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COVER STORY: Dr. Carrie Carter - What Happens when the Doctor Becomes Ill?
5 Things You Should Know About Chronic Illness on the Job
Is it Safe to Buy Medication Online?
The Process Road
Lessons from the River
Is a Cruise for You?
The Lord Will Go Before You
You Hurt My Feelings!
What's in Your Handbag?
Effective Spring Cleaning with a Chronic Illness
But You Look So Good!
Talk Over Tea with the Editor
Tell Us Your Thoughts
Strive to Thrive Health News
Joy Bites
Strength in the Shadows
Volunteer Corner
Book Review: Spiritual Sunlight for the Weary
Ask the Doc
hopenotes: hopekeepers
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Dear Friends,

I've always loved the fresh renewal of spring, but this year it's especially poignant; bright purple wild flowers are rising from ashes that cover miles of land near my home. Green sprouts of life poke through the remnants of the October wildfires that swept through our neighborhood. I'm eager for a colorful spring to fully arrive!

Illness can enter into our life, creating a seemingly endless season of winter. Sometimes our hearts turn cold; our attitude becomes bitter and our faith gets skeptical. Why is God ignoring our prayers and our pleas for spring? We want answers and we demand reasons for the pain! Yet Scripture tells us in Isaiah 5:19 (The Message), "Woe to those who say. . . 'What's God waiting for? Let him get a move on so we can see it. Whatever The Holy of Israel has cooked up, we'd like to check it out.'" God's thoughts and plans are quite different then our own, and we are impatient to see them with our own eyes.

My plan was to be a healthy active adult, but at 24 I nearly became disabled with rheumatoid arthritis. My plan was to have a successful career working for the non-profit field; however, God's plan was to put me into full-time ministry serving Him through my new passion-chronic illness ministry. My plan was to get married and have a baby; God's plan included five years of dating my future husband, followed by five years of infertility issues, and then two years of waiting to adopt. God's plan was to bless our marriage; and then we received a gift beyond measure through adoption-precious little Joshua.

God often waits until we have exhausted all of our resources and talents, so that when He answers our prayer, we must give Him one-hundred and ten percent credit for the miracle that has occurred.

Our lives may resemble bamboo which remains dormant underground for years; then it shoots up, growing up to 4 feet in 24 hours. In the dormant times of our lives-our long winters-we feel like God is invisible; we see no part of His hand over our life. But He is just working on our roots; and once we are strong enough He'll allow us to shoot up through the ashes and bloom.

Your friend,


This article was featured in our March/April 2004 issue.
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