own, and everyone else’s short-comings. If I let them, these seeds of discouragement grow into weeds that choke out all of the beautiful wildflowers that I’ve worked so hard to cultivate in my life.
Doubt is a funny thing, really. It is easy to doubt God’s love for us when we look at the pain and fatigue we feel on a daily basis. It doesn’t take much time for us to think, “If He really loves us, why does he allow us to suffer so much?” Yes, it is a perfectly rational question and one that I wish there was a short answer for. This doubt can sneak up on us and seems to come even involuntarily. Soon we doubt ourselves, and we doubt Him and His ultimate love for us. Before you know it, we begin to doubt God’s goodness and we find ourselves far away from Him shrouded in layers and layers of doubt.
Suddenly, like discouragement, I begin to doubt what I know in my heart were the right choices. Not only do I begin to doubt Him, I doubt myself. Am I strong enough to endure this? No. Am I really making the right choices for my family? No. Do I have what it takes to be the person God wants me to be? No. If I allow doubt to fester in my heart, then the voice of God becomes quickly drowned out by the same hissing snake that Eve heard in the great Garden.
Some points to ponder about The 3 Deadly D’s
Well, this concludes our study this week. There are many options to delve deeper in the text in the coming week. I will leave you with some points to ponder about The 3 Deadly D’s.
- What are your personal warning signs that you are about the enter the territory of The 3 Deadly D’s?
- In what ways does doubt find its way into your heart?
- What strategies can you implement into your life to fight distraction, discouragement, and doubt?
So, until next time my friends, keep smiling ❤