“When I fell ill and stayed ill, I felt like God had chopped me off at the ankles. I yelped in pain and indignation, I felt painfully abandoned, diminished and finished. It took me a long time to learn that God was not out to kill me.”
Some illnesses begin with a bang, whipped off to hospital or flattened into bed. Other conditions creep in until normal life is no longer normal. Life skills are suddenly out of date. Work, socialising and hobbies are out of reach. It’s a new and scary world.
Emily Ackerman knows this world only too well. She knows what it feels like to cry out to God to relieve her suffering, to allow her to fulfil her life plans. She knows what it feels like to wait, year after year, while God works through her suffering, to fulfil his plans for her life.
This book is about fighting back. It’s about reclaiming your life now you’re ill, and finding new ways to live well and serve effectively. You’ll find survival strategies, encouragement, practical advice and fresh ways to view your situation. God hasn’t given up on you: there’s good news from the Bible about living abundantly and usefully with illness.
What people are saying
“Emily writes with the empathy and camaraderie that comes from being a fellow sufferer; the wisdom and practical insight of a doctor, and the sensitivity and gentle humour of a real friend. This book is a rare gem, a lifeline for anyone who is suffering.”Pam RhodesTV Presenter, Writer, Patron of Livability
“A breath of fresh air for anyone who needs encouragement through pain. This book will lift your spirits – a goldmine of wisdom about the practical, emotional and spiritual aspects of long term illness.”Celia BowringOperations Director, CARE
“Emily’s story is one of Christian resilience and resistance, of refusing to be crushed by adversity. Her faith in God, her biblically-inspired wisdom and her quirky sense of humour shine through. This is a book for everybody facing chronic illness, and for those who care for them.”John WyattEmeritus Professor of Neonatal Paediatrics, University College London
“God has more to teach us, more to reveal of himself, even through illness. With Emily, we can learn in a deeper way. How to keep ourselves well, how to overcome setbacks and even relapses. Her story resonates with the biblical story of Joseph, there is much for us to listen to and learn from.”Dr Rob WallerConsultant Psychiatrist; Director of Premier Mind and Soul
A note from Muddy Pearl
When I had decided to accept this manuscript for publication, I took Emily out to the Edinburgh Book Festival to see Maggie O’Farrell. We were well looked after, with seats in the front row, but Emily was a little on edge, concerned about her wheelchair, parked off to the side. I said, ‘Surely Emily, no-one will steal a wheelchair?’ ‘You’d be surprised!’ she replied, and proceeded to tell me of the time her wheelchair was commandeered, painted red and raced along a third floor balcony by the local youth. I said, ‘Emily, that story has to go in the book!’ You will find it on page 97.
Emily knows well what it is to go through difficult times. Yet she has managed to produce a pearl out of suffering. And she writes so well. She can make you smile, re-read a sentence, and laugh out loud. Which is so often the very best medicine.
David McNeill’s cover design, fantastic cartoons and little flourishes throughout brilliantly capture both the situations and experiences Emily recalls, as well as her hugely positive and cheery approach to these often intensely difficult issues.