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    • #19888
      Ally
      Keymaster

      Why do bad things happen to good people? It’s a very common question and even the title of a best selling book from the 1980s. I genuinely don’t know the answer, but I have faith that God knows what he’s doing, and even if he doesn’t create adversity for us, he works through it for good.

      What do you think? Has your faith in God or a higher power been challenged or grown since being diagnosed with Parkinson’s? Why do you think bad things happen to good people?

      • This topic was modified 5 months ago by Ally.
      • This topic was modified 5 months ago by Ally.
    • #19892
      Krukar
      Participant

      My opinion is that Jesus Christ knows better than I do what I can handle. In fact it says that in his Word. I just have got to trust in hiM if I to do the work (exercise, eating correctly).  Let God and let go. It is not up to me. I have a Heavenly Father to depend on.

      Blessings
      ,

      Mike

       

       

      • #19893
        Ally
        Keymaster

        Thank you for sharing! Do you think your journey with PD has brought you closer to Jesus? Has it changed your faith life in any way?

      • #19922
        Robert Harris
        Participant

        Ally:

        I don’t know if this is the appropriate place to post this, but it might be of interest to readers. Beginning today (December 16, 2020, the Saddleback Church Parkinson’s Support Group will begin a once-a-month Zoom meeting faith-based support group. It is Christian-based, but we welcome Parkies and their supporters of all faiths (and just seekers, too).

        The meetings are the second Wednesday of each month, from 2:00 to  4:00 Pacific.

        Anyone interested should direct message me and I’ll send you a Zoom link.

        Thanks.

        Bob Harris

        • #19930
          Ally
          Keymaster

          Bob, thank you so much for sharing about the Zoom group your church is offering for people with Parkinson’s. If you don’t mind, I’m going to post this info as its own topic so that people who might be interested can find the group. Thank you for sharing! Will you be attending? Is this the first time Saddleback has offered this group online?

    • #19897
      Krukar
      Participant

      Christ is always waiting for us to turn more toward Him. “His strength is made perfect in my weakness “ is my favorite scripture. I have had other struggles in my life. This is not my 1st disease. I am a recovering Alcoholic. Lots of the tools I have used to stay sober will allow me to cope with PD. God is always with me.

      Blessings,

      Mike

      • #19933
        Ally
        Keymaster

        Thank you, Mike, and I pray for you as you continue to recover from alcoholism. That is a very difficult thing to deal with (I have a loved one who struggles) and I just want to say thank you for your encouraging messages! 🙂

    • #19894
      Krukar
      Participant

      My PD diagnosis has definitely changed our lives. At this  point I feel some effect but if I’m careful I can cope.When I realized I could not handle this crisis on my own it became easier.  Living one day at a time has made my journey easier.  My faith life does not really include others…because of the virus.

      Blessings,

      Mikea

    • #19916
      Jim
      Participant

      Ally, in August ,2019 I received the shock of being diagnosed with Leukemia. As someone who was steeped in Christ I was not ready for such news. After 9 months of fluctuating between living in the darkness of cancer and living in the Light of Christ I found peace. August 2020 the rug is pulled out by a diagnosis of Parkinson’s. I have to say this whirlwind has been much different including my walk with Christ. A recent revisit to the Cross is beginning to heal the wound.

      • #19931
        Ally
        Keymaster

        That’s a lot of hard news in a short period of time, Jim. Thank you for sharing. Your story is a good reminder that we can lean on Jesus for strength even if we don’t understand why things are happening to us, how we’ll get through it or what might be coming next. I think I needed to read your reply today. Thank you. <3

    • #19920
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Without God I would never make it! My faith has definitely grown stronger on this journey. When I feel weak I lean on Him for strength. There’s growth in adversity but sometimes it feels like we’re alone in this world.

      • #19932
        Ally
        Keymaster

        Amen, Marcus! My faith always seems to flourish in adversity because it’s at those points that I am reminded that all I can count on in this life is God. Sometimes I struggle with feeling very alone too. I wish sometimes God would audibly speak back to me when I pray. Last week at church, a friend reminded me that God speaks to us in all sort of ways – through the Bible, sermons, dreams, nudges and often, other people. I loved an illustration she used to explain how all these things work together. She said God has given us all the pieces for whatever puzzle we’re trying to solve (or quite frankly, survive). We just need to do our part and put them together. Maybe right now you’re working on a 25 piece puzzle, or maybe it’s a million piece puzzle. The main thing is, God knows what it’s going to look like in the end and all the pieces are there, just waiting to be put together.

