Fearfully Wonderfully Me

Growing in God and Inspiring Young Women Through Faith and Fashion

Tag: POTS (page 1 of 2)

How to Thrive with a Chronic Illness

Getting diagnosed with a chronic illness turns your whole world upside down. Suddenly you can’t do many of the daily activities most people never think twice about. Fear becomes a constant nag in the corner of your mind, and you lose confidence in your future.

I know this because it happened to me. Getting diagnosed with POTS  and IBS was one of the hardest, yet most rewarding trials I have faced so far.

I’ve learned patience, compassion, perseverance, and most importantly, dependence on God.

I truly believe my faith and the prayers of those who love me have brought me this far in my healing journey. Although I’m not cured (yet) of these issues, I’m in a much better place than I was years ago.

I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to make friends with others who struggle with illness. Though I hope for their healing, I’m so glad God uses us to shine a light for each other. I’m often asked how I do it. How do I manage my life when sometimes just standing makes me dizzy or weak?

Well, here you are lovely ones. My insider pro-tips on thriving with a chronic illness.

1. Set Daily Goals

Having a chronic illness can force you out of your usual routine and school/work life. Suddenly you are dependent on others, and you feel helpless.

Although it may feel this way at first, it’s actually a hidden blessing. Why? Because we are all helpless on our own.

Every human being is one tragedy away from losing everything. The only thing that can’t be taken away is our relationship with Christ. When our dependence is on Jesus, we can learn to walk with humble confidence.

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My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:26 NIV)

Having this confidence in God is crucial in order to be fruitful and set a daily goal. A good challenge is to write down one goal you want to accomplish everyday.

Maybe your goal is to clean the house or get an assignment done. Perhaps it’s showering or a doctor’s appointment. It doesn’t matter if it’s big or small. Just give it all you’ve got and lean on the Lord for confidence.

There are days when I still don’t feel productive. I get wiped out easily and fall asleep randomly from chronic fatigue. Not everything gets checked off on my list, but at least one thing does, and that’s good enough.

2. Make Time for Rest and Renewal

While goal crushing is fun, it’s important to balance work with rest. All bodies require rest, but in our fast-paced American culture, we hardly get the rest we need. Healing takes place when we listen to our bodies and just slow down.

It’s awesome to get things done, but don’t forget to take time to do something relaxing. Maybe this is taking a nap or warm bath. Perhaps a good book or listening to music is your thing. Find whatever it is that relaxes you and do it everyday.

The greatest rest we find is in Jesus, who renews us daily. The only way I got through five years of college with an illness is by God’s renewing strength.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5 NIV)

If we don’t abide in Jesus, we have nothing. If we seek Him constantly, we find physical healing, as well as spiritual renewal. Abiding in Jesus helps us bear fruit far richer than any worldly pursuit can give us.

3. Don’t Isolate Yourself in Illness

When you feel bad, it’s only natural to isolate yourself. However, constantly shutting the world out will only make things worse.

Yes, we all need time alone to rest and recharge, but surrounding ourselves with loved ones uplifts us and even improves our symptoms.

I know that when I hang out with my friends and family, I can’t do everything they can. Although I may need accommodations, I still have plenty of fun with my loved ones.

There will always be those who don’t understand or who get annoyed by you. These people will either learn to adjust, or you’ll find their friendship isn’t as deep as you thought it was.

A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24 ESV)

How to Thrive with a Chronic Illness

Don’t let your limitations discourage you. You are more than your abilities. Our worth comes from the inside–the soul Jesus died to save.  No illness can stop your awesome self from truly shining.

Although living with a chronic illness is life changing, God can still use it for good. He is still a miracle worker and healer. As we wait on God’s healing, we can live for Him in faith, hope, and love.


Thanks for reading! If you or a loved one struggle with an illness, please feel free to comment below so I can pray for you.

(Photography by rawpixel and Saksham Gangwar)

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How to Find Healing In a Sick World

Yesterday was one of the those days where I just couldn’t win. No matter what I did, I could barely get out of bed. Walking was difficult and concentrating took all of the energy I had. My body refused to cooperate with my mind, but I still pressed on.

This is my life with POTS right now. I say “right now” because I believe God’s healing power is at work in me. But I can’t deny the reality that although my body is healthy, it doesn’t work the way it should.

