I’m here to support you!
It’s my fifth year of being mostly housebound. I’m sort of used to spending lots of time alone these days, but in the first year or two I didn’t cope well at all. I had lost so much, and I felt powerless. How could I be of any use to anyone while confined within the four walls of my empty home?
The idea of creating a blog to support Christians through illness and grief took root in my heart at some point. About a year later I finally took the plunge. I’m so glad I did. Now while my family and friends are “doing life” without me, I write. It helps me to stay focused on God, and it’s a way I can serve him — and you of course — despite my broken body.
So welcome, again! Join me on a more in-depth tour…
Finding the posts you need
Sometimes you might want to browse Fruitful Today for support on a specific issue or emotion.
Search box: At the top of the page you’ll see a “search” box. If you type a word inside the box and hit “enter”, you’ll be directed to posts containing that word. For example, you might want to find a favourite Bible passage (e.g. Romans 8), a particular topic (e.g. despair), or the name of an illness (e.g. ME/CFS).
Categories: When you scroll down you’ll see a heading, in red, called Categories (PC users: look in sidebar, right-hand side). This drop-down list contains key words from all my posts. Click on a word, and a list of posts relating to that topic will appear.
On the Devotional Series page you’ll find a list of series to choose from. Take your pick — start with whichever one appeals to you the most! Each series has a different focus, but they all share a common goal: to support you, encourage you, and equip you in the bleakest seasons of your life.
There are also a bunch of devotions that don’t belong in a series. To find them, look in the drop-down list under Categories.
Just letting you know: I don’t usually share devotions on my Facebook page. So email or Pinterest are the best ways to follow Fruitful Today.
Online Bible study & support group
We’ll be ready to start a new online Bible study group soon (just in the final phase with one group now.) Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to join the new group.
How on earth does an online Bible study work? you might be wondering. Well, it’s run through a “secret” group on Facebook (i.e. private — your friends won’t be able to see you’re part of the group). I like to keep groups quite small, otherwise it can be hard to follow the threads and get to know each other.
I’d particularly love to include people who aren’t able to attend Bible study groups at their own church. But of course you’re welcome to join in even if you already attend a group at your own church. It would be lovely to get to know you!
A note about this blog
This part’s going to be a bit official-sounding, I’m afraid… But I’m sort of legally bound to say these things. So, here goes…
My posts touch on some quite sensitive issues that concern Christians living with chronic illness and grief.
First, I want to reassure you that I’m a mature Christian and I’m connected to a local church — one I’ve attended with my husband for the past 10 years. I’ve been a committed Christian since my mid-teens and I’ve earnestly studied the Bible (albeit informally!) for over 20 years. You can read more about me here.
Second, I want to stress that I am not a pastor (or a medical professional, for that matter), so please read my posts with that in mind. I aim to provide gospel-centred devotions relevant to Christians who are dealing with hardship, and I am so happy to be providing encouragement and comfort to you — particularly when these are lacking in your life.
However, I’m not wishing to replace your existing support networks. People who meet with you face-to-face can tailor their support to your individual needs, which is something I can’t do from behind this screen…
So, keep seeing your doctors! Keep talking with your counsellor, if you have one, and do your best to put their personalised feedback into practice. And please do persevere with church, if you are able to leave the house. I don’t want Fruitful Today to replace any of these other valuable sources of support in of your life.
Phew! That’s done now. Tick! Thanks for your patience — I’m not a huge fan of the official stuff.
Lord, please help me to write words that bring hope and comfort to readers who are isolated by invisible illness – whether it’s mental, physical, or both. Thank you for being the “God of all comfort”. Please help my readers to feel less alone through this blog. Please help them to grow in their knowledge of your great love. Please open their eyes to the wonderful plans you have for their lives, even within their sorrow and pain. In Jesus name, amen.
Something to remember about me
I certainly haven’t “arrived” yet — I have grumpy days and sad days, and days when I lose perspective… While writing these posts I am not just reminding you of the hope we have in Jesus; I am also reminding myself!
May God provide us all (including me!) with comfort, perseverance, and trust as we walk the chronic illness journey with him. (Rom 5:3-5)