The Chastening (Dealing With Long-Term Illness)

This past year was a tough one for me. My eczema and side-effects of my medication usually keeps me awake at night. A lot. So during the nights, I’m praying for whoever comes to my mind, and I’m writing. And until He chooses to heal me, I’m learning to be thankful for what I’m learning, even if both my flesh and faith feels impossibly weak.

PC Alisha Mullett

So I’m writing.

I’m writing to the soul that’s done with being different; to the person who’s ready to stop trying to be. To the hypocrite who’s tired of the talk, to the weary who’s still doing the dance:

You know this dance well…

It’s been your companion in the day, when it controls your thoughts. And it’s never left your side in the night, when it kept you tossing and turning. It’s bigger-than-life in your dreams, and it feels like your whole life in reality.

…but you know this talk even better. The doctors, the questions, the theories..they are your world. You’re tired of struggling, sick of long explanations, and done swapping words with people who pity you. But sympathy is better than aloneness any day, so you’ll take it. But somehow even while people show they care, you still can’t help feeling alone. You’re sick of being sick. You’re done with being different and having problems others don’t know and can’t understand.

If this is you, keep reading.

If your health is your thorn, and you’re feeling discouraged; If you can’t seem to get better, no matter how much you try and pray and cry to be.

I get you. You may not have had a heart transplant or eczema and psoriasis and leaky gut; Maybe it’s not the same exact problem, but sickness is hard regardless of what kind it is. Some of the hardest battles one can have are the invisible ones. And the worst part of this battle?

You believe you should know better. The worry, the shame…they come as everyday thoughts. And just when you’re finding comfort in your Father’s love, you hear that your suffering is your fault. And while part of you recognizes the lies for what they really are, you still listen to them because lies can make so much sense. Shouldn’t a “legit Christian” be stronger than their doubts? 

You worry about your worry, and you forget what you should be remembering. And when life is crazy and chaos seems to break loose, there’s actually only one thing you need to remember:

Just because you feel broken, it doesn’t mean you are. If feelings could trump reality we would all be in trouble. You are always more then your problems…and whoever makes you feel otherwise is simply wrong. Don’t let the lukewarmers distract you. They’re insulting your Creator and you don’t have to please them anyway. What anyone other than Yeshua thinks of you doesn’t matter, yet it may be affecting you more than you know.

So when your battles are your life, and when you cover up you flaws. When your mustard seed is in a pink drink, and you bury the truth in an “I’m fine”.

If this is you, keep reading. Because your story isn’t over.

Normal is just a word and figment anyhow. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, life will never be “normal”. But that doesn’t matter. Remember the truth instead of building your worth on figments, and the truth may just be closer than you think. And what if you feel too weak to believe it when it comes?

Be a noodle. Be weak. You have my permission to the weakest noodle imaginable, just as long as you don’t forget to be a believing noodle. Because your pride won’t sustain you on the bad days anyhow.

Any long-term sickness will emotionally affect you more than you thought it would. I’ve discovered that a lot this past year. No my friend, you aren’t loosing your mind. And no matter how embarrassing your issues may be, you won’t find a mask thick enough to cover forever. So be real with God, yourself, and those who fiercely love you. Tell that friend how you’re actually doing. Because the point isn’t whether they can understand or not, it’s whether they care enough to try. Then be patient. And don’t forget to move on. Let Him work instead of you and keep believing that things will be better one day.

Because it will.

Yeah if this is you, keep reading…because your story is far from over.

Alisha (for the Mullett family)

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35 Responses

  1. Rusty Hostetler says:

    I’m so sry Alisha for all the pain ur going thru. Your are an inspiration to me, I’ve been traveling a very dark Rd for about ten yrs now. The things that this super hard journey has taught me, I will cherish forever. I shed tears reading this. I am adding you to my daily prayer list. I just wish I cud heal you and take ur misery and pain, but remember you have God’s favor over you all the time, in the darkest hour it doesn’t matter. It is just not ok with me to see someone in despair and not do something. May God heal you and bless you. Remember John the baptist, he was the greatest prophet ever, came preparing the way for Jesus, his life ending with being beheaded for something silly. But God’s favor was on his life and that’s all that matters. My heart aches for you, cling to Jesus.

  2. Elizabeth Klassen says:

    This is my story! Thank you so much for sharing! I am a noodle, and it doesn’t matter – as long as I am a believing noodle. Thanks!

  3. Alisha,
    Thank you for sharing your struggles about your health, and how it will effects our emotions… I can certainly see your faith in a strong God in your PAIN and the Lord is NOT wasting it even when we/you are sick and tired of being ” sick and tired”

    Love ❤️ and prayers !
    Arlene

  4. Martha says:

    Even if I don’t have health problems, I can relate to this in many other ways.Thank you for sharing Alisha.

