Suffering: Why do people give me unsolicited advice?

If you have ever lived with a chronic illness, chances are someone has tried to tell you some easy cure: Just try yoga! Just try thinking more positively! Just pray harder! Just eat vegan!

 

These “remedies” have well intention, and even some of them could have merit. But if there was an easy fix to your suffering, well, you would not be suffering right now!

Not only that, but the unwanted advice can also carry the false notion that you are responsible for your suffering. You are the reason you are suffering. That the suffering shows who you are as a person, and who you are as a person is why you are suffering. These are all wrong!

Who you are as a person does not determine your level of suffering. You can’t be intelligent enough, moral enough, hard-working enough, wise enough, or spiritual enough to be exempt from suffering. Nobody is exempt from suffering and suffering is not your fault.

Someone advises a suffering person to work harder or be more spiritual or try some remedy. But when the suffering is not cured after listening to this “advice” the suffering person is then called things like “attention-seeker” “over-reactor” “ridiculous” “lazy.”

But this tells us more about the “advice”-giving person than the suffering person.

These people like to think that their intelligence/morality/wisdom/spirituality is superior enough to get them out of suffering.

Most of the time, this comes from a hidden fear. They are secretly terrified of suffering and they like to think that if they were ever in that situation, they could easily get out of it because of their intelligence/hard work/spirituality.

But suffering does not determine who you are as a person. And who you are as a person does not determine your suffering.

You could be the most intelligent, most wise, most hard-working, most spiritual person in the world and still be subject to suffering. Because suffering is not your fault!

Of course, there are a few times when people suffer because of an unwise decision. But for chronic illnesses, poverty, addiction, mental illnesses, homelessness, and other suffering, it is not your fault and there is no easy way out! It can happen to anyone. And usually the only way to learn this is to go through the suffering yourself. For those prideful enough to think they could easily cure suffering, suffering will be a big slap of humility.

If you are suffering, please know that it is not because you are not smart enough or spiritual enough or good enough. You are more than enough! Your suffering has nothing to do with you as a person.

Remember that even Jesus, the most wise, most caring, most perfect person, suffered: “And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground” (Luke 22:44 NIV). It’s okay to be in anguish over your suffering! Do you think anyone came up to Jesus when he was in anguish and said, “Just try more yoga!” No! Instead, Jesus was with his friends, who were “exhausted from sorrow” (Luke 22:45). They were weeping with him, just as Romans 12:15 says, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep” (ESV).

It is great to help people who are suffering, but getting angry at them when your “advice” does not cure them does not help!

The best way to help people who are suffering is to be with them in their suffering journey! Show them compassion, understanding, listening, patience, and kindness. Weep with them. Knowing they are not alone and that somebody cares for them will bring so much more healing than unsolicited advice or expectations.

-Kiki
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10k

“Hi! I’m Kiki, I have been living with and recovering from a #chronicillness for the past 10 years. With God as my healer, I am looking forward to a healthy life and to bring hope to others.”

This was what I wrote on my first instagram post nearly three years ago.

I remember waking up one day and a random thought, a direction of inspiration, repeated in my mind: “I am going to be instagram famous now.”

So I started my instagram account, @chronicallyhealed!

The previous ten years was full of illness, anxiety, isolation, fear, and exhaustion. But through the setbacks, and God’s prophetic word over me, I gradually regained my health and confidence.

I had been feeling better for the past three months. During this time, I was regaining all the weight I had lost due to the illness. Once I was back to a healthy weight, I realized something: I am feeling better! I am no longer experiencing symptoms!

However, I was not quite sure what to do then. For the better of a decade, my life was laying on the recliner and going to doctors. What am I supposed to do with my life now? I had reached my goal, my dream: to be healed.

During my illness, I was socially isolated and rarely left the house. This left a depression hovering over my mind. If I did not keep myself distracted from my zombie life, the depression would swoop down and try to drown me with lies: “You’re not good enough.” “You’re a loser.” “You will never amount to anything.”

One of my favorite distractions was movies. Specifically, Disney movies. The colorful cinematography, inspiring quotes, happy endings, and lovable characters helped keep my mind away from the temptation of feeling bad for myself. The characters became my friends, and I could go on adventures with them even in my disabled state.

I specifically related to the character Rapunzel in Disney’s Tangled. She was locked away, isolated in her tower. She filled her day with small distractions and wondered, “When will my life begin?” I dreamed with Rapunzel, wondering when it would be my day to leave my isolation.

Long story short, Rapunzel leaves her tower, goes on an adventure, and lives her dream of seeing the floating lanterns. “What do I do [now]?” She asks Flynn Rider. “Well,that’s the good part I guess. You get to go find a new dream,” he replies.

So here I am: I left my tower of isolation and fulfilled my dream of being healed of a chronic illness. What do I do now? I get to go find a new dream!

I decided I wanted to go into modeling. I had done some modeling in the past and enjoyed it. With my new life of health, I stepped into my new dream. I went on numerous modeling auditions for agencies and sent pictures to others, with the help of some photographer friends.

….And nothing happened. No callbacks and no contracts.

