What Keeps Me Going While Living with Chronic Illness

My evening classes finished for the term last night. One more week of morning classes and then I am on break.

Last night as my students and I were talking. I thought about how I met one of them two and half years ago and also about what I have been through during that time.

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My student came here two and a half years ago as a refugee. He survived the genocide of the Yazidi people in Iraq. He and two of his cousins came to a Newcomer Refugee class I substitute taught in the summer of 2017.

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That summer I was in the midst of medical tests and doctors appointments to try to find out what was wrong. That was the first diagnosis- Celiacs Disease.

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My student came back to me in an intermediate ESL class this past Spring. I was going through more tests and appointments. The diagnosis- Fibromyalgia.

My student will go on to a bright future in America. He will start college soon. One of his cousins just got engaged. The other one continues to improve her English.

The past few years have been a woven fabric of focusing on teaching and ministry while going through medical tests and appointments with various doctors.

I put my hand on my student’s shoulder and told him I am proud of him. I encouraged him to keep going. I told all of my students they did a good job and I was happy to be their teacher.

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My students, my classes, and my ministry are the reason I keep going. I never tell my students things like I had to come home for a while in the afternoon and take a nap because I am so fatigued all of the time. I don’t tell them why I keep a few of the lights off in the room which is because my eyes are so sensitive to lights at times. I never tell them about frequent doctors visits that seem to come in clusters, pain, or fatigue. In fact, yesterday was one of those days I had to come home and take a nap because I was wiped out

I am looking forward to a four week break in the evenings, writing in my book, relaxing, sleeping A LOT, and meeting people for coffee. After the break there will more teaching, ministry, and yes, more tests and doctors because perhaps there is one more thing to diagnose.

Through it all, the reason I keep going for my ministry, classes and students is because Jesus gives me the strength to do so. He is the reason I push through.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

32 thoughts on “What Keeps Me Going While Living with Chronic Illness

  1. I’m proud of you big brother for your work in ministry and for the impact you have on your students. Thankful for the strength Jesus gives us. Praying for you. ❀️

  2. Praying for you as well Matt.πŸ™ Isn’t it amazing the power and strength God can infuse within you, as you continue to walk in His Spirit with the gift of Love you have in your ❀ for others?

    I know only too well what chronic pain does to a person. I’m married to a man whose been diagnosed with osteoarthritis all through his body for over twenty years. Weve been married for 31 years. He also just recently suffered an ischemic stroke last month. But with the prayers he had for him and the blood clot medication he was given, he came through with no residual effects. Just a wake-up call to be more mindful of his health.

    My heart goes out to you Matt, and so very proud of you as well. You’re an amazing child of God. Many heartfelt prayers to you from all of your readers.β€πŸ™

  3. Teachers have a calling, and I understand how you feel about your students and their future success. I taught 40 years before retiring in June, 2018. I am grateful for your service . . . you touch the future, you teach! God’s peace.

  4. I pray that God continues to give you energy until the appointed time for change. I want to rigorously carry the teaching torch as you do. Amen, thank you for your motivation in Christ.

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