  5. Rebecca Hoffman says:

    Alisha,
    Your words really moved me tonight as I read them. Thank you for such honesty and insight and thank you for sharing the depths of your heart and feelings. God Bless you and your Family.

  6. Japheth L Weaver says:

    Keep looking up for the trump will sound what day that will be when get re unight no more sickness .

  7. Beth says:

    When your mustard seed is in a pink drink and you bury the truth in an I’m fine….

    Wow. Those are true words in more ways than one.

    I’m new to your blog and your families ministry. Thank you writing with such honesty. Praying for you. Grateful for your ministry.

  8. Terry Dueck says:

    God bless you Alisha!
    Reading this article is as if you and I were in a room together talking about our lives! You see, most of my life I too have struggled with a skin condition that nearly drove me crazy, especially at night. Now the last 3 years my affliction has been a bad heart that plagues me every day and keeps me from living my life the way “normal ” people do. I applaud you for willing yourself to think of others when your own troubles are so large it’s hard to think past them! Our prayers are with you!

  9. David Denlinger says:

    This brings me to tears- the second time I’m reading it. My leg hurts enough to bring tears many days and I’ve now been divorced. The ugliest word in a family- centered community. The financial repercussions of that seem to be impossible to live through.
    Your lived- through words are infused with comfort- your family is a miracle. Thanks.

  10. Julia Zook says:

    Dear Alisha,thanks for sharing your heart!! 💖 I know the journey is not over ,But God is Greater , I want you to know , you are not alone. I have been struggling also with my health for very long and also long to be completely whole. I FEEL like also others think I’m lazy and many negative feelings like a noodle like you wrote. But I’m just hanging on the God’s Word and know He can heal. I have been feeling really sick the last 2 weeks trying to get over cold/ flu systems and was packing school lunches at the breakfast table and I suddenly felt God’s Presence come on me so strong and was trying to bask quietly in it 😋even tho no one around even knew. I was so thankful!! God is Still There for us !! We will not give Up Hallalujah We are fighting to the end Love & Prayers 💖🙏 Julia Zook

  11. Twila Beachy says:

    Alisha, from the bottom of my heart, thanks for sharing! I too, know the battle of not feeling “normal” most every day. Just dealing with tiredness, achy muscles, needing to be so careful what i eat, etc. And just wanting to feel normal!!! God is with us through these dark times, even tho the doctor doesn’t know what all is wrong, even when we wonder , God where are You? Yet we know & try to be thankful even when it feels like we’re groping, & supposed to be normal. God bless you richly! With Love, Twila Beachy

  12. Hope says:

    “Any long-term sickness will emotionally affect you more than you thought it would. I’ve discovered that a lot this past year. No my friend, you aren’t loosing your mind. “
    I need this reminder .. sometimes I truly wonder!!

    And yes, pain can be so lonely! This week He has reminded me of the song,
    No never alone, no never alone.
    He promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone.”

    Also, this song,
    “I live by faith
    And not by sight
    Sometimes miracles take time
    So while I wait, I will worship.”

    Waiting on the miracles with you! 💜

  13. RuthAnn says:

    If that was written while you couldn’t sleep it was worthwhile sleepless hours, God bless you for Redeeming them in the lonely nighttime. The believing noodle is soo good!😇😅 You are a champ.Sweet. kind. cute. Lovely Godly, talented and funny.love you.

  14. Charity says:

    Oh how I can so relate! After living most of my 42 years with chronic illness, it has made me question my faith, every particle of it. It has made me lose trust in people, even doctors, because of the constant misunderstandings. It has put me on countless guilt trips. It has been the result of losing friends and family. But somehow through it all I still know who I am on the inside.

    You are not alone Alicia! Thank you for giving me permission to be a noodle! 😜 I needed that! Oh and the reminder about the feelings!! Its so easy to let them rule!

    The invisibility of these illnesses is what causes these statements from the well meaning but ill informed “Oh, but you look great!” “You still can walk and rive
    , so it can’t be that bad”. “Did you try drinking more water?” ” Oh, but you were feeling so good yesterday…..”

    I encourage you to keep writing. This topic has not been handled well in churches.It seems they want to fix you instead of accept you as you are. It seems chronic and long-term illness is somehow your fault. You don’t pray enough (I hope no one ever underestimates the time Alicia has spent doing this!), believe enough or socialize enough. I think these people mean well, but they need a better understanding of what we face every day. So continue to let them know! You have the perfect platform for that!…

    Oh and the pink drink! Lol! That got me chuckling. 😜 Let me know when they introduce a purple drink that’s better! I don’t want to miss out!

    Blessings!!