Having an instagram as a portfolio can help models get discovered. I thought about it and wondered if it was worth the effort. I mean, would anyone really follow me? I didn’t feel comfortable posing in bikinis and lingerie, like many instagram models did. I didn’t travel the world or own fancy cars that would get a lot of likes. Also, the “fame” didn’t appeal to my shy character. The doubt wrestled with me as I prayed about it. What did I have to offer to people, anyway?

But then I woke up one day, and all the doubt was gone. “I am going to be instagram famous now.” The thought confidently repeated in my mind. A feeling of hope swelled in me, a feeling I had only felt once before: when I was called to be healed.

I felt like this was my new calling in life! I was not just going to be an instagram model, I was going to be a model of hope for everyone dealing with chronic illnesses!

I was not quite sure myself if I was completely healed yet. I was definitely feeling better, but what if I hit another setback? Nonetheless, I named my instagram, “Chronically Healed.” I knew God’s plan of complete healing was for me and I identified with that healing.

A part of me was surprised when my instagram took off, quickly hitting 1,000 followers, then 2,000, then 3,000. People really want to follow me, a girl who was sick and isolated the past 10 years? But another part of me was not surprised. It felt like this was always meant to happen.

I believe that my suffering was for a reason. I believe that my healing was for a reason. To help others! God blesses us, not just so we can be blessed, but so that we can go out and bless others. God allowed me to suffer so I can better help those going through the same thing. Through living with a chronic illness disability and going through the healing process, God taught me wisdom. I feel utterly compelled to share this wisdom and insight every day.

My heart aches for the millions suffering from chronic illnesses. God gave me a new life, and with this new life, I had a new mission: To raise awareness, advocacy, and hope for people with chronic illnesses.

People from all over the world were messaging me, telling me that I had given them hope. These messages are worth more than gold to me. I suffered for ten years of illness and anxiety. But now God was using that to reach out to others. Just helping one person makes it all worth it.

Also, when God heals, he doesn’t only restore us to our original position. When God heals, he raises us to be more than we were before!

Yesterday, @chronicallyhealed reached 10,000 followers. I would have never imagined this! For so long, I felt alone, insecure, and forgotten. If you told me 10 years ago that I would be healthy, thriving, and a model with 10k instagram followers, I would not have believed it!

There is hope!

And this is just the beginning! God has so much more in store!

Thank you for following me, each and every one of you. Your support is greatly appreciated! You are the reason I keep reaching for my dream.

– Kiki

Practical Christianity: Jesus’s Restoration of Life is for You!

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❤ R ▫ E ▫ S ▫ T ▫ O ▫ R ▫ E ▫ D ❤⁣

What does restoration mean for you?

🌍 “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” (Genesis 1:1, 1:31) ❤⁣

God is good, and he created the earth and everything in it to be good. The earth was full of God’s light, life, and love. Humans enjoyed dwelling with God and experienced his joy and peace in the fullest. They lived life in abundance!

God created humans to love and be loved. To love God and be loved by God. To love others and be loved by others. Love is the reason God created the earth. God created you simply because he loves you so much!

For love to exist, there must be free will. Love is not true love if it is forced love. Love can only be freely given. So to give humans the ability to love, God gave them free will. ❤⁣

➡ But by giving a limited creature free will, it will inevitably lead to that creature choosing sin. Adam and Eve, in their own free will, chose to sin. Humans have been choosing to sin in their free will and weakness ever since. Humanity and the earth fell into darkness, destruction, and death.⁣

The Fallen world is all that we have ever known. We have only known an earth of evil, disaster, illness, hardship, and eventually, death. God knew that giving such a limited creature free will would inevitably lead to this Fallen world. Was this God’s plan all along? Isn’t God good, and didn’t he create us out of love?

God IS good and God DOES love us and God DOES have a good plan for us: Jesus!

❤”God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:16-17)❤⁣

➡ Jesus is the perfect sacrifice who saves us from the darkness, destruction, and death!⁣

➡ Jesus is God’s plan to redeem humanity and restore the earth to be good once again!⁣

“It is finished” Jesus said when he died on the cross for you (John 19:30). He took your place to receive punishment for your sin so that you would not have to. By his blood, you are made righteous in God’s eyes! Jesus won the victory over sin, death, separation, and darkness for you! All the darkness and death that tries to destroy you has already been conquered by Jesus on the cross! 😄⁣

The realization of Jesus’s victory will be made complete in his second coming. There will be a “new heaven and new earth” where God will dwell with his people. “There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:1-4). Humanity and the earth will be fully restored to God’s original, perfect, and GOOD creation! ❤⁣

➡ Until then, we can enjoy the “first fruits” of Jesus’s salvation and restoration! Jesus says, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)⁣

Out of our salvation and redemption, our relationship with God is restored. We can grow closer to God and know his healing, peace, joy, and life in the fullest! ❤⁣

So how can Christians know God more and enjoy the first fruits of Jesus’s restoration?⁣

CLICK HERE for a free course to learn more about the practical mindsets, tools, beliefs, and faith to grow closer to God and Jesus’s restoration of abundant life!