If you’re reading this, it means you have visited my new website and logged on to check it out. Thank you! Maybe you know me or someone in my family…maybe you’ve heard me speak at a conference in years’ past. Or perhaps you’ve heard that I was out for a little while getting used to some new medical issues that have been thrown in to my life (-!!!-).
Quite possibly a few of you have either heard me play the piano or been a student of mine at some point. Or… maybe you’re just like me, with chronic “things” in your life, looking for some help in figuring it all out. Trying to find sense in the non-sense that life throws at all of us.
So, I welcome you to my website and the ChronicPraise community. It is my hope that you find help, hope, and purpose in your season of chronic [__< fill in the blank >___].
Several years ago, I felt a call – with great urgency – for a new page in my life. I’d climbed as high as I could climb in small business America and discovered a new passion, a hidden skill – public speaking. Teaching at seminars, speaking at leadership and medical conferences was an awesome experience and the response was very positive.Who knew? I wanted to do more public speaking, but I was running out of things to tell people. I longed to bring something besides just medical jargon and EMR-ease. I felt like I’d taught folks all I knew to teach in that arena.
But what in the world would I talk about, if not healthcare? They’d probably think I was boring, or irrelevant. I’m rather ordinary, who in the world would be interested in anything I had to say?
I remember asking the Lord to give me a story, something that would help other people. Something that would be a tool they’d find helpful. Something to encourage. Something profoundly interesting with the power to be a game-changer.
I had no idea what was about to happen.
And so began my struggle with chronic disease. Rheumatoid disease/arthritis. Dysaytonomia. Addison’s. Polyglandular auto-immune. Sjogren’s. Pacemaker. The fatigue that descended upon my world was catastrophic beyond any mind’s ability to compute. It overtook my thought process at every turn. Anyone with CD (chronic disease) knows that “chronic” means just that – chronic. All the time. No down time. Never stops. Ever present. Threads through every.single.thing you do. Always seeing “can’t do’s” or “miss out’s,” instead of “get-it-done’s” and “no problem’s.” Three years in to things, and the complaining and negativity can become chronic, too. Fed up. Done.
I didn’t sign up for this… and I didn’t want it anymore.
It was ugly. So much power was spent just trying to figure out what was going on that there was no brain processing left to just be sick. To feel the illness. We were frantic. The known – and the still unknown – rocked my day from sun-up to sun-down. There was no escape. I was tired to the point of exhaustion. Fainting. And sick. So very sick. There was no thought that ever passed through my mind that did not go through the filter of chronic, sick and “what in the world is all this?”
We were desperate…and so discouraged. My parents had been up from Georgia to help with hospitalizations. I’d missed out on so much with the kids. I wasn’t able to work so the business was failing. And everything….everything…. was falling on Chris. I had not another single ounce of “can-do” left in my mind or body. I wanted to be done with this illness. The chronicity of it almost made it like an obsession. There was no escape. Though I begged for one. And any escape would do.
Then God spoke. What if my desires changed from “less of this” to “more of You” ? What if I learned to praise Jesus with a ferocious chronicity like CD has? What if I developed a chronic pursuit of Jesus? What if worship consumed my every thought instead always thinking of the situation I was in?
What if my worship wasn’t dependent upon my situation at all?
God hit a re-set button in my very soul, and in an instant, these things became urgent for me. My heart became heavy to help others who suffered just like me by sharing my health story. The years of healthcare teaching and leadership training could perhaps encourage and empower others to push through their “chronic.” Many people have asked me to help them correct things in their medical records, and I’ve got more stories than I could ever share of the urgent need for patients everywhere to know what’s in their chart. Musically, people ask me all the time for copies of songs I’ve played or written so that they could have some time to relax and listen to the tunes. Many who received my CDs found that it satisfied a need during a health crisis of their own. But alas, I’ve not done a good job at recording and writing these down. It was a wake-up call to do better.
I sat on the idea for almost a year before mentioning it to anyone. Research ensued for months…. books, blogs, stories of suffering, disease journeys – you name it, trying to determine whether or not I should share my story in this way. In any way, really. Who would be the least bit interested? Who am I kidding to think I could help anyone? Would the Lord really take something to awful and turn it in to something great and amazing, for His glory? I mean, I knew He could transform anything, but would He, really? In me?
In the end, God’s word says we will overcome “by the word of our testimony.” If there’s a story to tell, then open my mouth and tell it, for Heaven’s sake! For crying out loud, open up and SPEAK. After all, I don’t usually have a problem with that!
And so, with a new purpose and passion, and after two years of <…insert procrastination words here…>, I welcome you to elisacomer.com, where I hope you find help to turn your chronic whatever’s into a life of chronic praise. It’s an effort filled not with perfection, but with passion, promise and purpose that I pray will leave you more encouraged, more uplifted, more informed, and more determined than before you arrived.
This is why I have done it.