For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10
“Not by Sight is a one-of-a-kind resource that is urgently needed for a neglected group of people–those who look healthy, but have a chronic physical problems that sap their energy, rack their bodies, and tax their souls. The authors knows first-hand not only the pain and frustration of suffering from such a disability; they have also endured the misunderstandings of others who cannot fathom what Sherri is going through and who manage to say all the wrong things with the best of intentions. Not by Sight teaches us how to have compassion on the person suffering from an invisible disability and how to offer real help instead of platitudes. Those who read it will come away wiser and more hopeful. I wish I could have read it years ago when a loved one was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. It could have saved me from many of the mistakes that I have made based on my misunderstanding and impatience. I thank God for this unique booklet. Douglas Groothuis, PhD. Associate Professor of Philosophy, Denver Seminary. Author of Christian Apologetics 2012 Christianity Today Book Award Merit Winner), Truth Decay, On Jesus and more.
“Many who try to uplift the ill offend them. Wayne and Sherri Connell are gifted writers who draw on years of hurtful misunderstandings from well-meaning people. All who would bless ill relatives, friends and clients, should learn from her experience before even asking, ‘How are you?’ To avoid thoughtless abrasiveness and see things from the sufferer’s perspective, carefully read the uniquely wise and concise articles. You will find them caring, biblical and practical.” Gordon R. Lewis, PhD, Senior Professor, Denver Seminary. Author of Integrative Theology, Decide for Yourself, Testing Christianity’s Claims and more.
“Here is a booklet (Not by Sight) which opened my eyes–and I hope opened my heart to care for people around me who are suffering from invisible disabilities. Sherri is herself such a sufferer who lives in a crucible of constant pain. Sustained by God’s grace, her story offers both helpful counsel to her fellow-sufferers and specific advice to all of us who through her are being sensitized to engage in prayer and care.” Vernon Grounds, PhD. (Late) Chancellor, Denver Seminary. Author of YBH: Yes, But How? and more.
“Wayne and Sherri have taken their courage in facing adversity and risen to the challenge of facing the vague and elusive nature of chronic illness. In doing so they have managed to turn her pain and suffering into a campaign to be a human in a health care system that is dehumanizing and insensitive. Wayne’s efforts to inform, educate, encourage and enlighten others through his website, brochures and booklets help all of us who face the stigma of chronic illness and the daily battle to make a good day. I commend Wayne’s efforts to touch those who daily are diminished by the ignorance and insensitivity of what life-changing illness means. Learn what you can from Where is God Ministries and teach others so that we may all be strong in the face of adversity and rise above the suffering to find meaning in our lives through service to others as she has done. Keep up the great work!” Marcus Brown, PhD. (Late) Psychologist/Neuropsychologist, Former Program Director Geropsychiatric Rehabilitation Program, Connecticut Valley Hospital.
“Sometimes a person’s character is not evident until thrown into the furnace of affliction …That is part of what makes Sherri Connell’s story so compelling. Against all odds she emerges as a determined woman of real grit, capable of taking on the meanest that life has to throw at her, and still surfacing with heroic courage after getting hit by a Tsunami. She is a person who, as far as I can tell from reading her story, if she died on Tuesday, would probably show up to work on Wednesday saying, “I’m not going to let some minor problems like death and a coffin keep me down.”…If Sherri’s friends had realized that the purpose of life is to glorify God rather than to enjoy their “birthright” health, then they would have recognized that Sherri was fulfilling that purpose more successfully than they were. If Sherri’s friends had understood these points, they would have become more humble…My point is that Sherri Connell’s willingness to share her story is a heroic effort to alert her “friends” to the realities of invisible disabilities is a message that Americans desperately need to hear.” Jeffrey H. Boyd, MD, MPH. Chairman of Behavioral Health at Waterbury Hospital.. Author of Being Sick Well.
“What a great web site! Congratulations to you for facing the challenges of invisible chronic illness. You are on the same “wave length” with our book, Sick and Tired of Feeling Sick and Tired: Living With Invisible Chronic Illness (W.W. Norton and Company) After ten printings since 1992, the new edition is coming out in July. We wish you and all those struggling with invisible chronic illness all the best.”Mary Elizabeth Siegel, PhD. Co-Author of Sick and Tired of Feeling Sick and Tired.
“I recently received a copy of Not By Sight… I just had to write and congratulate you on such a wonderful endeavor. You did such a tremendous job incorporating the quotes from my work and that of the other authors. But the way you pulled it all together, the points you made, the insights you shared… I have never seen a resource that ‘nailed’ the experience of invisible chronic illness like this one did. I have no doubt that this new booklet will be an invaluable resource to those who minister to people with chronic illness, and an extraordinary comfort to illness sufferers. Thank you both for all you do.” Lisa Lorden-Myers, an author who lives with CFIDS and FMS.