    • #19942
      Krukar
      Participant

      I  believe that you are special Jim.  God has chosen you to act as an example in coping through him. The longer I am on this journey the more strength participants show.

      Rather than wallowing in self pity we are constantly in search of solution for our selves and others. What works for one may not work for others but there is always support offered.

      It really is like a club. We are given Lemons yet we continue to make Lemonade.

      Christ is with us,

      Mike

       

       

       

      • #19946
        Anonymous
        Inactive

        Thanks Ally, I agree your friends illustration makes a lot of sense! It’s hard for us to see the whole picture. A friend once told me to view my problems against the the backdrop of eternity. God has the whole picture we just see one slice of it. I will share your friends words with my friends if that’s ok.

        • #19953
          Ally
          Keymaster

          Of course, Marcus, and I really appreciate the perspective about eternity from your friend that you shared, too! God’s concept of time is soooo much bigger than ours. It’s helpful to remember that! 🙂 Thank you.

    • #19943
      Lou Hevly
      Participant

      If bad things didn’t happen to good people (and good things to bad people), we’d all be good, but for the wrong reason: not from love, but from fear.

    • #19952
      Gail Dons
      Participant

      God promised us that He would only give us what was best for us. I have lived long enough to see how what appeared to be a really bad time was used to strengthen me for future things that came into my life. We don’t always get to see that connection, but we know we can trust Him.  Sometimes I’m really disappointed, or even shocked when His way of writing my story differs from what I would like, but in faith I KNOW it is going to be good.
      When I first told my family I had Parkinson’s, I wrote my children a letter that sums it up: “ …The idea of losing my independence, as well as my mental capabilities, kind of freaks me out. Yet God is so gracious. When He says, “Do not be afraid,” He really means it. To insist on retaining control of even these things when I say I am His is to miss my purpose in glorifying Him. I can truly say with the psalmist:

      “My heart and my flesh may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion      forever” Psalm 73:26

      Our chaos, His peace!

      • #19955
        Ally
        Keymaster

        I love that, Gail. Thank you for sharing. Your message helped me feel calm on a chaotic day today. 🙂

    • #19967
      Jim
      Participant

      Thank you Gail for your sharing and reminding me that  I have a choice of embracing the fear that is of this world’s or the faith that is God. I am starting to try and become more aware and accepting of His plans and purpose for me that are not focused on what I can no longer do,but what I can do. Merry Christ-mas to everyone. This site has been such a blessing over the past 2 weeks.

    • #19981
      Corrie Trattner
      Participant

      I’m a caregiver and not the person with Parkinson’s; my husband is.  Although I can’t get any straight answers from the doctors, I think he might be entering end stage, as he’s bed ridden, needs to be fed, and his voice is barely audible.

      I, too, have wondered more frequently than not what the purpose of all of this decline and suffering is that G-d is putting us through.  There have been times when I think I must have done a ton of very awful things unknowingly throughout my life to be punished in this manner to watch a loved one decline so much and not be able to stop it.  Then, other times, I realize that my poor husband is probably suffering far more than I am.  But I truly believe that G-d doesn’t give you what you can’t handle.  I also believe that the challenges he gives us earlier in our lives is to strengthen us to deal with new challenges that will be coming later in our lives.  When I reflect on my life, I can see how earlier challenges lead me to be able to deal with my current ones.  My mother, may she rest in peace, a blessed memory, used to say two things: 1) G-d may not come when you want him to, but he’ll always come on time, and 2) if you feel that G-d has taken with one hand, he gives with both.

      I’ve recently started taking a daily prayer practice course for a month and have been trying to talk to G-d our loud about the meaning and purpose in all of this Parkinson’s stuff, watching a horrible decline, feeling incompetent to change the course of things even though I know that it’s a progressive, incurable disease, and feeling guilty that I haven’t done enough even if my rational mind knows better.  Like several of you have said above, He doesn’t answer us verbally, but He does know what he’s doing and this all will be for good.  Perhaps my challenge now if to see the current and to anticipate the good with gratefulness and faith.  “Let go and let G-d,” because He doesn’t give you anything you can’t handle.  And as I heard from a Parkinson’s Caregiver at a conference, “Everyday is a gift; every day is a gift; every day is a gift.  Now repeat.”

