Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness

Believing in Faith

Religion and spirituality are often a component in our journey to health and healing.  There are those who make pilgrimages to sacred sites around the world, like Lourdes, hoping to be rid of their maladies.  We’re told that God doesn’t give us more than we can handle, so looking for the meaning in our health challenge is one of life’s great mysteries.  However, what about those of us who engage in some type prayer to get better or well?  What part does faith play in our healing journey?

Why don’t we hear more about the part that faith plays in our lives when we’re facing a health challenge?  This morning on Good Morning America, medical editor Dr. Richard Besser shared that only about 10% of patients who use prayer tell their doctor.  Don’t you think that this would be important for the doctor to know?  After I heard the statement I thought about my own medical history and I have never discussed my spirituality with my doctor.  I’ve never shared what I do to improve my emotional and spiritual health resulting (at least in my own belief) in better physical health.

It’s interesting because faith, religion, and spirituality has never been one of the questions asked by my medical provider(s).  It’s as if it’s taboo to discuss this part of my life.  My first thought is to applaud the 10% who do share this personal information with their medical team.  I’d be interested to know if it impacts the care you receive or how the medical team handles this information.  I’ve read many stories about cultural healing beliefs and how those practices, at times, have been challenged in the courts like when people want certain ceremonies to be held in a hospital.

Are we missing out on an aspect of health and healing that could super-charge our immune systems?  What would it mean to us and to the medical team if we shared this information about ourselves?  Is it fear or skepticism about how the science community would view us if we shared this deeply personal side of our lives that inhibits us from utilizing faith in our journey to wellness.

Have you had an experience of sharing your faith with your doctor?  How did you bring it up and how did it impact your journey to getting better or well?



I've lived my life in service to others. I'm focused on mental health and how it impacts our relationships, culture, and society. Through creative expression and narrative I believe we can impact change.

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