“…All of us at 7NEWS have heard about your great work helping other in our community by providing resources for people with invisible disabilities. Your contribution is very admirable and your enthusiasm and dedication are second to none. We applaud your efforts to reach out and improve the lives of your fellow Coloradans…” Cindy Velasquez, Mitch Jelniker and Jeff Hirota of abc 7News Denver, CO.
“This is a most wonderful God-inspired site for those of us who are overcoming our invisible disabilities. Thank you so much and God bless you mightily.” Reverend James: Texas
“Wow. Finally. A place that understands that although God can heal instantly, sometimes He chooses not too, and it is not necessarily because there is sin or a lack of faith in the the believer’s life. What an amazing find. Thank you so much for creating this site.” Tena: Arkansas
“I love the site already! It is awesome and I am a woman determined to use the life God has allowed me to have to make a difference!…You and this website are going to be a tremendous help.” Carole: California
“I am Blessed by you and your booklet… I pray for you that God will continue to give you the strength to cope. You are amazing people, and it is heartwarming to know that there are others out there who understand.” Love in Christ, Pam: Colorado
“I got the chance to peruse the Where is God site- it’s great! It is attractive and has so many neat places to go and things to read! May God bless it to His glory and your encouragement. I was humbled and encouraged reading many of the testimonies.” Donna: Florida.
“I have lived with many hidden and some not so hidden disabilities all my life and God has always gotten me through the rainiest times. Reading your site was wonderful and uplifting. A positive out look many people need to know about. God Bless.” Diana: Massachusetts
“Loved your website. I am a patient with Multiple Sclerosis and found your site encouraging. I have bookmarked it.” Estella: Illinois
“Great site, and a wonderful set of resources for those suffering and those who love them. God Bless you, what a clear indication of how God uses our trials to benefit others.” Thank you, Michael: Kansas
“What an inspiration you are! God has given you such wisdom and compassion. I can only pray that He will touch you in a mighty way. I am so sorry for any hurt others have inflicted upon you. It is especially painful when God’s people do not understand. I feel God led me to your site. May you feel the Lord’s love in a special way. Love from a sister -in- Christ.” Judy: Washington
A Letter From Tena, Reporter in Arkansas:
I just checked out your site and read your complete testimony. What can I say. I am awed. I had been underestimating the extent of your illness, which is silly considering the way I felt the first time I found your web site. Your site just “got it” like no one else had. Now I understand why. So many of our experiences are similar. So many people told me I looked good or I didn’t look sick, and I never really understood why I took it as a criticism instead of a compliment until I realized that it made me feel like they weren’t taking me seriously. I also modeled in high school and college, and one of the first things to succumb to my illness was my long, blond naturally curly hair. With all of the hospitalizations and tests and procedures, and all of them involving my brain, a short, simple style was easy and practical.
It took me almost a year to stop wondering who that stranger was in the mirror. I’ve always been reasonably intelligent, going to college on academic scholarships. Yet the drugs I take cause what the docs like to call “cognitive sedation,” a big term for the fact that I am now sometimes dumber than the rocks in my driveway. I have no short term memory, and lose my train of thought mid-sentence. We rely on sticky notes and lists around our house, because if I don’t write it down, I forget it. Actually, I also forget it if I do write it down, so we also have a bulletin board where all the notes go, otherwise I will forget where I put the notes. I’ve heard the “your lucky you don’t have to work” comments, felt the “I wish I were just tired” sentiment.
There is not a word in the English language to describe some types of fatigue, something I didn’t realize before I got sick. I’ve also dealt with the “are you sleeping again?” question. Anytime we change drugs, it upsets my whole system. Back in January, we changed three different drugs over the course of three months. I literally slept more than 20 hours a day for 10 weeks. Real sleep, deep sleep, not just laying there looking at the ceiling.
It is amazing what people just don’t understand, and that is why your website is so amazing. I have a weekly column that I write in my newspaper. My dad pastors a local church of about 350 people, and his church also has a local Christian radio station that broadcasts to our community and the surrounding area.
I am telling everyone I come in contact with about your website, and I am mentioning it as well as putting a link to it on my personal website where my articles are posted after they run in the paper. I know you hear this often, and I know in the midst of those awful days it probably isn’t much comfort, but your website and your struggles are resulting in so many other people being able to understand and to realize what it really means to be chronically ill.
What an amazing gift you have given to us, to take your experiences and explain them to the world in a way that they will understand and perhaps change and be able to help others struggling with an illness.
I know God doesn’t cause people to get sick, but I also know that He uses bad things in a good way. I know that doesn’t make your pain any better, and I know that doesn’t take away the sorrow for the things you have lost. In the face of your day to day struggles it may be easy for you to forget, but I want you to know that you are changing lives, perhaps more than you will ever realize until you get to heaven. Then, I truly believe Jesus will stand beside your pain-free body, and show you all the souls you touched while here on earth.