Have you heard about groups here at CB ? They're just another great way to get connected with other people who have similar interests, live in the same area or even have some of the same issues you have.
I own three groups here at CB. Two of them are public groups, one of which is dedicated to ministering to women. The third group, however is a private group and therefore it is not as visible. I'm writing this blog to make people, particularly newer members, aware of this "underground" group here at CB.
The group is officially called Chronic Disease Survivors! but those of us who are in it call it Survivors or Survivors Group. If you click on that link you will discover you can't view the group itself. You'll get a message that it's a private group. Now, often that means you aren't allowed in and so it gives you the feeling that you need to turn around and never come back. That's not quite true. It doesn't exactly mean you have to get an invitation from me to get in. What it does mean is you can't get in unless I give you a "key". So, how do you get a key? Well, you fill out the application explaining why you think I should give you a key. Your application is sent to me and if I agree, I give you a key. It is as simple as that.
So, what exactly is this group and why is it private?
That is a very good question. This group is a place for people who have been touched by chronic illness to connect with other Christians who are fighting the same battle. Some of the members battle their own disease. Others are caring for someone with a chronic illness or someone they love suffers from chronic illness. This is a place for those of us who battle these issues to life up each others hands when we get tired, a place to encourage one another, a place to talk about our frustrations and even our fears. I guess you could call it a City of Refuge or an oasis out on the desert.
It is private for a number of reasons. First and foremost, not everyone is comfortable with the general population knowing about their health issues. A private group respects that. Some of the members have chosen to share their information via blogs but that is their choice whether or not that information is made public or not.
Another reason is most if not all of us have been hurt a number of times by well-meaning Christians who try to "help" us when all we're trying to do is just say what we're feeling inside. The ability to simply talk about what we are experiencing (both the good and the bad) is critical for those battling chronic illness. As much as we want to help, this is best done between "survivors" as they are much more likely to understand and less likely to criticize. There is a reason we have things such as support groups.
What sort of chronic diseases do members have?
Well, we have people who (or someone they care for) have/are battling cancer, diabetes, lupus, chronic heart conditions, rheumatoid arthritis, stroke, severe asthma, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's Disease, depression and so on. There are more but you get the idea.
So, if you or someone you love is battling a chronic disease and you are looking for fellow Christians who will encourage and support you, check out my group. Feel free to ask questions on this blog or if you're on my friends list you can just drop me a line if you prefer.
What I love about a group like yours where everyone is in the same boat, is that there is no fear in being judged. To be able to say that you "hate" a disease and not be berated for it, to be able to say you are feeling angry and know that you will receive a cyber hug instead of a tongue lashing is an anchor in what is sometimes a difficult period of life.
I honestly believe that there is greater freedom in privacy at times. You K are a wonderful warrior for those who need encouragement. May God continue to use you, to bless you, to keep you in his care and in hold you in the hollow of his hand.
You have been my champion here in the past, so I just want to publicly say thank you for all you do .