Rest Ministries: Lisa Copen

By OBOS — April 2, 2009

From 2009 – 2011, Our Bodies Ourselves honored the work of women’s health advocates worldwide by asking readers to nominate their favorite women’s health hero. View all nominees by year: 2009, 2010, 2011

Entrant: Kara Marks Valeri

Nominee: Lisa Copen, founder and director, Rest Ministries

I would like to suggest Lisa Copen, who is the founder and director of Rest Ministries, a non-profit organization for the encouragement of people with chronic illness and/or pain. She has done so much to help women with their health problems, as well as supporting men.

I don’t know if her personality has always been so optimistic and tenacious, but it certainly is now, and she has not only dealt w/ her illness and chronic pain admirably, but is also trying so hard to inspire others while working through the midst of her own physical pain and sometimes fog of her rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia.

We w/ chronic and often invisible illnesses deal w/ so much that others don’t recognize, understand, empathize w/ or even agree with. We often end up having depression to go along w/ our chronic pain and/or chronic illness and although I know that Lisa occasionally gets discouraged like we all do, healthy or not, I’ve never seen her be anything but positive. I know that her faith in God comforts her and that she benefits from helping others, but there is something in her that is so inherently choosing to look at the positive part of illness, looking for blessings in the midst of burdens and discouragement, etc.

I was first exposed to Rest Ministries by receiving email forwards of the free daily devotional in some yahoogroups. There are a lot of email devotionals we can choose to receive every day from various websites, but the RM ones are special because they’re written by people w/ chronic illness and/or pain, so they seem to speak more specifically to the things we deal w/ on a daily basis. Lisa used to write all the devotionals herself, but there is now a volunteer writing staff as well as many volunteers for the various areas of the ministry. When I would read the devotionals, I would be so uplifted and I felt so blessed just learning a little bit about Rest Ministries–I definitely knew that there was a big need for this type of ministry.

I started helping with Rest Ministries almost 5 yrs. ago when Lisa sent an email through the devotional mailing that she was looking for someone to check the voicemail, take messages, return calls as necessary, answer questions, help w/ orders, etc. Since I’m not able to work as an RN anymore, this is something I can do to feel that I can be of some help, and it’s been such a blessing to me.

First, Lisa is a total inspiration. She was diagnosed w/ rheumatoid arthritis in her mid-20s and saw the need for support for people w/ illness, especially Christian support. She had been well-equipped to start a ministry of this sort as she was completing her degree in social work and doing an internship for a non-profit, as I understand it, so she prayed for a yr. about starting a ministry such as Rest Ministries and did establish it in 1997. She started w/ an in-person support group, then I believe they began connecting via both a newsletter (now a magazine instead) and email and then Lisa initiated the website, She was able to learn all the programming for the initial simple website and her skills have really grown, since the site is always being updated and looks very professional and she’s still able to do all of that programming herself.

The ministry has grown so much from where it started, to now having about 300 in-person support groups called HopeKeepers groups around the nation and even in other countries; the site also has a lot of online information and support, such as online support groups, a message board/chat room called the Sunroom (; many articles and links; a radio show twice a wk. (; a weekly free ezine; the free daily devotional I mentioned; and HopeKeeper’s magazine, which is presently going digital, but she does hope it’s able to return to paper-printed format in the future.

In 1992, Lisa also started an Invisible Illness wk. every Sept. since the mo. of Sept is Chronic Illness mo. nationwide. The site is and still has information from this past Sept.–she’ll be updating that soon w/ this yr.’s logo, slogan, information, etc. (this yr.’s is Sept. 14-20.) The theme for Invisible Illness Week 2008 was “Hope Can Grow Through The Soil of Illness.” Each yr. our ministry promotes this major public awareness campaign and it’s a designated time during which people who live with chronic illness, those who love them, and organizations are encouraged to educate the general public, churches, healthcare professionals and government officials about the impact of living with a chronic illness that is not visually apparent.

It’s a grassroots campaign to help spread the word that those with illness may look great, but are hurting and need love and understanding. We have several presentations a day from guests on a variety of topics, both spiritual and practical. (Starting last yr. and in the future the talks will be by; previously they were chats in our chatroom. It’s great to have those past sessions archived for people to listen to in the future or to be able to download onto their IPods; our twice-weekly shows are also archived.)

About Lisa — she is 40 yrs. old, married for about 10-15 yrs., I believe, and she and her husband adopted their son Josh as a baby 6 yrs. ago. She lives in Poway, CA, a suburb of San Diego, so the ministry’s address is in San Diego even though it’s very much a nationwide and mainly online ministry. I’ve never been able to meet Lisa in person, but between lots of emails and talking on the phone a few times a mo., I feel very close to her. All of us touched by RM are dealing w/ different illnesses, and even when we have the same illness, we are affected in different ways and to different degrees. We do have so much in common when we’re dealing w/ our various illnesses, though.

Rest Ministries really tries to make the magazine, groups and other forms of support encompass a wide range of issues that speak to people dealing w/ a wide range of conditions. It is from a Christian perspective, but Lisa tries really hard for it not to be too “preachy,” and we want people of any faith (or no faith) to be comfortable receiving encouragement and information. There are quite a few Jewish people and other non-Christians who do benefit from the ministry, I know.

I have MS and even though it sounds like in many ways Lisa is more physically affected by her illnesses than I am, she somehow manages to be very active — much more active than I’m able to be, despite the fact that my MS is actually much milder than it is for many w/ MS. My boys are older teenagers and don’t need as much physical care, but her “baby” is now 6 and she’s a very active work-at-home mom who has to do much more physically in taking care of and occupying her son. She also manages to get out of the house almost every day even when very ill, whereas I, like so many others w/ chronic illness, am at home so much more. (This is one reason why the online encouragement from the ministry is so helpful to people.) Lisa also puts forth a lot of effort in maintaining her marriage and being a supportive wife–marriages are much more likely to fail when they are touched by chronic illness and Lisa seems determined to keep her husband and marriage a priority despite her limited resources of time and energy.

