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My Chronic Illness—and My Choice to Trust God

02/21/23 | 4 min read
Even though having a chronic illness is a daily struggle, it has given me an opportunity to really understand God’s love and the precious gift of agency.

I live with a chronic, debilitating disease. Because of my disease, even opening my eyes can feel excruciating at times. But every morning I get to wake up to two big blue eyes, a head full of red hair, and a big pacifier smile—my beautiful three-year-old daughter. Opening my eyes to this sight every morning reminds me that even though my body is broken, I am blessed in so many ways.

My life may not be the picture I had painted in my mind, but I know that my circumstances in life are known to our loving Heavenly Father. I have found, in this trial of illness, that choice—when used righteously—is such a blessing. You may not deal with a debilitating illness like I do, but you might be facing other heart-wrenching and difficult trials in your own life. Regardless of the trials we all face, we still get to choose every day if we will turn to God or not.

Choose to See the Miracles

In some ways, coping with the mental aspect of chronic illness can be harder than managing the physical aspect. But when I take a moment to pause and look at my life as a whole, I see the miracles the Lord daily performs for me and my family. And it’s often little things like somehow summoning up the strength to jump on the trampoline with my little girl. Those moments are the incredible gifts Heavenly Father gives me every day to show me how much He loves me and is aware of me.

Through these sweet miracles and tender mercies, I’ve learned to truly trust God with my life. When I turn it over to Him, He gives me the perspective I need in order to keep going. I have come to understand that my disease isn’t my life. My disease is part of my life. And though it is a big part of me and something that is always there, I am so much more than my illness. I am a mom, wife, sister, aunt, and daughter. In fact, I am a beloved daughter of God, and He knows me personally and loves me more deeply than I can comprehend. And that knowledge, in and of itself, is miraculous.

It’s a Matter of Perspective

President Henry B. Eyring, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, taught: “You might reasonably wonder why a loving and all-powerful God allows our mortal test to be so hard. It is because He knows that we must grow in spiritual cleanliness and stature to be able to live in His presence in families forever.”1

It can be hard for us not to view trials as punishments because they are often painful! But when we have complete trust in our Heavenly Father, we realize that everything we go through can be for our growth and eternal progression. With that perspective, we can choose to view the pain of trials for what it can be—spiritual growing pains rather than punishment pains.

I know God didn’t give me this illness to punish me; He has allowed me to be sick as an opportunity to grow spiritually even as my physical body deteriorates.

Heavenly Father Is Always There

I often think about what trials and challenges would be like if I didn’t have the gospel in my life. In today’s world, I see a lot of people struggling with their faith and turning away from God. Satan is so cunning and tries to get us to turn to the wrong sources for comfort and happiness because he “seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself” (2 Nephi 2:27). But when challenges arise—and they will—we can follow the words of Sister Susan H. Porter, Primary General President, who taught that “we can choose to turn to the Savior today for the strength and healing that will enable us to fulfill all that we were sent here to do.”2

Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are the only way to true and lasting happiness. Yes, I have a chronic illness, and I know I will endure more challenges throughout this life. But through these challenges, I have been able to see more of the blessings and goodness that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ offer us every day. I know They will be by my side every step of the way if I continue to choose to turn to Them each day.

Morgann Kletzli lives in Utah, USA. She is married to her wonderful husband and has a beautiful, sassy three-year-old daughter. Morgann has a talent for interior design; she loves to arrange rooms and pick out décor to make spaces look absolutely stunning without breaking budgets. Morgann has a firm testimony of the restored gospel and knows that Heavenly Father and the Savior are involved in our lives.

Discover More
You can find more articles about choosing happiness in the Young Adults section of the February 2023 Liahona.

Check out YA Weekly, located in the Gospel Library under Magazines or Adults > Young Adults, for new, inspiring content for young adults each week.

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1. Henry B. Eyring, “Tested, Proved, and Polished,” Liahona, Nov. 2020, 97.
2. Susan H. Porter, “Lessons at the Well,” Liahona, May 2022, 60; emphasis in original.