Stuff I Wish You’d Quit Saying: You Don’t Look Sick 8

Stuff I Wish You’d Quit Saying: You Don’t Look Sick

Stuff I Wish You’d Quit Saying: You Don’t Look Sick

“You don’t look sick.”

And you don’t look senseless, still, here we are.

Yeah, that was harsh.  I guess, in all fairness too tough as I assume most folks think, “You don’t look sick,” is a compliment.

But, if you are chronically ill or suffering it isn’t a compliment. And I don’t know why because I don’t want to look sick. Truth be told I have said this before to some sufferers.  I imagine this topic could’ve been a toss up; I mean if you said, “OH MY GOSH! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU??? YOU LOOK LIKE YOU MIGHT DIE!”

I might unleash a little snark on you.

But, “You don’t look sick?” has an accusatory tone. Like, “You seem fine? What are you whining about?”

I do have an autoimmune disease, and I do function several degrees below what I deem normal – or where I want to be performing – but for the most part, I don’t look sick.  And I have a few friends that have chronic illnesses or chronic pain. I catch myself watching them closely.  They aren’t complainers. They are spiritually in tune to their sufferings and the God that carries them through.

I have a beautiful friend who suffers from chronic pain. Xochi E. Dixon has a zeal for God and her people. She champions others who suffer and is a positive role model to those around her.  Once in a group, she did candidly discuss her latest treatment option, and someone whispered to me, “What is she talking about? She doesn’t look sick?”

But she is.

She’s terribly injured.

[clickToTweet tweet=”“You don’t look sick?” has an #accusatory tone. Like, “You seem fine? What are you #whining about?”” quote=”“You don’t look sick?” has an #accusatory tone. Like, “You seem fine? What are you #whining about?””]

I can recognize the look on her face, the exhaustive effort of being one step ahead of the pain, the importance to her that she encourage God is enough – even in unbearable agony, a monkey on your back, the elephant in the living room… her God puts the glow in her cheeks, the song in her heart, and the sparkle in her eyes.

No one wants to be a whiner. I know I try to avoid always complaining lest my husband begins to scream. However, usually, he can tell by looking at me. Too tired to function, the tender footsteps or the blatant cessation of the use of my right arm, and he may actually say, “Sweetie… not feeling well?”

Granted my hair and makeup might be impeccable. I might laugh or joke with the kids, cackle out a little praise and worship while making a pot of clam chowder. There are tactics, prayers, medicine, and cat napping in the pick-up line at dance class (please, lay off the horn.) But the illness impacts my life exponentially, and I know there will be several who identify with the defeat of being a chronic sufferer.

You don’t look sick.

Comparatively, there are those who are sick and look sick and experience the defeat of not pulling off the masquerade. The somber self-hatred or belief they have yet to achieve the spiritual awakening that would separate them from the pack. That Jesus is further from them, they need only try harder, pray more, sin less.

Nope.

Nope.

Nope.

Certainly, just as there are different levels of illness and pain, there are days or weeks that are harder or easier than others. However, Jesus is consistently Jesus. The blood was enough, the sacrifice worked, and your 3rd and 4th discs maybe slipped, but He is no less or no more to you than anyone. He is all in, He is all yours and He sees you as blameless and perfect.

Furthermore, I beg you to listen, He isn’t teaching you or showing you anything. The devil is the bad news – he roams about seeking to destroy. First on his list, make you believe that Jesus is something He isn’t. Second, make you think you deserve to suffer or that you are being taught something by a bi-polar and wrathful God.

God’s wrath was resolved on Calvary.

Jesus came to heal, bind up the broken hearted, and give you life… ABUNDANTLY.

Unfortunately, words like, “You don’t look sick?” or “God won’t give you more than you can handle!” or “God is teaching you something!” to the sufferer is the damaging seed which flourishes under the category of “God is a horribly abusive parent.”

Reject that lie.

Embrace this truth.

He is crazy about you.

I wish I had known this sooner.  A doctor once told me to “embrace this sickness from the Father who gives and takes away.” Only recently did I learn the God who “gives and takes away” was a reference Job made in the throes of his suffering.  God didn’t take away from Job? Satan did. And God restored. Furthermore, God allowed Satan to mess with Job but not to teach him anything, but to prove him faithful.

Just because it was in scripture doesn’t mean it was intended to be distributed in any ole’ context.

God is Father. My dad is pretty fantastic, but even when I have needed correction he hasn’t broken my leg or covered me in boils. Those things are straight from the fiery depths. God in His goodness and communion might then walk with us and show us that which is beneficial, but he isn’t on high dishing out fibromyalgia or diabetes.   And consequences for our decisions are fully the penalties of our humanness, but just like you wouldn’t chastise a child to the point of needing a wheel chair, God doesn’t teach you by designing destruction.