In addition to Lisa’s physical pain and fatigue and probably a lot more physical problems than I know, she has a lot of trouble w/ her hands, fingers, wrists, shoulders, neck, feet, and ankles. There is so much swelling and damage that some deformities have evidently started and the edema (swelling) of her feet became so bad last fall (she was off her meds trying to prepare for hand surgery, which she still now isn’t well enough to have!) that a foot wound began and despite really good wound care from a clinic and at home, she developed the flesh-eating bacteria in that wound, had to be hospitalized for a wk. on IV antibiotics and then receive them at home by IV for about 3-4 wks.

She is very blessed that she didn’t lose her foot, her leg or even her life — that’s how serious that bacteria can be. The wound is still not 100% healed, but hopefully she will heal enough to be able to have the surgery and be able to go back on her medications. (She said that she’s really glad that her laptop couldn’t access the internet while in the hospital or she would have been even more frightened than she already was–that was actually her first hospitalization other than outpatient surgery.)

Lisa’s attitude toward healing is I think part of what keeps her so positive. If you’re interested at all in our viewpoint on healing, it is addressed very well and scripturally at the website, and it can be a controversial topic. This is actually one of the reasons many people w/ chronic illness and pain become discouraged and hurt. Some of course become angry and bitter that they’re not healed by God, but what is so very hurtful can be the responses from other people. Sometimes those in the church will tell people that they were prayed for, so they should be healed, so if they’re not, it’s because they don’t have enough faith or they have unconfessed sin.

Some churches seem to feel that Christians shouldn’t become depressed or even that all illness is spiritual attack and therefore there’s something that those w/ illness are or are not doing that is causing their problems. Lack of understanding from not only other Christians but also from family, friends, employers, co-workers and strangers can be very hurtful. People often are actually trying to be helpful but still say things that hurt–or they want you to go to this dr. or try this treatment. (Sometimes they are marketing “cures” also.) I agree w/ Lisa that we’ll all be healed–it just might not be until we’re in heaven!

Lisa has written several books and is always working on new projects. She has written Mosaic Moments: Devotionals for the Chronically Ill, which is a collection of devotionals, about half written by her and about half collected from volunteers–it’s really “the best of the best.” Many people, myself included, have been really ministered to by her book, Why Can’t I Make People Understand? It’s not about how you can *make* other people understand, but about how they’re *not* going to understand (no one in your life is going to understand 100% except for God — he’s the only One who will never let you down.)

We have to learn how to be OK w/ people not totally understanding or even not understanding at all. She has written two Bible studies that are often used by HopeKeeper’s groups, and individuals are also often interested in them. She has written So You Want to Start a Chronic Illness/Pain Ministry for those considering starting a local in-person support group. There is also a wonderful small book she created, called Beyond Casseroles: 505 Ways to Encourage a Chronically Ill Friend, which has gotten a lot of good feedback from churches and individuals. Often churches are good about ministering to those w/ acute illness, like they come home from the hospital and have meals provided.

But most churches have no ministry for those w/ ongoing illness and we try really hard to raise awareness of the need for that. I found the book really helpful for suggestions on how to help my sister long-distance while she’s been getting chemotherapy for her Stage 4 ovarian cancer — another very positive woman if you’re interviewing several with illness! Lisa has also written some other things about book marketing, promoting websites, adoption scrapbooking, etc. I can’t keep up w/ all that she does!

Lisa is totally a volunteer for the ministry, basically full-time, if you consider the no. of hrs. she puts towards Rest Ministries per wk., and receives no payment for even book profits — everything is put back into the ministry. If the ministry is in the red, which it often is, as are many ministries these days, she and her husband keep the ministry going. Lisa physically receives all the online and mail orders from our non-profit store and I send a few phone orders to her, and until about 6 mo. ago she was the one who filled the orders, packed them for mailing, and got them mailed virtually every day.

We did recently start having a Christian company physically pack and mail the orders for a small fee, but there are ongoing things she must do every day by computer to keep the orders arriving and the ministry going, whether she’s feeling like it or not and whether her hands are hurting her or not. She often doesn’t sleep well and is somehow one of those people who is able to work despite physical pain and use that time to get things done–she’s always writing something new, organizing and brainstorming new things. She is so knowledgeable and inspired and God has given her so many abilities to help this ministry grow.

I don’t know how many “well” moms could do all that Lisa does, let alone see how Lisa does it, dealing w/ so much illness. Most of the people we deal w/ are very nice, but many of us aren’t at our best when we’re not feeling well, so I know that she does sometimes get really discouraging emails. She’s always able to stay so positive and give encouragement to others or to smooth things over if someone’s upset about something, whether we’ve somehow disappointed them or something in their life is overwhelming them.

But sometimes the kind of help they’re needing is something we don’t do: they’re having desperate financial trouble; they have no one locally to help them physically or emotionally; they’re having trouble w/ drs. — finding the right one, finding an empathetic one or affording medical treatment at all; they can’t get pain relief no matter what they try; they want someone to call in the middle of the night when they’re hurting and discouraged; they’re desperately lonely, depressed or suicidal. We don’t have every possible resource available yet to people dealing w/ pain and chronic illness, but we fill a great void in providing not just support, but Christian support and we do try to point them in the direction of getting whatever help they’re needing.

I just want to close w/ saying that I’ve learned to view having a chronic illness as a blessing and Lisa and her ministry have both helped w/ that. I know that not everyone can say that, but I truly wouldn’t change it, because it’s helped me grow spiritually. I’ve gone into all of this to show how much this ministry is needed and what a blessing Lisa has been to all of those living w/ chronic illness and/or pain, male or female, and how very positive she’s been able to stay.

There are so many people I have met in my life and through this ministry by whom I am greatly inspired, but Lisa Copen would definitely be the one by whom I’m *most* inspired! She has been able to do great things w/ her life despite the struggles and challenges she’s been given. She’s been able to use the talents God gave to her and she has touched the lives of so many through Rest Ministries.

Lisa Copen

194 responses to “Rest Ministries: Lisa Copen”

  1. Wow… thank you, Kara! I am humbled and even I got tired of reading about myself! I couldn’t do it without you and all of the volunteers and participants at Rest Ministries that make it what it is by just reaching out to someone with loving kindness.