  15. Blessed! says:

    Thank you so much for sharing!!! It’s so real! It’s so true!!! Not just the shame and loneliness but actually being told to get up and do, that you need spiritual help etc etc. Please hang in there! You are in my prayers!!! It’s not easy, but God is in control. Continue to cling to Him. Thanks for your inspiration and encouragement! God bless.

  16. Ann says:

    Alisha, Thank you for exposing your heart and reminding me that I am always more than my problems. When everything is going wrong at the same time, and I can’t seem to relate to anyone lately because I think they won’t understand and would consider me mentally and spiritually weak, I read your words. I relate to them so much I’m crying. You shared your pain; it comforted me. I know “the joy of the Lord is our strength”, and I need that to get me through. I pray He will shower you with joy and be very near to you, esp. in your darkest hours.

  17. Mary Ellen Esh says:

    Wow, Alisha. You are an incredible writer! Thank you for sharing. You have a beautiful heart and such a love for others. The joy of the Lord just radiates through you, in spite of all the struggles and pain. Looking forward to that glorious day of His appearing. Until then, keep on!

  18. Duane & Cindy says:

    Thank you for your kind words, Mary Ellen! And yes, we will look forward to that day.<3
    -Alisha

  19. Duane & Cindy says:

    Wow, Ann. I can tell you’ve been through a lot, and I am so sorry. You are definitely not alone. We can pray for and encourage each other as the family of God. Keep claiming that joy, sister!
    -Alisha

  20. Alisha says:

    I’m sorry for the rejection that you’ve felt, Charity. Words can hurt so much. I think humanity in general likes to “fix” instead of “accept”, not just the church. Thank you very much for your encouragement. I’ve never written as much as I have this past year, and I do intend to continue.

    (And I wasn’t quite sure if anyone would get that “pink drink”, so I’m glad it could make you smile.:)
    Many blessings to you, friend; keep being strong!
    -Alisha

  21. Alisha says:

    Aww, thanks Ruth Ann. Hugs to you! <3

  22. Duane & Cindy says:

    Both of these songs are so good! Thank you for your kind words, Hope!
    -Alisha

  23. Duane & Cindy says:

    I’m so sorry for the health illnesses you’re dealing with. But amen, He is with us even if it doesn’t seem like it. And there is always something we can be thankful for. Thank you Twila and much love and many blessings to you as well!
    -Alisha

  24. Duane & Cindy says:

    Julia, you’re such a dear. 🙂 Amen, He is with us, and it’s those precious little glimpses of His love that give us courage in the low times. I’ll be praying for you and thank you for your inspiring words.
    Keep choosing joy!
    -Alisha

  25. Duane & Cindy says:

    Dave, I’m so sorry for the hard things you’ve had to go through. I’ll be praying healing for both your leg and you invisible hurts. Blessings to you as you continue to trust Him in spite of the tough days!
    -Alisha

  26. Duane & Cindy says:

    Yeah our lives do sound similar! Especially the skin condition. I’m a normal person who gets selfish and has bad days, 🙂 but I want to become more like Him through the bad days. When I’m awake tonight, I’ll be praying for complete healing from all your troubles. Thank you so much for the encouragement! May God bless you as well, friend.
    -Alisha

  27. Duane & Cindy says:

    Well praise the Lord, Beth. Thanks for your prayers and I’m glad the blog could encourage you.
    Have a blessed week!
    -Alisha

  28. Duane & Cindy says:

    Amen Brother! 🙂 Thanks, you as well.
    -Alisha

  29. Duane & Cindy says:

    Thank you Rebecca! I’m glad the blog could encourage you. God bless you and yours as well.
    -Alisha

  30. Duane & Cindy says:

    I’m so glad you could relate to the blog, Martha. Thank you for reading it! 🙂
    -Alisha

  31. Duane & Cindy says:

    My faith is being made stronger in my pain…that’s what I keep telling myself when I get discouraged.:) As long as we have breath, God is not done redeeming any of us. Thanks, Arlene! Love and prayers right back to you. <3
    -Alisha

  32. Duane & Cindy says:

    Haha, yes. 🙂 you are very welcome, Elizabeth.
    -Alisha

  33. Duane & Cindy says:

    Thank you, my friend. Your true and kind words mean a lot. I will be praying for you as well!
    Many blessings to you and yours.
    -Alisha

  34. Anita says:

    John 9: 2-3 And His disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man or his parents that he was born blind? Jesus answered, neither did this man sin, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
    These verses caught my attention this morning in my Bible reading, and I immediately thought of them as I was reading your blog. Thank you for manifesting God’s work in your life, and may He continue to give you grace to face the hard times!

  35. Cindy says:

    Thank you, Anita! These verses are so very encouraging. Blessings to you! <3
    -Alisha

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