What does it mean to suffer well – guest post by Kelly Campbell

quote on pale blue and pink paint splotched graphic.

Honestly, I’m a pansy when it comes to suffering. This might be why I feel such admiration and respect for those like my sweet friend and team member, Kelly Campbell who’ve endured incredible and ongoing hardship with perseverance and grace. This is also why when women like her speak on this subject, I pay attention, because I know they have much to teach me.

Godly Suffering by Wholly Loved’s Kelly Campbell

Believe it or not, becoming physically disabled at 40 has actually been one of my greatest blessings! God didn’t cause my stroke but He allowed it to happen so I would learn in ways I never would have otherwise. I tell everyone I meet that if I could go back and change that July night, I wouldn’t because of how my life has changed for the better. 

The apostle Paul, who wrote much of the New Testament, discussed his own “thorn in the flesh’ (2 Cor. 12:7). While he never identifies his exact ailment, his suffering kept him from pride and reminded him that his ministry success lay in Christ. In Romans 5:3-5, Paul encouraged Christians not to miss the opportunities that walking through suffering can bring. 

Before my injury, I spent most of my life rebuffing any attempt to get close to me. I could pray for others and serve but didn’t want others to do the same for me. But I have learned (albeit the hard way) that we need others. We need community to thrive. I believe God uses others to heal us emotionally, relationally, and spiritually but it’s so easy to get comfortable in our own little world. 

Our circumstances/plight/struggle can become our identity. When we allow our losses, struggles, and secrets to keep us in isolation, we can’t achieve our full potential and healing. Proverbs 27:17 states, “as iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”  In other words, those with deep and godly relationships help one another improve. When we use our situations to connect with the hurting, offering support, information, and resources, we can help them build new lives and realize their highest new capabilities and how God is always walking right beside them.

It’s with that faith I can say I am healed- emotionally, spiritually, mentally, in my relationships with others, and, despite my outward appearance, even physically. It is truly healing redefined. Far too often when we hear a pastor or speaker ask if anyone needs prayer for healing, our default answer is “I’m physically healthy so I don’t.”

Quote from Kelly's post on a pink graphic with blue paint splotches.

Can I challenge you to reach out to someone in your community and ask them to pray for your emotional, mental, spiritual or relational healing? Our Heavenly Father is waiting to guide us and to love us as much in the future as He is in the here and now. He fills those places in us that loss hollows out, shining His light on the road ahead. Psalm 119:105 sums it up beautifully- “Your word is a lamp onto my feet (the now) and a light onto my path (the future).”

Get to Know Kelly!

Kelly Campbell survived a massive stroke at 40 that left her physically disabled but with a passion for prayer and other survivors. She is currently completing her Masters of Divinity in Healthcare Chaplaincy and serves on the board of directors for the Brain Injury Association of Georgia (BIAG).

Kelly currently leads the prayer team at her church in Woodstock, GA. She is a single mother of adult sons and has two beautiful daughters-in-law. She leads a number of brain injury support groups around her home state of Georgia and loves to use her testimony to help others.

Verses taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Make sure to check out the latest Faith Over Fear Podcast episode:

Courage to Break Free from Emotional Eating With Barb Raveling Faith Over Fear

Do you ever feel as if you are simultaneously controlled by your eating habits and that your eating habits are controlled by your emotions? Do you find yourself turning to food when stressed, sad, and overwhelmed, then battling guilt and shame later? We live in an often painful and overwhelming world that, sadly, leads many of us to numerous unhealthy coping mechanisms, those we've perhaps, sought solace in for so long, we fear we'll never be able to experience freedom in these areas. Praise God, that's not true! We can break free from self-destructive tendencies that often only lead to increased anxiety and shame, and in this episode, author and recovered food-addict Barb Raveling shares how.  (Scroll down for discussion/reflective questions.) Reference mentioned: Say Goodbye to Emotional Eating: 100 Renewing Exercises to Help You Break Free from the Control of Food  Find Barb Raveling: Amazon Her website Facebook Instagram Find Jennifer Slattery: Her website Instagram Facebook Amazon Find Wholly Loved: On their website Join the private Faith Over Fear Facebook Group  Join the Private Wholly Loved Community Facebook Group (Note: We encourage you to discuss the below in relation to any ineffective coping mechanism you practice, trading your coping method of choice for "foot" or "eating.)  Was resonated with you most in this podcast episode? How often do you cope with difficult emotions or stress through food? If often, can you think about when you first began to use food as a coping mechanism and what contributed to this? How aware of you are your thoughts before you turn to food or while you're eating for emotional reasons?  What are the two most frequent lies (if you're aware of them) that most tend to drive your eating?  Why might it be important to fight our unhelpful coping mechanisms from a thought, rather than behavioral perspective? When you use food to cope, how long does your sense of relief typical last, and what do you feel after? What is one action step God might be asking you to take, having listened to this podcast episode?   See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
  1. Courage to Break Free from Emotional Eating With Barb Raveling
  2. What to Pray in the Morning for a Worry-Free Day | Teach Us to Pray
  3. Courage to "Do the Thing" with Rebecca George
  4. Courage to Live in Your New Now with Nicki Koziarz
  5. Courageously Shining God's Light in the Darkest Places with Peter Ash

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