    I appreciate your votes so we can continue to let more people know about Rest Ministries and National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week

    Bless you all!
    Lisa Copen

  2. I support Kara in all her comments regarding Lisa Copen. I have been blessed by the Rest Ministries organization and remain amazed at how so much has been accomplished via Lisa’s vision and and implementation. There is an incredible volunteer staff across the whole nation and internationally.

  3. I cast my vote to go along with this nomination. Lisa is an inspiration. She not only deals day in and day out with her own health issues, but is so invested in praying with and encouraging others who suffer similarly.

    I’ve been greatly encouraged having Lisa as a friend. I truly think her ministry is a blessing and hope to see it continue to grow.

  4. I totally support the nomination of Lisa Copen. She stands where others fall. She loves when others ignores. She smiles and lifts others’ hearts. Clearly, I appreciate, adore, and admire Lisa as a woman of faith, integrity, and spunk. God bless!

    Stacie Ruth

    Author, Recording Artist, and Founder of Bright Light Ministry

  5. I also support the nomination of Lisa Copen. I have never met her, but we have communicated through email and facebook several times. She is so very helpful and kind. I know how hard it can be to take the time and energy to help others when we’re not feeling too well ourselves.

    Her organization is wonderful on so many levels. I somehow stumbled upon the Restministries website several years ago, when I was at a low point, and after reading for several minutes, I felt a sense of peace that I hadn’t felt in a long time. Finally, I felt I could go somewhere for support. Somewhere that others knew what I was going through.

    I will be hosting our first support group at my church next week. I’m excited about being able to offer help and encouragement to others who deal with chronic illness in my community.

    Thanks for all that you do Lisa. And, thanks to all of the vounteers and your friends and family who offer you the support so that you are able to do all that you do.


  6. I totally agree with all the above about Lisa Copen. I have met her personally and she is exactly as you would expect. She cares about everyone around her and I personally don’t know how she does what she does without the grace of God. She is definitely the hero of women’s health.

    May God continue to bless you Lisa in the work you do for Him and us….

  7. I also support Lisa. I was first brought to Rest Ministries maybe about a year ago, and from the beginning found a new home. Lisa has put everthing she has into making rest ministries a place of encouragement and hope to so many. She has inspired me to do what i have to do, and to push forward through my pain and suffering. I would so love some of her energy and perserverance.


  8. Lisa is definately a personal hero in my life. It is fantastic seeing her recogized for the endless effort she pours into helping others survivie and thrive in the midst of health challenges, even as she herself faces countless daily struggles and pain. The support network Lisa has built is incredible and a resource I depend on both for myself and as a ready resource to give to others facing chronic pain and illness.

  9. Lisa is a blessing to all who suffer from chronic pain and illness. Rest Ministries is the first place I came upon when searching for chronic pain support for dealing with fibromyalgia. I am so grateful to God for leading me there!

  10. Lisa is a HUGE inspiration to myself & others! Her ministry has been a blessing to those of us who suffer with chronic illness & disability. Her ability to not only rise above her challenges, but to encourage others, AND care for her family, make her my hero! She is my Women’s Health Hero!!

  11. Lisa is a inspiration and a blessing to so many including myself. I have known of her ministry for almost 12 years now. Her ministry has litterally saved my life… it brought encourgement and information to me right when I needed it the most! I praise the Lord for Lisa and her precious family! She is my Women’s Health Hero as well!

  12. Lisa Copen definitely has my vote! She has been a real blessing to so many who suffer from chronic illness! She is a real winner and a true champion among women! May God richly bless you always Lisa! Sylvia

  13. I, too, want to take a minute to publicly thank Lisa for her work with Chronic Illness. I am proud to serve as a volunteer under her. However, there are not enough words to say how much she has encouraged me. I found Lisa and her site (Rest Ministries) online shortly after spending time in a hospital due to my chronic illness. There I found someone who not only stated that she cared, but I knew that she cared because she understood.

  14. I whole heartedly support Lisa Copen for this honor.

    I enjoyed and was inspired by Lisa’s work when I first received my own diagnosis of chronic lung disease.

    Now that I have been also diagnosed with connective tissue disease, Lisa’s work has even more meaning for me.

    Thank you, Lisa and thanks also to Kara for nominating her.

  15. Cound not think of a better person to be recognized as a Hero. Lisa is definately a hero in my book. She truly is an angel God put here to help us all. Thank you, Lisa for all you do and God bless

  16. Lisa has offered a great and valuable service and resource to people dealing with chronic conditions! There is a community. There is caring. There is given hope and ecouragement. Thank you Lisa for a your efforts and hard work over the past 10+ years! You are a blessing to many, many people.


  17. I ran across the website while looking for something to help me with my chronic pain. Lisa is an inspiration to us. She deserves any recognition that she has already gained as a person that “walks the talk”.

  18. Lisa would be the ideal person for this honor. As a Parkinson’s disease patient,

    I was in search of someplace to turn that would offer the support, encouragement and perspective for those that suffer. God led me to what He was doing through Lisa and now I am taking that light to others with chronic illness and pain. The fact that she continues to perservere in pain herself to minister to all of us (and her family) makes her a hero worth recognizing!

  19. I submit my vote for Lisa who is the encouraging, driving force behind many wonderful resources for those with chronic illness.

  20. As a chronic pain sufferer, I am encouraged by Lisa. She speaks softly and strongly in her own voice.

  21. Lisa is an amazing lady. She has encouraged so many through Rest Ministries and Invisible illness week. Lisa deserves to be recognized for all she does behind the scenes. Lisa, thank you for your ministry and all the energy you put into making others aware of Rest Ministries and Invisible Illness Week. Create a positive day!

  22. Lisa is amazing. A inspiriation to those of us with chronic illness. She gives us hope and understanding in her ministry and writings.

    Way to go Lisa !!!!!!!

  23. Lisa is the best. She has been so helpful in helping me to find comfort and support while dealing with my own personal invisible illnesses and chronic pain. I vote for her.

  24. I vote for Lisa. Love her website and lots of information she provides for those with chronic illness or also for caregivers.

