The Blessing of Delayed Gratification

Future Jonathan and Emily Ryan

We live in a culture where instant access is expected.

We have the ability to obtain knowledge about almost anything right at our fingertips.

If we’re hungry, it doesn’t take more than a swing though the fast food drive thru to curb our cravings.

Waiting is begrudged.

We think we should be able to satisfy our desires at all costs. Any time we can’t immediately obtain what we want, it feels like we’re experiencing something burdensome.

While this is the norm of society at large, it doesn’t make it the best thing for us.

Sure, there are major benefits to being able to do things more efficiently. I love productive systems as much as the next person. Organization means I can better enjoy time with the people I love.

But even with the benefits of new technology and quick access, there are negative consequences for us as people.

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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.

6 Things I’ve Learned While Treating Lyme Disease

6 Things I've Learned While Treating Lyme Disease

Lyme Disease Treatment.

The process has been hard (which is an understatement).

Many days, I didn’t know if I could go on.

I’m not overdramatizing it, either.

It was that horrible.

I often felt lost and alone.

I knew God was there, but I wondered why I couldn’t feel close to Him anymore.

Brain fog was thick, and I felt like I was losing my mind.

I’ve finally gotten to a place where I’m a bit more stable, so I’d like to share a few thoughts on the treatment process.

6 Things I’ve Learned While Treating Lyme Disease:

1. I must be my greatest health advocate

Even with excellent doctors and people in my life who care about me, I realized early on that if I did not speak up for myself, I wasn’t going to be helped. Lyme Literate Medical Doctors know what they are doing when it comes to treatment, but they don’t know how it feels to be me. They don’t know the exact pain I’m feeling or how treatment is affecting me. Even before diagnosis, I learned that I had to keep prayerfully pressing for answers. Had I not kept asking questions and seeking information, I’m not sure what kind of shape I’d be in today.

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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.

What to Do When Others Don’t Understand Your Chronic Illness

What to Do When Others Don't Understand Your Chronic Illness

Dealing with a chronic illness that most people don’t understand can be isolating. It is discouraging when we can no longer live “normal” lives but everyone else we know seems to be living life as usual.

It gets even more sad when the people who should be closest to us, like family, seem to disregard the pain we’re experiencing.

For me, living with Lyme Disease is complicated because of the misinformation out there about the disease. There’s a big difference between early diagnosed and chronic infections. Like others with different chronic illnesses, Lyme Disease patients often need to try many different treatment protocols before they find something that works. Symptoms come and go, and pain migrates. It’s hard to explain how you’re doing when things can change drastically in a short period of time.

When I was first diagnosed and finally had names for the symptoms I was experiencing, I was always frustrated by the fact that others didn’t understand. I tried explaining, but it felt like I couldn’t express myself enough to make others recognize that I wasn’t able to live up to the expectations that had been formerly placed on me. I wanted people to know that I was sick and my life was a lot different than it used to be. It wasn’t easy to explain.

Over the past year and a half, I’ve learned a lot about explaining what I’m going through.

Here are a few thoughts on what to do when others don’t understand your chronic illness:

1. Accept that not everyone will understand

This was a hard one for me. I am usually effective at explaining my point, so I figured that if I shared information about my chronic illness that others would start to understand. But, I quickly realized that not everyone will understand, and I had to be okay with that. While some people may begin to see what we mean, we can’t expect that everyone will choose to learn enough to comprehend what we’re going through.

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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.

Trusting God When Healing is Slow

Trusting God When Healing is Slow

The process of healing from chronic illness (or at least getting to a place of stability) has gone nothing like I thought it would.

About fourteen months ago, I was officially given names for the host of symptoms that gradually led to the debilitation of my body. I saw various symptoms come and go over a period of five years, but it wasn’t until February 2016 that my health began to decline to the point where I needed serious help to get better. By the time of diagnosis, I was exhausted, in constant pain, unable to function at work, and deeply depressed.

Many days of research, blood work, and doctors appointments led to the discovery that I had Chronic Lyme Disease, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, several co-infections, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, and more.

For some, receiving test results that pointed to multiple conditions and food sensitivities would be devastating. But for me, it provided a glimmer of hope. I finally knew what I needed to treat so I could move forward toward better health. I had a plan for healing, and I love plans!

In my typical Type A fashion, I followed my doctor’s treatment protocol to a T. This meant giving up all my favorite foods and focusing only on the things I needed to get better. I had to quit my serious Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup addiction and instead fill up on Vegan Chocolate Shakeology and a (mostly) Paleo diet.

My health protocol was overwhelming, sometimes consisting of 60+ pills a day. My weeks were filled with detoxing, sleeping, lying on the couch while listening to podcasts, and working as much as possible to maintain some sense of normalcy in the office and get a paycheck (gotta pay for all those supplements and meds!).

I was doing everything “right” in my journey of healing, but instead of finding stability, any step forward was met with two steps back.

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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.

What I Desire More Than Anything

What I Desire - Chronic Illness

You know what I want more than anything?

You know what I really want? 

What my soul craves. What my heart longs for. What I can’t be content without.

It’s something that’s been there.

Actually, someone who’s been there.

Someone who’s been there by my side all along. Even when I was rebellious. Even when I sought my own pleasure instead of the true satisfaction that can only be found in one place.

He was there.

But somehow, even knowing the truth, my tendency is to slip away. I start to wander and almost lose myself as I seek adventure before the source of adventure.

I have sought blessings instead of the one who calls us blessed.

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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.