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Where is Hope? Those With Invisible Illness Share God’s Reminders

Posted Aug 31 2012 10:00am

Good morning!

Yesterday I gave you an update on what Invisible Illness Week is all about. I thought I would share a few highlights over the next few days.

I know you may be thinking, “I don’t need anything else on my plate right now.”

I understand. Really. And if you are “into” social media like Facebook and Twitter you know the power of using these tools to spread the word.

But if you are rolling your eyes right now and saying, “Oh, no, not another Facebook thing-a-ma-jig I have to learn . . . ” don’t worry! Stay with me!

I have been putting Invisible Illness Awareness Week together with you in mind. “Where is hope?” Would you believe that over 13,600,000 people use Google to ask this question

All summer–while sitting at the snack shack at my son’s golf camp, while on the I-5 freeway road trip from Eugene to San Diego, I have been emailing speakers, updating the Invisible Illness Week website. I have been editing video at 2 AM when my shoulder moved out of place and I couldn’t sleep anyway, and from the waiting room while I did a dozen physical therapy sessions this summer. But I kept wondering how we could show people the answer to “where is hope?” It’s not in our things, or even in our friends and family. But when we have God beside us, He uses little visual ways to remind us He has not forgotten us.

So, humor me for just a minute, k? (smile)

Last week I reposted a photo (above) I saw over on Facebook. It says, “H.O.P.E.: Hold On, Pain Ends.” I thought it was encouraging. You know, a sunset, cute font. But people didn’t see it that way. I think they wanted to scream and throw things at me, because it felt like I was one more person who was saying, “Oh, tomorrow will be a better day!” in a sing-songy voice. They thought, “Odds are, tomorrow won’t be a better day.”

But I didn’t mean it that way. When I saw it, I immediately thought of heaven. Just last night my 9-year-old son asked, “Mom, are you always in pain?” I said, “yep, hon. I am.” “Like, what hurts right now?” he asked, so I listed about 6 places.

I know pain will not end here on earth. Even if we we’re healed today, we would still be in pain if we touched a hot pan.

And, ironically, that is the day that our world calls, “death.” But we have hope that. “And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” (Romans 5:5)

For Invisible Illness Awareness Week in 2012 we are showing the world the little reminders that we have around us that give us HOPE! Hope that one day the pain will end; hope that God never leaves our side while we are in pain; hope that there is purpose in the pain. Hope that it are the little things God gives us throughout our day that remind us of His presence.

Photos like this. . .

iiweekphotoframe1 Where is Hope? Those With Invisible Illness Share Gods Reminders

Upload your own photos at You can upload them, or email them one at a time. Your subject line becomes the caption, to add any explanation about why your image gives you hope.

It may be a flower in your yard, your grandchild, a mug of coffee, a weed that won’t give up, a friend who visits, whatever gives you a glimpse of hope!

And guess what? (and this is BIG, folks. . . ) is going to post some of the photos on their website under the health section on September 10, 2012 to help us kick off the week! Totally arranged by God! We get the opportunity to share with the millions of visitors to CNN’s website why and where we–God’s children–find hope despite our illness.

There is no picture too silly, too casual. It doesn’t have to be a life-changing image of hope, but something that reminds you that God is beside you saying, “Hold on, child, pain ends. Hope. . . ”

If you have any trouble uploading the image or getting captions attached, just let me know at and I will help you out. Or grab one of your kids to show you how. If your image is selected you will need to agree that you had permission to post it or that you are the photographer. We will contact you if it is chosen.

But I hope you will join me in showing the world where we find our hope, despite the daily pain we are in.

And please keep Invisible Illness Awareness Week in prayer too. Pray for hearts to be open, softened, for people to find us who are desperate for hope, for God to continue to connect us to the right media people who have a heart for the chronically ill.

Hold on, my friend, pain ends. But for now we have hope! And when we place our hope in God it will never fail us.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)

I know you cannot put hope into words, we can’t “see” it per se, but we hope you will share with us some of the images ways you see God’s hope overflowing into your life.

God bless you,

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