Isn’t it strange how when you’re sick, the feeling leaks into all areas of your life? Work and school become difficult. Your mood tanks, and you stop feeling like yourself.

Unfortunately, there is an illness affecting all people around the world that can hurt our lives far more than any physical ailment.

The Sickness

The crown has fallen from our head; woe to us, for we have sinned! For this our heart has become sick, for these things our eyes have grown dim, (Lamentations 5:16-17 ESV

Sin. It’s the word no one wants to talk about–except for the sweaty preachers yelling about it from the pulpit. But when you really stop and think about it, sin is the cause of the major ills of society.

Wars, mass shootings, racism, dishonest companies–and more. We all see it in the news. It’s obvious we, as human beings, have a problem.

We’ve become so consumed by greed, lust, and hatred, that we don’t even see the wickedness taking root in our hearts.

The Cure

I know I just painted a gloomy picture in your mind, but there is hope in the midst of all this pain. There is a cure for sin, and His name is Jesus.

If we call on the name of Jesus, the Son of God, and honestly turn our hearts away from sin, we will be forgiven and restored!

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9 NIV)

God takes us in His loving arms and places us on the right path again. He helps us see our sickness and restores us to spiritual health.

Sometimes we get so lost in our sin that we can’t even remember what it feels like to be healthy and alive spiritually. But there is healing in Christ, and all we have to do is ask for it and believe.

The Healing 

Although God frees us from sin and condemnation with His grace, we’re not perfect in this life and we still live in a world scarred by sin. Even though as a believer we are made new, we still suffer from temptations, mental health issues, and physical pain and sickness.

How do we experience healing when we live in a spiritually sick world?

When I was at church last Sunday, I found myself unable to stand during worship. The dizziness was pulling me down and I felt too weak to fight it. I’m only 23 years old, and I could have easily let this make me feel bitter and depressed (and I’ll admit that sometimes it does).

But while we were singing about victory in Christ, I couldn’t help but smile as God whispered these words into my heart.

Praise brings healing

I can still praise from here. 

When depression, anxiety, bad news, or sin makes you feel trapped, remember that nothing can rob you of your praise! The devil wants to take you to your knees and make you believe that you have lost.

But you haven’t lost, lovely one. You can still praise. No matter where you’re at–whether on top of a mountain or crumpled on the floor–you can still pour out your heart to God.

The key to healing spiritually is not found in your own strength. It can only be revealed when you pour out your praise, and in return, let the love of Jesus fill your heart.

But I will hope continually, And will praise You yet more and more. (Psalm 71:14 NKJV)

Thanks for reading! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below 🙂

I also want to give a shout out to Owen Wolf for giving me the inspiration to write this post. You are so encouraging!

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Quote Challenge~Day 2 (James Dean)

Hello lovely readers and followers! It’s Day 2 of the Quote challenge–where I post my favorite quotes and nominate other bloggers for 3 days.

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Today’s quote is by the late Hollywood actor, James Dean. To be honest, I’ve never seen any of his movies. However, I always thought he was cute as a teen and still have a picture of him in my room with this quote!

When I first heard this quote, I loved how it encouraged me to dream impossible dreams. I am a dreamer at heart, and that’s probably why I love to write. But I want to be more than just a dreamer. I want to take my dreams and make them a reality.

Living as if you’ll die tomorrow is kind of a #yolo quote. When I was younger I thought it meant that I should be having fun, traveling the world, and doing crazy amazing things. While all of that is good and should be pursued to a degree, I’ve learned that there is so much more to living life to the fullest.

As someone who suffers from IBS and POTS, my life has roadblocks. Currently I can’t work  or drive, and that sucks. I am a full time student, youth leader, and blogger, but of course the perfectionist in me often won’t let that be enough.

I’m just so thankful that my God says it’s enough. There’s nothing I can do to make Him love me any more or less (Romans 8:38). The grace of Jesus Christ is enough to satisfy me even in my trials.

And you know what? My life is so full. Sure I might not be out traveling the world or partying like crazy, but I am making an impact for Christ. I am so blessed to be a youth leader and help students who inspire me everyday. I am so blessed to be able to write to you on this blog–pouring out my heart and giving encouragement.

