Faith is a funny thing. It isn’t tangible, you can’t hold it in your hand. Nor can you really see it, smell it, or taste it. It is not something that you can quantify, count, or measure. Yet, I believe there is something about having faith that makes living with the daily pain of psoriatic arthritis a little easier.
I am not alone
There are a great many days when it is easy to feel alone in my pain. Despite the large community of people living with psoriatic arthritis, each one of us, me included, has a unique experience with it. Sometimes it can feel like I am alone in my pain, like I am the only one who understands what it feels like to feel my pain and my hurt, both physical and mental. Because I have faith, because I believe in God, I know that I am never alone. I know in my heart that He suffers when I suffer. He understands and feels my pain. When I am tired, when I am sad, when I feel the most alone and the most vulnerable, He finds a way to shine a light in the darkness and assure me that I am not alone.
“It was then that I carried you.”
I am often reminded of the poem “Footprints in the Sand” (of disputed origin), in which the author realizes that God didn’t leave him in his times of trial. He realizes that at the most difficult times in his life, instead of walking the path alone, God carried him. This belief and faith that God carries me through, that I am not alone when my feet swell, when I limp with every step, when I can’t sleep at night because of the pain makes living with psoriatic arthritis a little easier.
See the positives
Because of my faith, I am able to focus my limited energy on the positive. With God’s help, I am able to see my blessings and my gifts, and let go of the burdens of my disease. My faith helps me see how I can take the challenges that I have been given and use those to give gifts of hope and encouragement to others.
Part of a larger plan
Having faith that God has a path for me to follow, that my life is part of His plan allows me to release some of the guilt that plagues me daily. I didn’t “cause” this disease any more than God “allowed” it to happen. Having faith that my sacrifice and my burden is part of a larger plan keeps selfish, self-centered thoughts at bay.
My faith keeps me going
God doesn’t want bad things to happen to me, nor is He responsible for allowing them to happen. Rather, it is our belief in Him, our faith in Him, that gives us what we need to carry on with life. My faith keeps me from hiding away in my house using my psoriatic arthritis as an excuse for self-pity and self-loathing. It keeps me from blaming others, even God, for my perceived misfortunes.
I know, not everyone will agree with me that having faith makes living with psoriatic arthritis easier. Everyone doesn’t see the world and our place in it the same way I do, and that is okay. But through my faith, I have found a way to cope with my psoriatic arthritis. It is my hope that perhaps in some small way, your faith will afford you some comfort as well.