  25. You go Lisa. I don’t know anyone more deserving. God bless you and God continue to Bless Rest Ministries, our haven of rest and support! ~Love, Nancy Dittert (Thanks Kara)

  26. We vote for Lisa. By founding Rest Ministries, she has allowed us to find others we can relate to. The only thing better would be to have people we could meet in person, but that might even happen someday, as Rest Ministries becomes better known to the Christian community facing chronic illness. Rest Ministries is a place to find friends online, which is the next best thing to “being there.”

  27. As a minister I have the greatest confidence in directing chronically ill people to the Rest Ministries web site where I know they will be ministered to emotionally and spiritually. Lisa certainly is a talented, warm hearted, and God-led woman who shephards her invisible “flock” much like the Great Shephard cares for His sheep.

    I gladly add my vote for Lisa, and pray that God continues to bless her and her ministry to those who hurt.

  28. I vote for Lisa Copen. I recently joined Rest Ministries and have been so glad to be part of this ‘family’.

    Thank you Lisa for all your efforts to offer encouragement and support to all of us with chronic pain/illness (invisible illness). You are a woman of faith and courage.

  29. Lisa is a true inspiration. She ministers to so many. I wish to add my support and vote for Lisa.

  30. I whole-heartedly support Lisa’s nomination! Lisa is an inspiration to so many of us with chronic illness! Thanks for all you do, Lisa! (And thanks for nominating her, Kara!)

  31. My vote goes to Lisa who is a woman I truly admire. I’m not sure what my life would be like without someone like Lisa who fights for me. I was diagnossed with osteoarthritis, Fibromyalgia and Major Derpression which triggered my Bipolar Disorder during the years 1994~1996. I had a career that I absolutely loved as a Special Events Director. But I was forced to retire on Social Security disability late 2001. I was approved the first time around which I understand is not that easy. I suffer almost every day. My daughter gave me a two year old Schnauzer a few months ago. He gets me up and out every day even when I think I can’t, I do it anyway. Wendell is his name and he is my miracle. I spent the year 2008 ini the bed most of the time. I had a terrible case of shingles on my left thigh which seems to be in remission. I admire Lisa because when I think about her and how I know of her, through this website, it is comforting to know that someone is fighting for those of us who are not believed to be “that” sick or that I have a choice to be well or sick. When family or friends tell me these things it hurts my heart. A therapist gave me a new perspective last year when I told her how frustrated I was that my children can’t seem to accept that I’m sick. She said “Patsy, I don’t think you have accepted it.” I knew as soon as she said it, she was right. It has helped to be on my journey to accepting myself where I’m at. Lisa’s emails always helps in theis area of finding self confindence again. I admire Lisa because I’ve walked a mile or two in her shoes and she in mine. Lisa is truthful and gives us hope.

  32. I vote for Lisa! She is an incredible inspiration, and her website and publications have provided help for so many of us dealing with chronic illness. Her selfless dedication to helping others deserves recognintion of the highest order.

  33. I definitely vote for Lisa Copen. Having fought multiple illnesses for many years, I have gained good insight from her daily devotionals and truly appreciate the good work she does.

    May God walk with each of you daily,


  34. I know Lisa, her ministry, her books and even her cheerful picture have helped me along this path the Lord has set before me…

    Do I understand why? Nope, I dont but I do know and accept His Will.

    ..and to that end, I am trying to be an example to others who cross MY path that this is not the end and they are loved by their Heavenly Father and we others who travel with them… Lisa has taught me that.

    I am in the ministry myself, a intercessory prayer ministry with a card outreach to those who find themselves up against the proverbial wall… We will make it, thru HIS grace and mercy. His JOY will be our strength !

    Thank you, Lisa for helping me find my way thru this darkness to light…

    I keep you in my prayers,


  35. Indeed, it is a privilege to nominate Lisa Copen for this recognition. Not until Rest Ministries, Inc. was established, was there a way to educate the public and provide encouragement to people who were struggling with chronic illnesses. Lisa’s work has been tireless, and blessed by God to create a community of people who can encourage one another through life’s greatest challenge — living with CHRONIC health problems.

    God has used Lisa to help us show compassion even with our own struggles; come out from hiding and feeling ashamed about our circumstances; build personal esteem, and be courageous enough to face people who don’t always believe or support us. Rest Ministries has enabled the health care community to sit up and take notice about the “other side” of medicine — respecting the patient’s emotional needs. And WE ALL APPRECIATE HER FOR IT.

  36. My vote goes to Lisa. Through inspirational devotionals, she has helped me cope with my illness better, and also bringing me closer with my relationship with God. Thankyou.

  37. Lisa seems to have single handedly beem the main educating force in our society about invisible illness, and the extent of her reach and support to many thousands of people through her many websites and radio show seem astounding to me, considering she is ill herself and caring for her family. I don’t know of many people who have done as much, as efficiently as Lisa.



  38. I first came across Rest Ministries and Lisa Copen a few years ago after I was forced into early retirement due to arthrits and depression.

    I have found so much comfort in this site and Lisa’s blogs and was able to go and follow a lifetime dream of being a writer. I was able to take an online /correspondence course in freelance writing and have been writing for a couple of years now on chronic illness, co-authoring a book titled “After the Diagnosis:The Journey Beyond, which Lisa reviewed on one of her radio shows. I am now branching out into writing for and about children with special needs, chronic illness and learning challenges and have a lot of encouragement from Lisa in the production of Professor Owl’s Newsletter that is specially for these children.

    Warm regards

    Sylvia McGrath

  39. I too vote for Lisa. I came across Rest Ministries online about 9 years ago when I was suffering from chronic low back pain. It was such a blessing to find the website and receive the daily devotionals. The authors of the devotionals provided so much comfort through the Word of God. I was greatly comforted during those difficult months by reading the words of encouragement written by others who were also suffering from chronic pain or illness. Thank you Lisa! for your great love and commitment to such a wonderful cause.