I also have lots of family and friends who are always by my side, through good times and bad. I am having lots of fun with them this summer!

My point is this: Keep dreaming because that revives your soul. Always know that living a full life is more than what you can do, it’s about who you impact for good. If you want to live an awesome life, keep dreaming and seek God’s heart for others.

My Nominations for Day 2:
You are under no obligation to undertake this challenge, but it would be great fun if you do that.
Rules:
  1. 3 quotes, one a day or all 3 quotes on the same day.
  2. You have to nominate three bloggers to undertake this challenge for each quote posted.
  3. Thank the person who nominated you.
  4. Inform your nominees.

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for Day 3! As always, please feel free to comment and share 🙂 

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The Secret to Faith

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Life is hard. We all know it, and there’s no way of getting around it. Becoming a Christian is a not a “get out of the hard life free” card. In fact, it can seem like everything in the world is attacking when you dive deeper into a relationship with Jesus.

This post is running a day late because life got hard. I’m battling illnesses that cause me to be exhausted, dizzy, and in pain. No, I’m not trying to one-up anyone here. It’s not like I have some terminal illness or life threatening disease. But what I do have is complicated, uncommon, and really annoying because it is difficult to manage.

But this is life. We all have struggles, whether it be health-wise, financial, emotional, or relational (or sometimes a dreaded combination of these). These are the thorns of the flesh that Paul talked about in 2 Corinthians 12, and they either hinder our relationship with God or take us to new heights in our walk with Him.

Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me (2 Corinthians 12:8-9 NIV)

For the longest time my struggles hindered me. I grew depressed and hopeless, even when I became a Christian. And even though I still get beaten down, I find that I rise again–stronger than before. This isn’t because of anything I have learned or done, but by the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.

I am blessed to be surrounded by the prayers and encouragement of my family and friends. I serve a wonderful church that cares deeply about the well-being of others, and for this I am grateful.

Even though I tend to get sick of being sick, I am even thankful for my illness and the trials I have faced. Without them I might not have realized my need for God. I might not have become a youth leader. I might not even be a blogger!

I’ve been forced to slow down and spend more time with the Lord, writing for His glory. I know I depend on Him for my strength.

Beckie Lindsey, a wonderful woman of God and blogger at Spotlight, kindly allowed me to share with you a quote she made on one of her posts on prayer and faith.

No one escapes hardships. What’s important is how we respond to them. —Beckie Lindsey

This is the secret to faith. This is how we go through the hardships of life and come of them as more than conquerors. We can’t control everything that comes our way, but we can rest in the God who is in control of all things. We can rest in His promises that Jesus is with us always (Matthew 28:20).

We can count it all joy when we face our trials and temptations because it means that God is allowing us to grow. Lean on Him and ask the Holy Spirit to strengthen you. You may feel like everything in life is out of your control–but fear not–God’s got you.

 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance (James 1:2-3 NIV).

Need prayer? Comment below or email me at fearfullywonderfullyme@outlook.com

Thanks for reading! Please feel free to share and comment. I love hearing from you 🙂

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Wasted

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Another day that feels

Wasted.

As I lie awake, heart racing,
Trying to put my pieces back together
So I don’t feel

Broken.

I fell today
For the lies of another empty song.

I lost today
In the front lines of my mind.

My body is tired,
Ravaged by distress.

My soul is tired,
Weighed down by memories
That take me to melancholy lane.

All the things I’ve wanted to do,
But never could

Wasted.

I can see the dream stealers,
Creeping in the middle of the night.
Making me forget why
I Chose to move forward.

You say Your yoke is easy
But this burden I have has tied me

Down.

I can’t get up and face today–
Not in my own strength.

I know that with You I’m anything but

Hopeless.

So I’ll surrender to
The only Love
That gives without taking.

The only peace
That leaves no room for fear.

Only this way can I rise
And feel my brokeness,
Being mended by Your strong hands,
So I can glisten in the sun.

Only this way can I gain
What the enemy took away.

Only this way can I take today,
And make it beautiful.

Because of You
No tear
No shout
No fear
No joy
No love is

Wasted.

–Written by Emily Smith © at fearfullywonderfullyme.com

Thanks for reading! Please comment with your thoughts, and God bless you.
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