Being Well When We're Ill: Wholeness and Hope in Spite of Infirmity

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Marva Dawn has an insider's view of the many spiritual, intellectual, emotional, social, and physical difficulties encountered by people with chronic illness and disabilities. She knows from experience how to nurture hope in spite of infirmity.

Filled with insight and practical help, each chapter of Being Well When We're Ill focuses on one particular kind of struggle, such as worry, guilt, the loss of meaning, or the loss of confidence and trust that God is present and personally loving. Each chapter details one or more appropriate ''finds'' - spiritual resources, emotional supports, intellectual answers, or practical solutions - that enable a person with infirmities to persevere through them and to be well in spite of them.

For each issue she explores, such as loss of dreams, loneliness, physical pain, depression, ingratitude, side effects and more, Dawn includes discussions of biblical texts - not only texts that help lament losses but texts that bring wholeness. Readers will find themselves companioned in their sufferings and encouraged with new ways to surmount them.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

It is possible to be ill or live with a disability and still be well, according to theologian, educator and speaker Dawn. She should know. As a person with a variety of serious physical challenges, and who has grappled with emotional and bodily issues as well as theological and biblical questions, Dawn is a powerful guide for those who want to be well in spite of their medical conditions. While she has written about her disabilities in previous books, this one is a complete and helpful analysis of the implications of physical challenges, along with concrete spiritual, theological and practical suggestions for dealing with them. Each chapter names one particular aspect of illness, such as loneliness, boredom, physical pain, regrets, bitterness or meaninglessness, and offers strategies for coping with them without sugarcoating or belittling the real struggles people face. Dawn also looks past the individual to offer a global perspective, making suggestions for addressing governments and health systems that further oppress those who are ill. Stories from the author's and others' experiences offer readers the sense of being graciously companioned along a very difficult road. (June)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780806680385
  • Publisher: Augsburg Fortress, Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/1/2008
  • Pages: 278
  • Sales rank: 679,535
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Loss and Finds     1
Loss of Dreams-God's Larger Story     14
A Vacuum without God-Spiritual Practices     24
Meaninglessness-Looking for Grace     39
Loss of "Innocence"-Lament     52
Retribution and Other Bad Ideas-Biblical Theology     67
Making God Too Small-The Mysterious Love of the Trinity     80
Loss of Trust, Bitterness-God's Discipline     91
Loneliness-Community     103
Physical Pain-Ministry to Others     115
Unproductivity-The Mysterious Workings of God     130
Worry-Gratitude, the Peace of God     141
Boredom-Solitude and the Glory of God     154
Side Effects-Strengthening What Remains     165
Wrong Perceptions and Expectations-Truth-Telling     176
Regrets-Forgiveness     188
False Guilt-Medicine Is a Stochastic Art     203
Depression-Medical Gifts     211
Dying-Dying Daily and Well     224
Loss of Certainty-Redemptive Suffering, Eschatology     237
Infirmity and the Trinity's Larger Story     250
Epilogue     261
Resources on Suffering, Evil, and Healing     265
Other Works   Marva Dawn     267
Notes     270

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