Welcome to Hope Notes! We have a lot of visitors
who have just recently signed up for Hope Notes,
so forgive me if I back track just a bit and share
a little bit about my story.
I can admit that I do know first hand how hard
it is to live with chronic illness, as I have had
active rheumatoid arthritis since the age of 24.
Currently I am in a "new season" with
a level of pain and weariness that I've never experienced
before. I'm not a "director" hired by
Rest Ministries, but a volunteer who has seen how
getting online and connecting with others can change
your life - and others!
Each day the people here at Rest Ministries encourage
me. I hope that through this newsletter I can point
you to different areas of our ministry where you
can find that same kind of encouragement and friendship.
I began Rest Ministries in 1997 after I was unable
to find encouragement for those with chronic illness
or pain that had a Christian foundation. Since then
I am constantly amazed at how God has used my weaknesses
to build Rest Ministries. I do this as a volunteer,
but have found so much joy and passion for chronic
illness ministry that it keeps me going on those
mornings I just want to stay under the covers.
If you'd like to hear more about my story, you
can watch a very nice video that a Christian organization
did a couple of years ago about Rest Ministries
I hope it introduces you to who I am and why I
do this. I do it as a volunteer only, and all of
our book sales (mine included) help keep the ministry
It's amazing to me that we began in 1997 and have
survived far past many "dot com" companies.
Our magazine HopeKeepers Magazine, is now digital,
but sadly I just read that Today's Christian Woman
has only recently stopped printing and laid off
It's because people like you give donation and
make purchases at our Comfort Zone Bookstore that
we are still around. But more than that-how you
share your limited energy, precious time, and special
gift of encouragement.
Thank you for making Rest Ministries a family for
many people who don't feel they have a family who
understands their daily pain. Psalm 68:6 says, "God
sets the lonely in families." I hope you need
a family you will find one here. If you just need
a daily dose of encouragement, you will find it
through one of our groups or something like our
So! This weekly email will be filled with coping
tips that I believe are important when you live
with a chronic illness. I will also be sharing book
reviews, web sites I love and more.
Well, let's get started with your first coping
with illness tip!
Don't be afraid to seek counsel if you are feeling
"blue." (And there are many definitions
of that light-hearted word "blue.")
There is a large spectrum of depression and yes,
Christians get depressed just like anyone else.
I won't share the depressing statistics with you
about chronic illness and how it can impact marriages,
you relationships, and your ability to cope with
other stress factors in life. But let's just say
that living with illness is HARD and you should
never be ashamed to seek out a counselor to get
you through a difficult time.
Let me say that again (because I recently spoke
to someone who kept apologizing for the fact that
she was seeing a counselor)... it's OKAY to talk
to someone about what you are going through.
The best thing you can do is make sure that it
is a counselor who you respect and who has the same
biblical beliefs that you do. Ask people you respect,
including your pastor or parish nurse who they would
recommend. If you can find a god referral you can
find a Christian counselor list at www.ncca.org
(National Christian Counselors Association) and
(American Association of Christian Counselors).
And remember, just because a Christian is a counselor,
doesn't mean he or she is the right counselor for
you. If you feel it's not working or helping, don't
be afraid to find someone who can better meet your
Don't delay putting off counseling until you are
feeling suicidal or making a major life-changing
decision like leaving your family.
Proverbs 4:5 says, "Get wisdom, get understanding;
do not forget my words or swerve from them."
It can be a blessing to get counsel from others,
and pray for wisdom from the Lord.
You'll receive a tip like this one each week
for as long as you like.
Again, I appreciate your joining me - and I'll
see you in a few days! In the meantime, I always
have loads of news, resources I find on the internet,
that kind of thing that I post in my personal blog
and in my twitter at www.twitter.com/lisajcopen
. I invite you to scan these every now and then
to make sure you are up to date on things that are
happening with the ministry as well as great resources
I find. For example, new disability application
tips or Invisible Illness Week news (which we sponsor).
If you participate in our social network, Rest
Ministries Sunroom, at http://www.restministriessunroom.com
it has all of these (blog postings, twitters, etc.)
along the columns so it's a great place to scan
for updates too!
Well, that's all for now. May you feel God holding
you in the palm of His hand as He promises in Isaiah
49:16: "See, I have engraved you on the palms
of my hands; your walls are ever before me."
Founder and Director
Rest Ministries Chronic Illness Pain Support
my blog via email: http://ow.ly/a0xN