  40. Lisa is a real inspiration to me, how she has relied on God to be able to help other people with chronic health problems, and to give herself the strength that she needs to make Rest Ministeries all that it has become. She has encouraged others to volunteer, and her attitude has been great towards others when they were unable to continue in their volunteering positions. I love to listen to her radio program on Tues. and Thurs. every week. Her devotionals that her ministry puts out by volunteers is very helpful for many of her readers. I vote for Lisa Copen!!!!

  41. I vote for Lisa! She has brought the education of invisible illness out to the public for those who don’t have it and don’t understand, so they can be made aware.

    When I was first diagnosed with chronic illness, I felt very alone, but I feel God brought me to Lisa’s wonderful website which has been a major support to my life through a very difficult time.

    I am very thankful to Lisa and all she does. She is an amazing woman!

    Gods Blessings,


  42. There is not much I can add to the accolades for Lisa and her ministry. I can say that is has been very helpful to me in my struggle with chronic illness and I get inspiration from her as a mother too. At one point, I didn’t think I could have children because of my illness, but, her perserverance and ability to raise her son, gave me hope that I will be able to be a good mother despite my illness. Thank you Lisa! I vote for Lisa.

  43. I came across Lisa and her ministry when I was at my lowest, I had brain surgery in 2001 and was facing another invasive surgery where they removed 3 cervical discs and placed a titanium plate in my neck and removed a bone from my hip. I was ridiculed by so called friends for years that I should just toughen up, well I had been fighting so hard for so many years I was ready to commit the ultimate sin, suicide and God lead me to her site I chose to goole chronic illness and read her site and like others before me a peace came over me and through time I was able to accept and forgive and live one day at a time, with her words of hope and books and articles I purchased through her website I am taking baby steps the fight goes on but the burdens are not as many. She has a way of making me smile and laugh when I use to cry and as to showing me Gods love for me I was able to forgive and not blame him for my disease. she deserves much more than awards she has earned her wings….Thank all of you involved with saving my soul. God Blessed her with a way to heal our wounded hearts and gave us a home to go for peace and love, which is Rest Ministries.

  44. With great appreciation for all Lisa does. It’s made a difference in my life, here on the East Coast.

  45. I support the nomination of Lisa. Rest Ministries has opened up many opportunities to use my pain for God’s glory.

  46. How do I stop recieving all follow up comments via e-mail? I’m sorry, but I thought it would only be comments on my post. Can someone help me?

  47. I vote for Lisa! I really appreciate the Daily Devotionals and admire all that she does!



  49. I vote for Lisa,her site is an inspiration and comfort to others, as her personality and caring despite her own problems, so as someone living on the otherside of the world she is one great lady , comes through loud and clear

  50. I’ve been with Rest Ministries as Encourager’s coordinator since 2001. I think I have been more blessed by what Lisa has started and has continued to do all these years. While many ill are forgotten by the local church Lisa has made sure people who are ill and in pain have a soft place to fall. Also of great benefit has been with National Chronic Invisible Illness Awareness Week Rest Ministries has seminars you can be a part of right from your own home. Finally, Christian fellowship and encouragement among those of us who live under the banner of “the Unhealed” of the church.

  51. I’ve been blessed to be with Rest Ministries Lisa Copen since 2001. She has made sure people who are ill and in pain have a soft place to fall. As Christian we are often forgotten part of the church as we remain in the culture of “The Unhealed.” We definitely need of each others encouragement and more.

  52. I so appreciate all that Lisa has done to bring Rest Ministries to others. I have daily devotionals delivered to my email. It is not easy to face a daily walk with pain. Knowing that there are others that suffer and deal with some of the very same things that I do has put many loving friends within my reach. There are many days that someone with invisible chronic illness may not be able to leave their home and it can be lonely and depressing but just knowing that there are others who can totally understand what you are going through is a very uplifting and loving service to have available. Thanks Lisa for all that you do!

  53. Lisa is doing a wonderful job in a ministry that is in much demand. I love the fact that Rest Ministries is a support group that connects people around the world. When I became ill in 2001, their was no one where I lived that understood what was happening. In 2004 I met a youth pastor’s wife who suffered from MS who told me about Rest Ministries. I don’t know where I would be now without the encouragement from this group.

    Lisa you have my vote. Thanks for all you do and the love you do it in. God Bless you.

  54. I’m thrilled about Lisa’s nomination. Rest Ministries has changed my life and started me on an online adventure. My health issues have given me experiences that God is using now to encourage others in the same (or somewhat similar) boat. Not only have I benefited from resources in this ministry, but I’ve also found new meaning and purpose.

    As one who knew very little about computers when I began writing devotionals for Rest Ministries, I salute Lisa for persevering in this ever-changing world of technology. I vote for her without a second thought!

  55. Bless you dear Lady, you are a star to me, you have had many trials and your faith in God is rock solid, you have Faith that can move mountains. You are striving to reach the Goal God has set before you. I am proud to be a moderator of Splashes of Joy for over 6 years now…. and it is awesome to see women be overcomers…

    May God Bless you in all you do in His Mighty Name. Amen.

    You certainly have my vote.

  56. I vote for Lisa. Her ministry has helped me grind through some difficult days and sail through better times. Thanks Lisa!

  57. Yes, Lisa has my vote and I support her nomination. She is very inspirational and has done a lot for people with invisible disabilities.

  58. As a Fibromyalgia support group leader, I know how difficult it is to reach people and make them understand about chronic central neuropathic invisible pain. Keep up the wonderful work. Lisa has my vote.

  59. I support Lisa. She has been an inspiration to many and the impetus to start a support group for those with chronic illness and pain many years ago, which is still meeting regularly today.

  60. lisa is a star I have been inspired by the Rest ministries and it helps put my suffrering into perspective

  61. My vote is for Lisa Copen! Thank goodness for Lisa and the support she proviides to so many who suffer chronically!

  62. My vote is for Lisa. I am in Splashes of Joy, a support group she has started and it has been a blessing for me. Lisa has shown amazing ability to be positive and encouraging in spite of her own illness. She is a great inspiration to us all.

    God Bless,

    Love n Prayers, Lucy

  63. I am voting for Lisa Copen. Her site and ministry ‘Rest Ministries-Hope Keepers has been and is a constant source of Christian encouragement to those of us living with multiple chronic incurable(invisible) illnesses.