      Thank you for listening and blessing for peace, comfort, and strength in all of G-d’s wisdom to you all,

      Corrie

      • #20042
        Ally
        Keymaster

        Thank you for sharing your story, Corrie. I agree with your mom about God’s timing. It may not be the timing we want, but it’s the right timing. <3 I pray that you and your husband continue to feel God’s presence and comfort. He’s always there with you!

    • #19980
      Kate Rodrigues
      Participant

      What a beautiful Christmas gift this topic is especially on Christmas morning!!

      When my son was serving in Iraq I belonged to a prayer group called M.O.M.S mother’s   Of military services . Out motto was: “We are PRAYERFUL, not fearful, because HE is FAITHFUL “  Since 2014 and my DX  it’s been one day at a time, one step at a time with Jesus.

      Blessings Kate

       

       

       

      • #20043
        Ally
        Keymaster

        Thank you for sharing, Kate. 🙂 God IS faithful. Thank you for the reminder and for sharing your experience. I hope your son is home safe and sound now.

    • #20031
      Sheryl R
      Participant

      I’ve been reading these expressions from a lot of people who have great faith. There’s so much suffering in this world. I’d like to add a few scriptural thoughts to the discussion that have helped me to keep a positive attitude.

      The account of Job in the Bible shows clearly that it’s not our loving heavenly Father who is causing us all these problems, but it is his enemy. And Jesus also made that clear at John 8:44 when he called the devil “a murderer from the beginning”, referring to the Genesis account of how sin and death entered the world.  The fact that Jesus healed people when he was on earth shows us that God wants us to be healthy. He even brought dead persons back to life, showing that God  wants us to live. It was his original purpose for the first human couple to have children and spread the paradise garden throughout the earth; a happy, healthy family taking care of the planet, the animals and each other. (Genesis 1:28)

      I recommend the website: jw.org for information about how the human family will be healed under Christ’s Kingdom in the near future. Go to: Bible Teachings, Bible Questions Answered, and the heading: Suffering, for a thorough discussion of why God has allowed this temporary time of trouble. I hope that you will find it as comforting as I have to know that there are much better times ahead.

      • #20044
        Ally
        Keymaster

        Thank you for sharing, Sheryl. I am reading through Job right now and I have to say his story really puts my own struggles in perspective! Thank you for sharing additional scripture resources in your post. 🙂

    • #20050
      Jan
      Participant

      I wish I had faith like many of you have voiced, but I have yet to be convinced of God’s promise to us that He would only give us what was best for us. My mother died of pancreatic cancer and she was the only piano teacher in her rural area so after she died, a number of young students had no one to teach them how to play the piano. How could that possibly be what was best for them or for their rural area? She didn’t get the chance to meet some of her grandchildren or sew them a sweet stuffed bunny like she made for my daughters. How is  that what is best for those grandchildren? How does that show God’s faithfulness to us? And if the argument is that God didn’t give her the cancer, then the statement that “He would only give us what is best for us” doesn’t fit the scenario. And if Satan or the environment or her genes or her lifestyle or just dumb luck caused the cancer, then why wouldn’t the almighty & all-powerful God show His presence by miraculously curing her so that she could give glory to God and convince us doubters that God really does listen and really does want what’s best for us?

      I’m not saying that I am choosing to be bitter vs better as a result of my Parkinson’s diagnosis. I think being bitter is generlly a waste of time and I don’t feel like I have enough time as it is so I sure don’t want to waste it by feeling sorry for myself (though I admit that I have wasted some of my time in this way!). I think we can each find meaning in our suffering, and we can each find ways to make the world a better place because of our experience with PD, but couldn’t we do those things regardless of whether we believe in God, Jesus Christ, Allah, Hare Krishna, Buddah,  Yahweh, or none of  the above? I still worship, pray, and give glory to God (attending virtual services because of COVID) but it’s more out of hope that some of what you say is true, not out of faith. I have tried to see God’s hand in my life and in the world around me but it has definitely not been revealed to me at this point, though I am envious of those who are so convinced and so trusting and faithful that God is omnipotent and loving and ever-present. Feel free to pray for me to get there!!

