Dear Churches, Are You Isolating People With Chronic Illnesses?

There are many battles that we face as some of us struggle with chronic illness. My aim is to help minimize these battles where possible.

I think a conversation needs to be had, one about the chronically ill and churches. I, myself, have had chronic, daily headaches and migraines for quite some time now. I have a headache 24/7, from the time I wake up to the moment I fall asleep. In the past year I have developed sound sensitivity, where loud or busy noise leads to a worse headache.

I have grown-up in the church and have often found it to be my place of rest. A place that I can go and let go of the week’s worries and focus on my relationship with God and others.

However, since developing this sound sensitivity, church has become a struggle. Loud worship music will often lead to a worse headache or even a migraine. Sometimes even the person speaking up front on the microphone has become too much for me. I have missed more Sundays than I would have liked this year alone due to anxiety of the noise.

During a church service you will find me in the foyer or outside on the church steps. It is isolating and definitely not ideal. I spend my week in isolation and do not want to spend my time at church in isolation too.

How can the church accommodate those who do not have a clear bill of health? How can the church help prevent this isolation?

This is a conversation that needs to be had between the churches and their chronically ill attendees. If this does not happen, then they will find that more and more chronically ill people are leaving the building and not returning.

Start the conversation today. If you are a member or leader of a church, ask yourself, “What can we do?”

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