  64. Even being a chaplain, my chronic illness and pain, along with the depression can almost become overbearing at times. Rest Ministries has been, and still is, a blessing in my life. I have saved some of the Devotionals so I could reread them and gather strength from them in times of need. Thank you so much Lisa and Staff from a very grateful chaplain.

  65. Lisa has my vote! I have seen this ministry grow from just an “idea” in her apt, as we shared our illness challenges, and am always amazed at its growth and influence…what a blessing and inspiration Lisa and this ministry have been to ME, and so many! I am honored to call her ‘my friend’, and thank God for her unwavering service to Him.

  66. I support all that Kara has said above also. I send people to Rest ministries and have been part of it for many years! We can share ideas and be supported in so many ways and be able to take this into the world as we have so many told Lisa offers on Rest Ministries and Hope keepers to use.

    I am also in Enc_ Club which is a Mentoring via email, and people send in need for Prayer and encouragement, and when I receive a person via email I do answer right away and so many have written back to say ” Thank you” and that God answered their prayers! WE meet many great people!

    I guess God send t her to Earth in order to get all of this started, and we are helpers along the way, there to bring some kind of smile to the faces of those who suffer, as who better to know how then one who suffers just the same? There just is not words enough to say all that Lisa and her ministry means to me, and I know to many, very many others who hurt 24/7!

    Thank you Lisa for allowing God to use you in such a BIG, and NEEDED way!! We are not part of a family that is worldwide, and although we may all have different illness most of us, seem to find people normally do not understand although they say they do, unless they can share the same, and the support we give each other and the ability through Rest Ministries, Hope Keepers and Invisible illness, and the Sun room and Enc_club as the list goes on and on,. but through them all we reach out and help each other, and through this learn empathy for all in this world! Making it a better world for many!


  67. THIS WOMAN IS CERTAINLY A HERO. She is a mentor to all of us who have had the privilege of knowing her. She is a comfort and understands what we who struggle with chronic illness (whether invisible or visible) are going through. The resources she provides for us come from a place of total self sacrifice on her part and a love for others. All this and she has a family and other responsibilities we forget about sometimes! She DOES NOT have a “poor me” mentality and challenges us not to either. Lisa loves the Lord Jesus and it is quite evident her intent and motive is to glorify HIM.

  68. I vote for Lisa Copen, she is an inspiration to all of us that suffer from chronic illness and pain, and even to those who don’t. She gives us hope and encouragement, through the devotions she lovingly provides and keeps us looking to the Lord for strength each day!! May God richly bless you Lisa for being a blessing to all those you touch each day through this wonderful ministry!!

    Love in Christ,


  69. Lisa has my vote! I like the daily e-mails I receive so much I hate to delete them!

  70. I don’t know where I’d be without Rest Ministries and the friends and support I have found there over the last 5 years or so. It’s so important and helpful to have people who can relate to what you are going through and dealing with. Thank you so much Lisa for seeing the need and setting up this ministry!

  71. This ministry has literally saved my life. When I think of all she’s done despite her own illness I am amazed & VERY grateful. She’s got my vote!

  72. Thank you so much for nominating Lisa. I can tell of the difference Lisa nd HopeKeepers has made on our small group which has been meeting in Kendallville for over nine years. Lives have been impacted and our faith in and understanding of God, especially in the midst of chronic illness(es) has grown. And, other than through God’s grace and strength, I don’t know how Lisa manages to do it all. She is an inspiration to those of us with “but you look so good” illnesses. Blessings,


  73. I vote for Lisa, too!! Her website, magazine, and books have been so very helpful to me, and to many others. Invisible illness week, which she started, is also a wonderful way of helping spread awareness and understanding of what we deal with. It also helps with getting support, which is a vital part of living with chronic illness. And, having a Christian ministry available is especially dear to me, as God is everything to me, but many Christians just don’t understand and can even be condemning. It’s so great to have other Christians who do get it.

  74. Way cool! I am so glad to see that you were nominated Lisa! What a great way for more people to learn about Rest Ministiries!

  75. Lisa Copen is a life/saver physically and mentally. When I thought no one understood, no one ‘got it’. Then I found Lisa’s site. I felt like I could live again, that I had a purpose.

    I vote for Lisa Copen. I wouldn’t have a web site of my own if it wasn’t for Lisa.

  76. Hello from Canada;Please put my vote for Lisa in. I am fairly new to Rest Ministries but most dearly believe it helps, It is a wonderful work. Thanks Lisa for getting this ball rolling and all that keep it going. Thank You, God’s blessings on all

  77. I am from Canada also and new to Rest Ministries but have already enjoyed the website and gained much encouragement from it. Invisible and chronic illnesses will affect all of us if we live long enough! 🙂 I would like to put my vote in for Lisa Copen. God Bless!

  78. I have been with Lisa almost the entire ministry and I know how hard she has worked to grow this ministry and reach more and more people. As Moderator of Shareandprayer it has been a privilege to be part of this ministry

  79. As someone who has several debilitating chronic illnesses myself, I cannot even begin to imagine how Lisa accomplishes all that she does while still being chronically ill herself. That alone is just amazing to me!

    It’s one thing to have a busy, hectic, and productive life when you’re healthy – it’s downright challenging when you’re sick “every day”!

    Absolutely she gets my vote. She works diligently to help so many while having a great attitude, heart, and a deep desire to inspire others who struggle to have hope.

  80. It is my great joy to put in a vote for Lisa. She is the epitome of selflessness. Anyone who lives with chronic illiness as we do can find so much help within the Rest Ministries Organization. Lisa’s work is truly God’s work.

  81. Lisa has my vote. She is an amazing gift from God to all of us who suffer and to those who have to watch others suffer.

  82. Lisa is a true inspiration to me. Her positive attitude, faith, and hard work are much appreciated in the way she has kept this ministry going. Her articles, daily devotionals, radio broadcasts, and sunroom, …. have helped me grow in my faith and approach my illness in a whole new way.

    Lisa is a true gift to so many and I am grateful.

