So, Your Friend Has a Chronic Illness?

Hey there,

I’m really glad you’re reading this. Thank you for taking an interest in your friend and being willing to learn more about the crippling effects of chronic illness on their life.

There’s so much your friend wants you to know but probably won’t tell you. It could be because it’s awkward. How do you tell someone that you experience extreme pain every day, whether it be physical, mental, or emotional, and not seem like you’re just complaining or wanting attention.

So, Your Friend Has a Chronic Illness?

Being chronically ill, I have experienced many years of being unable to explain myself. For most of that time, I had no idea what was going on. And, honestly, the pre-diagnosis years of suffering were full of unexplainable highs and lows that left me blaming myself. I thought that I must have been doing something wrong to feel the way I did.

Once my condition became bad enough that I realized a better sleep schedule, some exercise, and a healthy diet wouldn’t fix it, I had to start digging to get to the bottom of what had been causing such grief. Finding out I had chronic Lyme Disease and co-infections was actually a blessing because then I could begin a treatment regimen. It also gave me an explanation to share with others, because previously I had just thought I was crazy.

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Emily Lofgren’s heart beats for authenticity. She craves true connection where we can be real about our struggles and find hope together. Emily became a Christian in college and since then has had a passion for writing in a way that helps others encounter life. Grab your free copy of her eBook Finding Hope Through the Fog.

When Your Dreams Aren’t Coming True

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The Year 2016 has gone nothing like I thought it would.

I had high hopes.

I always have high hopes.

That’s how things go when you’re a dreamer – when you’re someone who won’t settle for just okay, but wants to live a life that’s real and full of purpose.

Dreams

I spent my New Year’s Day encouraged. This was going to be the year that things would fall into place.

I had finished college and had spent the prior couple of years working a number of different jobs, including living overseas teaching in China. All of the transitions were a lot of fun, but I was ready for some stability. I craved stability. I finally had a full-time job in communications and had my own apartment with new furniture that I had picked out myself. I felt accomplished, like I was on the right track.

It wasn’t just about the material things, though. My goal was to budget and plan so that I could give more away. After reading David Platt’s Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream and Francis Chan’s Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God, I was excited about living out my faith by being a good steward of all God had given me.

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Emily Lofgren’s heart beats for authenticity. She craves true connection where we can be real about our struggles and find hope together. Emily became a Christian in college and since then has had a passion for writing in a way that helps others encounter life. Grab your free copy of her eBook Finding Hope Through the Fog.

Why Hasn’t He Proposed Yet?

{Full Disclosure: Jonathan gave me permission to share this with you}

I went into my relationship with Jonathan believing that he was the one – the one I was going to marry. Our story is quite different than the average dating story.

We didn’t just meet each other, exchange numbers, text a lot, hang out, and then decide we should probably make it official. He didn’t go the more traditional route of asking me on a date to see how we interacted, either. In fact, Jonathan didn’t tell me that he liked me until I had moved back to China – halfway around the world. Not exactly an easy distance to travel to see one another…

Why hasn't he proposed yet?

We began to fall for each other while attending a Bible study at his church, which has now also become my church. Jonathan and I knew of each other back in high school but we weren’t friends. In fact, at one point I even had a friend who crushed on him and I remember saying something like, “He’s fine, I guess…” in response to her telling me about the crush. I never imagined that just a few short years later I’d find myself with feelings I couldn’t shake.

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Emily Lofgren’s heart beats for authenticity. She craves true connection where we can be real about our struggles and find hope together. Emily became a Christian in college and since then has had a passion for writing in a way that helps others encounter life. Grab your free copy of her eBook Finding Hope Through the Fog.

Why I Won’t Claim That My Boyfriend is the “Best Boyfriend in the World”

This piece of writing started out as a Facebook post that I began to create in my mind earlier this week. However, as my thoughts deepened on the subject, I realized that I needed to write a blog post to share more than I had originally intended.

What initially was going to be a few sentences about how much I appreciate my boyfriend turned into something else. And, no, it’s not because we got into another fight and I no longer wanted to tell the world how great he is.;)

My boyfriend is not the best boyfriend in the world

I have been thinking a lot about the gift I have in my boyfriend Jonathan. I can’t even begin to express my appreciation for this man.

When he comes to mind, I smile.

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Emily Lofgren’s heart beats for authenticity. She craves true connection where we can be real about our struggles and find hope together. Emily became a Christian in college and since then has had a passion for writing in a way that helps others encounter life. Grab your free copy of her eBook Finding Hope Through the Fog.

Held in the Fire

Today, I’m excited to share with you an article by one of my favorite writers, Glenna Marshall! Glenna has become a friend of mine through the Hope*Writers community and it has been a joy to get know her. Something we have in common is our experience with chronic pain. While enduring chronic illness can often leave one feeling hurt and discouraged, Glenna’s perspective and trust in Christ has been encouraging to me as I’ve walked in faith during this rough season. Let’s welcome Glenna! 


Pain is white and blue, the hottest center of a flame.

Not a gently flickering candle, but an explosion of blistering heat, a fire that blazes without burning out. It starts at the base of my spine and reaches out to my hips, radiating down my right leg with fiery tentacles that entangle themselves around my bones, wrapping tightly around nerve endings and tendons. My ribcage aches while pain slices back and forth across my spine until I’m certain my body will snap in two.

It might feel better if it did.

Held in the Fire

I have an autoimmune disease called Ankylosing Spondylitis. There’s a long, scientific explanation of how my body attacks itself, but the primary result is an inflammatory arthritis that feels much, much worse than it sounds. I lived with AS for five years of bent-over, crushing pain that wrenched me out of sleep every night and pressed me with fear every morning as I sluggishly worked to stand up straight. I didn’t look sick, but dawn always found me uncomfortably dozing while sitting up, surrounded by ice and heat packs and pain medication. The continual, abrasive nature of my pain sanded down any hope that I would ever feel normal again. Like most autoimmune diseases, mine didn’t come alone. It brought a host of other chronic diseases and disorders, ranging from annoying to excruciating, depending on what day it is.

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