    • #20060
      Gail Dons
      Participant

      You CAN have that faith, but you have to let go of a few misconceptions. This is something I’m really passionate about. No, I am not a minister-just a Christ-follower who has “been there and done that” for a few decades.“My thoughts are completely different from yours,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.To let someone like that write your life story is frightening beyond belief, but that is where joy is found.We only think we know how our story should be, but our sight is both short and narrow. This sick earth is what happened when God DID give us what we wanted – control of our own lives and to know evil as well as good. And we screwed it up and broke it, irretrievably. I know we do not want to lose dear ones, or have others or ourself suffer. And life in the world we asked for is not fair. Yet God is making an incredible tapestry as He weaves the stories of this broken world together. We only see the back side, the mess of tangled threads. Sometimes we do get a glimpse of why such sadness, pain, and injustice is written intoour story, but for many things, we will have to wait until heaven. He does know what is best for us, and He has asked us to trust Him.Trust is not like instant mashed potatoes. You don’t pour it out of a box, add a few prayers and get it. It’s something you grow, and that takes time. You have to get to know the One you’re trusting. Remember,having our life work well here on this earth is not our highest goal. God never promised that – in fact , He told us it would be the opposite.We set our sights too low if pleasure, happiness and comfort are our aim here on this earth. We have to keep focused on the real race, and the prize – not a lovely life that works well here on earth, but the smile of our Savior as we cross the finish line, and a God that sees us …and loves us intensely, forever! But that doesn’t mean you just grit your teeth and swallow everything that comes your way. There is an incredible difference between “happiness“ and “joy“. Happiness is situational and temporary, joy is intensely satisfying no matter what is happening. Thank of Paul. His life really sucked! He was beaten to within an inch of his life on multiple occasions, people around him were murdered, he became deathly ill, and he was imprisoned multiple times, the last with a death sentence. YetNot that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. [12] I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and little. Now that is trust! And you’re right, it is scary, until you get to know the One you trust, and realize that you don’t have to do this by yourself. In fact, you can’t do it by yourself. Paul adds to that last statement: “[13] I can do all things through Him who strengthens me!” Corinthians 4:8-9  We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed and broken. We are perplexed, but we don’t give up and quit. [9] We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going.Corinthians 4:16-18 (NLT) That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. [17] For our present troubles are quite small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great glory that will last forever! [18] So we don’t look at the troubles we can see right now; rather, we look forward to what we have not yet seen. For the troubles we see will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever.This could be a really long message, and I need to stop before I get to book proportions, but I would love to engage you further if you’re interested. Feel free to send me a private message on this site and we can talk more. I don’t have all the answers, but I know Someone who does!

    • #20069
      Robert Harris
      Participant
      1. As Parkinson’s continues to take its toll on me, my handwriting (which earned me a D in 6<sup>th</sup> grade) is now impossible to read. I don’t know why I keep trying to write, or why I keep buying new pens. I think I want to write my life the way I want it to be. But God wants to write my life the way he wants it to be. So we struggle. I stare at my latest attempt to make some notes about my inability to read the notes I make about not being able to read the notes I make about my inability to read them. Suddenly it occurs to me that the notes look almost exactly like Arabic handwriting. Except for the fact that I don’t know Arabic, either spoken, read, or written, I must be on to something. Either that or God is trying to get my attention and move me in another direction to serve him.

      I’m sure you have heard the  saying, “When life hands you a lemon, squeeze it hard and add the sweetness of your attitude to the juice. Then mix the sweet juice to the living water of Christ  and get a refreshing, life-sustaining lemonade.”

      One of the most powerful proverbs handed down from the sages of the past is, “Not the event, but the attitude.” How you receive the events that arrive at your front door is more important than the events themselves in determining your happiness or sorrow. As I phrased it at the end of my short story The Strange Adventure, “The events we experience are less important than the meaning we give to them, for life is about meaning, not experience.”

      And we find meaning in the love of God. By loving and trusting him, life will mostly make sense. And for the part that doesn’t make sense, we know that God is there:  “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good” (Romans  8:28a). As the saying tells us, “Faith is trusting God when you don’t understand.”

      Why is this disaster happening? “I have no idea, but I trust God.”

       

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