  83. Lisa’s got my vote! I share Chronicpaindevotional with friends who are suffering. It is awesome to read the stories of many, many people who are suffering with chronic illnesses, visable and invisable. Thanks Lisa for eing a beacon of hope to many, many people. God bless this ministry.

  84. My wife and I vote for Lisa in honor of the sacrificial work that she does for those with chronic illness and their families. I am amazed at how Lisa continues to accomplish so much when she is physically struggling. I have exchanged messages with Lisa a couple of times and she has allowed herself to be a sounding board for myself concerning chronic issues that my wife deals with. Lisa was very kind to respond with encouragement and knowledge that she has gained over time. Lisa is very qualified to receive this honor and to be acknowleged for her hard work. As you can see, Lisa is a hero in many ways to many people. Thank you, Lisa!

  85. I would also like to place a vote of confidence in Lisa. She has courageously shouldered her own life & walk with pain & sickness, while still encouraging countless others in their own. The materials she makes available are a tremendous resource to people who might otherwise feel they are completely alone in what they are living with. She is definitely a Gem to many, deserves some recognition for her work.

  86. Lisa Copen has earned my vote for her diligent work on behalf of those who live life in chronic pain. Lisa is articulate, intelligent, honest, forthcoming, and out-spoken. She is a pioneer in chronic pain suppport, and for this she is to be admired. I feel she is a true Proverbs 31 woman, and she is to be praised for her selfless gift of herself to the cause of advancing awareness of chronic pain issues. She is a woman of grace, faith and hope, for which I admire her. It takes a person with a BIG HEART to live each day in chronic pain…perhaps the biggest belongs to Lisa Copen!!!! It has been sid,”Well behaved women rarely make history….Lisa is the Miss Manners of these women of history!!!!

  87. Lisa’s work has changed the lives of so many of us with chronic pain. She has made a difference in thousands of people she doesn’t even know. She does all this even though it is a hard struggle to even do daily chores. She is a

    Blessing to all of us.

  88. Lisa in an incredible woman and an inspiration to me! YES! Absolutely, she has my vote. She has selflessly given of herself to her ministry, providing encouraging and insightful articles as well as other resources to people like myself who contend with chronic pain and other and invisible illness’.

    God Bless you Lisa, and God Bless Rest Ministries!

  89. Lisa is a godsend for all with chronic illnesses. i don’t know how she manages everything she does, but she is an inspiration and encouragement to all with chronic conditions. I love and respect her tremendously and I

    have no doubt she is one of the few who truly uses the gift given her by God. Thank you Lisa. You are loved and admired.

  90. I certainly will vote for Lisa – God has blessed her and she continues to bear fruit and bless others.

  91. I woulde like to cast a vote for Lisa Copen. Her work with

    Rest Ministries is very inspirational. I look forward to a daily blessing.

  92. When I think of what all Lisa has done for ALL of us who live and deal with chronic pains I know that she is an angel sent from above to all of us. God has richly blessed me through Lisa in various ways. I have spoken with her on the phone and what a calming and soothing voice she has and I have also been in email communication with her on various things and she is such a supportive, God loving woman. Thank you Lisa for all you do for me, as just one of the many who endure this journey of living with chronic pains.

    Rest Ministries, The Sunroom and every thing that Lisa has her hand in has richly blessed me and will con’t to. I support her all the way.

    Without a doubt I nominate Lisa!

  93. Lisa certainly has my respect and gratitude for all she’s done to champion the cause of people living with chronic illness. Considering she’s a wife and a mom, AND she lives with chronic illness herself, Lisa also has my admiration for being a wonderful example of the power of love. Good on you, Lisa!

  94. my vote for LISA COPEN. what a lot of people dont realise is that her ministry reaches as far as AUSTRALIA. I hope one day we have a ministry as good as this for the sick, in Australia. Lisa and rest ministries have helped me deal with my illness.. THANK YOU LISA


  95. I wholly support Lisa in this! She and her ministry have been a support to me for many years now! I like her am a sufferer of RA and fibromyalgia and I don’t see how she does half of what she does! God bless her!

  96. Keep up the great work! You truly make a big difference to so many lives & it is so appreciated!

  97. I also am from Australia. This site Rest Mnistries is the best I have seen. I have been looking at it for years.

    I definitely 2nd the vote for Lisa.

  98. I love the Rest Ministries site!!! It’s got so much help and friendship in it. There is enough for everyone to show support for each other and it’s just the best site I’ve found for this type of illnesses. Lisa has my vote!!!!

  99. Lisa and Rest Ministries have often provided encouragement and wisdom in an otherwise discouraging and confusing situation.

    I thank God for her.

  100. I agree with those above. Lisa is a hardwork along with being a very busy wife and mom. She definitely gets my vote.

  101. Lisa Copen and Rest Ministries definitely receives my vote. This ministry is one of a kind that definitely addresses living with pain and/or chronic illnesses. May Lisa be blessed and may Rest Ministries continue to be a spot of sunshine and help in a world of darkness and pain.

  102. I have not met Lisa personally, but feel as though I know her. She is a wonderful champion for any of us who live with chronic illness and pain. He devotion to helping others, to God, her family and the battle to help all understand the world of “chronic illness and pain” through a Christian perspective is unbelievable and outstanding. There never would have been nor would there be now a RestMinistries organization without Lisa and that would be such a loss to so many. It is any wonder that I feel absolutely privileged to add my vote for Lisa 100%!

  103. Lisa’s journey and her life’s lessons have been an enormous help to me since my accident in 1992. I add my vote of 100% for Lisa!!

  104. Lisa has done wonderful things for me and MY ministry as well, trying to get support for people who are chronically ill. I, too, have an invisible illness, and it gets so frustrating for those who don’t understand.

    Cast my vote for Lisa!