Stuff people say is just that – people.

Not God.

And while He doesn’t think you look sick, He knows what you need, what you are missing, and how to help you.  The deliverance might not look the way you want on earth, but the God of restoration has only good things planned for those who call on Him.

Ignore the fracas, the pompus, and uninformed… He moves how He moves, He saves how He saves. He is the Alpha Omega and the Great I am.  The longer I have been sick, the more I have learned He isn’t in the business of offending or hurting me.

People say stupid stuff.  Every word He utters is Love…

He alone knows every detail of what you look like… and He thinks you’re stinking outstanding!

May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained. Love, Jami

Psalm 18:2 (NLT) “The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.”  

Take a minute to read:  Three Things Every Christian Must Stop Saying!

 

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Check out my friend Christine Carter’s book for help and hope while you are healing!  Christine is wise and beautiful. Such an enjoyable soul with a delightful gift for words and insight! You can also follow Christine on Facebook or her popular blog site TheMomCafe.com 

https://www.amazon.com/Help-Hope-While-Youre-Healing/dp/0990830330\

Click here to learn more!!!

 

 “Help and Hope While You’re Healing: A woman’s guide toward wellness while recovering from injury, surgery, or illness.” is a unique and much-needed resource for any women facing a season of healing and recovery. Christine’s working guide will lift and encourage you through this difficult season. She will walk alongside you offering wisdom and insight to grow your perspective and nourish your needs. Christine has been there, and she knows all too well, the issues you face during this trying time. This book will bring you the help and the hope you need to not only endure your recovery but be inspired to find new passion and purpose while you heal.

 

 

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You can find Xochi’s Blog by following this link. With a heart for loving God, loving people, and nurturing spiritual growth, Xochitl (sohcheel) E. Dixon encourages and equips women to experience God’s presence and embrace God’s grace, through prayerful study and application of His Holy Word. You can also read her guest posts at: www.inspirewriters.com

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26 Comments

  1. Samantha McDonald on October 19, 2016 at 4:47 am

    I absolutely love to read your blog, however this one has to be my favorite by far. “People say stupid stuff. Every word He utters is Love…” If I can remember this daily I would have no problem believing God ever again. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

    • jami_amerine on October 19, 2016 at 5:49 am

      ❤️

  2. Sasha Hansen on October 19, 2016 at 6:26 am

    LOVE this series! And this by far is my favorite . . . I am a cancer survivor. A few years ago I had acute leukemia- a nasty cancer with a low survival rate. And 4 young children. Our church blessed us by bringing meals by several times a week. During chemo, I wasn’t able to attend church often, but when my blood counts were ok, I would go, often straight from the hospital to the church. And one Sunday I had an old friend come up to me and say that she heard that I was needing meals and she had planned on sending one last week but hadn’t gotten around to it- too busy. But then she went on to say that since I was in church and “looked fine” i must not have needed the meals much and she wouldn’t be feeling bad about not sending one over. I must be fine. Never mind that the doctors were telling me that I had a life threatening cancer- she thought I looked fine. Many people told me I looked too healthy to be a cancer patient. I just didn’t know what to say to such ignorance. . .

    • jami_amerine on October 19, 2016 at 6:33 am

      Bless. That’s people. If I lived by you I would bring you a casserole.

      • Debbie Sudrovech on April 28, 2017 at 8:34 am

        Awww…me too <3

  3. Edith on October 19, 2016 at 7:29 am

    God never said He would never give us more than we can handle; He says that He will never give us more than HE can handle! And He promises to sustain us. And, these this suffering will not last… “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”

  4. Colleen Phillips on October 19, 2016 at 8:15 am

    Love this. Thank you so much for your candid approach. We need it!! As a good friend of Xochi, what you said about her is so true. And now I know this about you, too.

    • jami_amerine on October 19, 2016 at 8:19 am

      Thanks friend. ❤️

  5. Lisa @ The Meaning of Me on October 19, 2016 at 9:28 am

    Just started reading here recently – sent by the lovely Christine Carter! I live this and am so glad to read your story. I’m glad to look “not sick” with my RA, but at the same time there are days I wish people would understand that yes, I do need to use this handicapped bathroom stall and no, I can’t bend all the way down to the back of that bottom grocery shelf. It’s a frustrating balance some days. I find my biggest struggle is me – I don’t want to be held back, slowed down, or anything else. So when I have days that I am, I get angry. Working on that!

    • jami_amerine on October 19, 2016 at 9:31 am

      Blessings on you.

