I’ve had the pleasure of helping to run a support group for people with chronic illnesses for a year now. Members have come and gone as they either did not feel the group was to their liking or their health deteriorated or they health improved. We’ve met at two different churches and had two different Pastors assisting us in leading the group. We’ve had parties, fellowship, Bible studies, laughter and tears.
For people with serious health issues having a place where other people understand what you’re going through and being able to speak openly about is a relief. Many times our own family doesn’t understand us, even our doctors may hurt us with comments they say or the way they treat us.
Our group is Bible based. We use Scripture to learn to cope, to heal emotionally, to come to terms with our issues, to learn that it’s OK to be angry even at God, and to know that God doesn’t punish us by making us sick.
We also use resources from the internet, books, magazines and newspapers to help each other learn about various illnesses. Our meetings are somewhat informal but we do have an agenda to help keep things on track.
Sometimes people need to vent and that’s alright but we really try to keep things as positive as possible, offering people hope through God’s promises. My church has a new Pastor and he’s been attending our meetings. He brings us God’s word in a way that opens our hearts to understanding more easily. He sometimes shares a song with us on his guitar. I know that the Holy Spirit speaks through him as he ministers to us.
Please pray for our support group. We’re going to begin putting out fliers in doctors’ offices to see if we can offer help for more people. The group is open to our community not just our members and it is so nice to have people visit with us in our church where we can show them God’s love.