  105. I would like to vote for Lisa because she is such a self-less person and I accidently found her Website. I have had RSD for 25 years and I look forward to the encouragements that I receive from her. I think that this is a wonderful group of people that contribute messages for us, especially when they just seem to “hit” how I am feeling that day. I am a Christian and have felt that we shouldn’t get depressed and take all to God..taking everything to God is wonderful, but sometimes we need to be encouraged that God did make doctors too! Thank you Lisa. This Website couldn’t be done without you behind us all the way


  106. Lisa is genuine, real. That’s what I need. Someone who talks about the bad times as well as the good. I find so many who just can’t deal with my illnesses so they pretend it doesn’t exist and if they ask how I’m doing and hear something negative I get a Polly Anna response. It’s very frustrating. Lisa tells it like it is. I love that! She encourages us to accept where we are and to try to be our best in all situations, realizing that sometimes our best isn’t so hot. Thank you for that freedom and for your incredible faith.

  107. Lisa has been an inspiration to me of what can be accomplished by someone, even if they suffer chronic pain. Her humility in service reflects Jesus’ loving hand reaching out to help the afflicted–offering His healing hand to those of us who hurt.

    I can’t figure out how to vote for Lisa at this site, but she has my vote for being one of the most compassionate women I know.

  108. The encouragement and support of Rest Ministries is vital and reaches all over the world to people living with chronic pain and illness – I live in Scotland and have been blessed by Rest Ministries for several years. I recommend it to anyone who can benefit as often as possible. Lisa Copen is a blessing, we who live with illness on a daily basis can understand the sacrifice and selflessness behind her ministry. May God continue to bless you Lisa. Thank you!

  109. I wholeheartedly vote for Lisa! She is such an inspiration as well as a blessing to so many who live with chronic illness and pain. I came across Lisa’s ministry about 10 years ago when i was newly diagnosed with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. It was a very difficult time in my life and I was very discouraged and lonely. my family, friends and co-workers did not understand what i was going through and why i could no longer work or do the things i used to be able to do. It was a real blessing to find Rest Ministries and to find that there are others who understand the many challenges of living with chronic illness and pain. Through Lisa’s ministry i have found comfort and encouragement and formed some wonderful friendships. I greatly appreciate Lisa and all the wonderful work she does despite her own many challenges with chronic illness. Lisa is genuine and compassionate, an awesome woman of faith. Thank you Lisa for all you do for others and may God continue to bless you in everything you do!!

  110. Rest Ministries has been such an encouraging site for me for many years, and I am so thankful that Lisa Copen had the initiative, and the strength to start this Ministry. The Daily Devotionals are a never-ending source of strenth for me, and the many writers “touch” on so many of the issues that I have been dealing with for 25+ years, and felt that no one else understood, but, all of these writers do indeed understand. Thank you, Lisa, and may God bless you, and your family always.

  111. I recommend Lisa! Her ministry is inspiring a generation of people whose voice is rarely heard–those who are sick. The website has been a blessing to me personally for over a year.

  112. Thank you Lisa! You’ve been such a blessing and deserve to be nominated!

  113. Lisa definatley has my vote. She is such a blessing from the Lord to many of us!!!!!

  114. Lisa has my vote… I have been enjoying the devotionals that are sent out from Rest Ministries for some time now and they have been of great encouragement to my soul! Blessings to you Lisa for being such a blessing to so many =)

  115. I recommend Lisa for this award. She well deserves it as she gives so much to others who are in pain or chronically ill.

  116. I have volunteered for Lisa Copen and Rest Ministries for over 10 years. She has given of herself continually. Her contributions to other people living with the challenges of chronic pain have helped so many. Too many to name. She continues to develop new methods to help people, while she deals with managing your own pain and handles her family responsibilities. She gets my vote.

  117. Lisa is a valuable tool in the chronic illness field. She has brought members from abroad together to learn, encourage and band together! Thank you Lisa for your many many gifts you have given the world of suffering invisibles!


  118. GO LISA! I can’t think of a better person to vote for. Lisa is such an dedicated worker for all of us having such a wide variety of invisable illness’s. I thank God for her everyday!

  119. Lisa has been a Godsend to me and all the friends I introduced her to online. She has taught me how to live with a painful, chronic illness gracefully. She has provided a place for me to go when I am scared, depressed or lonely or just need some information. Rest Ministries has allowed me to take my pain and turn it into spiritual growth for me and a small group in town! Thanks Lisa – we love you.

  120. Lisa Copen works constantly for the good of those who live with chronic illness and pain in order to make our lives better. She gives and gives of herself. She is amazing.

  121. I don’t always feel like reading much, but I know I can always count on God working through Lisa and the Rest Ministries website for encouragement. Thank you!

  122. Lisa is a Hero! The daily emails from her website have been a daily God sent Blessing!

  123. Lisa is a wonderful compassionate person. I am so thankful to know about her and the ministry that God has led her into. She is a blessing to me even though I haven’t met her, I love her like a sister, which she is, through Christ! Go Lisa! She has my vote!

  124. Lisa has heloed so many people with her ministry I think she deserves the award for sure! I have recently started a Hopekeepers group at my church and the women love it. If I hadn’t found her website and materials I would not have known where to start.. Thanks so much for all you do Lisa and I hope you get this award. You go girl!

  125. I definitely vote for Lisa Copen! Her help and encouragement to so many of us with chronic illnesses is invaluabe and a tremendous blessing!!

  126. I am honored to have the privilege to nominate Lisa Copen for the our bodies ourselves Hero awards. I have met Lisa and she is a dedicated, caring, hardworking woman whose goal is to reach all who suffer with any type of affliction. She is definitely worthy of this recognition.


    Cindy Andrews

  127. Lisa and her Rest Ministries has been such a help to me when I’m in a flare.

    She deserves this award and recognition.

  128. Lisa Copen is the one; I vote for her. She is a dedicated gal working for all of us. Anyone reading or spending any time at all in Rest Ministries will see her efforts from all available through it.

    Being a sufferer of severe chronic pain for 16 years & counting, I continuously pore through materials and sites for hope from new research. Encouragement is also a big need. There is always something at Rest.

  129. Is it possible to vote 100 times for one person who gives 100% of herself so unselfishly? I can’t think of a better to person to vote for. Way to go Lisa and keep up the wonderful work. We love you and pray for you daily!

  130. I can think of no one more deserving of my vote than Lisa Copen! She works tirelessly to support the chronically ill and their caregivers.


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