  6. Victoria Penry langdon on October 19, 2016 at 11:52 am

    My husband was very ill for a long time. The pain never let up even with meds. He LOOKED sick. People never said to him what they say to you instead they avoided him. I think that is equally devastating to a person. What we don’t realize individually is that we are all sick. Sick with sin. Some show it some do not. Some look healthy some don’t. Some realize their condition some do not. I used to get angry at the way he was treated, but I finally learned that if I said a short prayer for the one eh avoided him my anger left me and I know that they were better for my forgiveness. BYW. I too know Xochi. No better example of God’s love can be found.

    • jami_amerine on October 19, 2016 at 12:07 pm

      Amen. Amen.

  7. Stephanie Thompson on October 19, 2016 at 1:46 pm

    I love everything about this post! As the parent of a daughter with a mood disorder, God has grown my passion for those fighting “invisible” illnesses. People throw all kinds of phrases out there in an attempt, I believe, to recognize that life is messy. God cannot be put into a box based on our expectations. What we can do is hold to the promises given to us in and through scripture and lean on Jesus who is the Word incarnate.
    “Ignore the fracas, the pompus, and uninformed… He moves how He moves, He saves how He saves. He is the Alpha Omega and the Great I am. ” Yes! and Amen!

    • jami_amerine on October 19, 2016 at 1:47 pm

      Amen!

  8. Stephanie Thompson on October 19, 2016 at 1:47 pm

    * I meant “not believe” that life is messy.

  9. Stephanie Thompson on October 19, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    * I meant “to avoid believing” that life is messy.

  10. Stop Ruining Jesus for Everyone on October 20, 2016 at 4:17 am

    […] I posted on chronic illness, a commentator said that one such church lady, an apparently, “anointed” parishioner told […]

  11. Terry K. on October 21, 2016 at 6:54 am

    I remember the last time my husband attended church. It was the Sunday after Christmas and I was presenting the music for the service. He always loved to hear me sing, and really the only time he attended services was when I sang. Anyway, he was only about a month away from death, and the cancer had reduced him to about 115 lbs. He did have any “good” clothes that fit and very little strength left, but he dragged himself to church to hear me sing. One of the busy bodies of our congregation approached him before the service and told him it was good to see him in church this morning and “You’re looking good.” As someone who never suffered fools lightly, my husband just looked a this guy and said, “No I don’t. And we both know it.” I laughed out loud. One of the last good laughs I had with him. I will always remember that.

    • jami_amerine on October 21, 2016 at 6:55 am

      Bless him. That’s awesome.

  12. Leigh on October 22, 2016 at 1:12 am

    When I was diagnosed with and autoimmune disease nine years ago my rhuematologist warned me about the people who would not understand my physical problems because I didn’t look sick. What you have written here resonates so strongly with me. Thank you.

    • jami_amerine on October 22, 2016 at 4:16 am

      Thank you, and I am sorry for your pain. That is a tough diagnosis. Bless you.

  13. Regina Sullivan on January 6, 2017 at 5:07 am

    I’m so glad you reposted this one today. I am not having a good week physically. My old friend (not) fibromyalgia along with the advanced degenerative disc disease, plus everything else has sort of wiped me out this week. I have been cuddled up with my favorite blanke in my favorite chair and just trying to make it through the day. Breathing has been difficult and the fluid is getting worse. God is still good….always. I’m so thankful for you, and how God uses you. I’m glad you found this new Grace In God and no longer see Him as a tyrant that is bipolar. I remember finding that a few years back…..it changed my whole life. I have an intimate relationship with Him that nothing else could ever compare to. I may hurt all day, every day, and I may struggle to breathe, and my heart may never beat in the correct rhythm, but I am the daughter of the Most High God and I walk in His favor! One day my healing is coming, either way, here on Earth or when I take my first breath in Heaven….it does not matter. He holds me in the palm of His hand.
    Be Blessed my friend! and Keep on Writing!

    • jamiamerine on January 6, 2017 at 7:32 am

      ❤ praying prayers of restoration my friend.

  14. I'm chronically with you. | Sacred Ground Sticky Floors on January 18, 2017 at 9:10 pm

    […] the body temperature to match. I chronically dread the change of seasons. I am chronically told I don’t look sick?  And then I get a chronic headache. And all I want to do is sleep and eat processed […]

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  16. Kathy Lee on October 29, 2018 at 8:59 am

    I have cervical dystonia in the right side of my neck. It’s hard for people to see that I struggle hard every day in constant pain. I have to take pain meds or I would be on the floor screaming in pain! CD takes my energy and people don’t get that. It causes many secondary problems. Reading these articles is like “she gets exactly what I live with daily”.

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