The young adult years are filled with change.

Chronic illness complicates all of it – independence, education, employment, social activities, dating, and relationships with family and friends. But it can also cultivate both strength and resilience as we learn to navigate pain, loss, suffering, and adversity, discovering what really matters.

Teens & Young Adults

Our program grew from our desire to care for our teens and young adults in tangible ways, stemming from a delightful notecard set originally designed by one of our young adult Creative Contributors. A kind word when you are hospitalized, homebound, or having a tough time is a gift, reminding us that we are not alone.

Empathy and kindness can make a big a difference in the lives of those affected by chronic illness. Old-school letter writing is a nearly lost art today, but through our #PenToPaper program, we hope to rekindle it! Our notecards and stationery might just inspire you to share a little bit of old-school kindness with someone on their own journey through chronic illness or pain.

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” (1 Thes. 5:11) Our Pass It On program is a perfect place to encourage and build each other up as we climb the difficult mountain of chronic illness. Do you have go-to books, blogs, podcasts and more? We’d love to know! Share them through Pass It On and help our resource listings grow!

You Get Mail!

Teens and young adults, we invite you to sign-up for #PenToPaper packets designed especially for you. Fun, edgy, and transformational snail mail will wing its way to your mailbox several times a year. Sign-up today, and invite a friend!  (Safe and secure.) 


This set of 4 Photography Notecards will bring a bright touch to anyone’s day. Send a note of encouragement or a handwritten prayer to let someone you know how much you care.

Click here to purchase.

{#PenToPaper not only encourages young adults with chronic illness; it also provides the inspiration to write letters to classmates, friends, and loved ones to remind them that they are not alone.
Elyse O.
Knoxville, IA
{As a young person dealing with with many chronic illnesses, it can be all too easy to feel isolated. I'm so grateful for Chronic Joy reminding me I'm not alone at all. Scrolling the Prayer Pond, using the Printables, and seeing the daily social media posts all encourage me so much. I especially love the #PenToPaper program. I know how much fun it is to receive a letter or postcard when I'm not able to get out much, and #PenToPaper makes it easy to share the love with others!
Hailey H.
Cumming, GA
{As someone with chronic illness, I am very encouraged by the mailings from Chronic Joy. The information included in each mailing is always helpful and inspirational, and I love receiving the beautiful note cards on which I can write a special message of encouragement and pass on to others. The Chronic Joy team does an amazing job of connecting faith and Scripture with great resources that will bless all who receive these wonderful #PenToPaper gifts.
Emerson M.
Columbia, MO
{Letter writing is such an easy, but powerful way to communicate love and encouragement to those who need it. I invite my generation of chronic illness warriors to risk reaching beyond their comfort zone to bless those around them.
Sara W.
Cotttonwood, AZ

Prayer for Teens & Young Adults

Chronic illness is hard. Often finding and/or being a part of a community as a teen and young adult with chronic illness as a constant companion can be even more challenging.

You’re invited to the Chronic Joy Prayer Pond, a community rippling with radical hope and compassionate change. A place where you can share your prayer requests, updates, and shouts of praise. Whether a request, praise, lament, suffering, loss, hope, grief, or joy, each prayer ripples far beyond this day and the boundaries of our world.
How often we hear, “Prayer is the least I can do,” when in reality, prayer is the most we can do. 

Sick Teens and Twenties with chronic illness.

Blog Posts

Featured Books

Why Am I Feeling Like This? A Teen's Guide to Freedom from Anxiety and Depression

Dvid Murray

If you have experienced anxiety or depression, you may have asked yourself, Why am I feeling like this? You are not alone. Meet eighteen teens who have struggled with different types of anxiety or depression. This guide will help you discover not only the common causes but also the keys to unlock their chains. By utilizing God-given truths and tactics, you can experience new liberty, peace, and joy in your life.


He's Making Diamonds

S. G. Willoughby

Are you a teenager trying to navigate faith through chronic illness? I’m here to tell you, you are not alone. When sickness takes over your life, it’s a never-ending battle to make it through each day. How do you cope? How do you keep fighting? Most of all though, how do you find God in the midst of the suffering? Through my own journey of sickness, I’ve struggled with the same questions—questions we all think but are afraid to ask.


I Still Dream Big: Stories of Teens Living with Chronic Illness

Penny B. Wolf

One day you're hanging out with friends at the mall, playing basketball at school, dreaming about your latest crush, and the next you're in the hospital hooked up to tubes and wondering whether or not you'll ever feel normal again. Getting sick was never part of the plan. No matter what the diagnosis, teens with chronic illnesses share one thing in common: their lives have been changed forever. Seventeen personal stories will inspire us.


Emily: My True Story of Chronic Illness and Missing Out On Life (Louder Than Words)

Emily Smucker

Emily's the sick one . . . all of the time. Plagued with some sort of cold or fever or bizarre aches and pains for much of her life, Emily thought the dizziness and stomachaches at the start of her senior year were just another bout of "Emily flu." But when they didn't go away, she knew something was seriously wrong. Eventually diagnosed with the rare and incurable West Nile virus, Emily watched her senior year and the future she had planned for go up in smoke.


Even More

Millennials and Chronic Illness – 13 Things


With chronic illness, every day is an adventure! Some days, we’re on top of the mountain and others, about as low in the valley as we can go. It isn’t a life we would have chosen, but it is one we’re learning to walk through with courage, tenacity, humor, and grace. We are so much more than our illnesses!

“Some days I can conquer the world. Other days it takes me three hours to convince myself to take a shower.” Unknown

Chronic Illness – 13 Things That Might Resonate

  1. We never know how we’ll feel from day to day or even hour to hour.

    • “If opening your eyes, or getting out of bed, or holding a spoon, or combing your hair is the daunting Mount Everest you climb today, that is okay.” – Carmen Ambrosio

  2. Lists of intention, instead of lists of “to do” are a must-have tool! They keep us on track, get the details out of our heads, and are a great place to problem-solve.

    • Make a list of the things your illness actually does prevent you from doing, and then a list of workarounds for each limitation.” Linda Rodgers

  3. “Chronic” is a difficult word to accept and it requires both determination and courage. Tears are not only OK, they are a necessary way to work through the loss, grief, and trauma of chronic illness. 

    • “There is no need to be ashamed of tears, for tears bear witness that a man has the greatest of courage, the courage to suffer.” Viktor Frankl

  4. The words, “Have you tried…?” are an uncomfortable conversation-starter. If a treatment, medication, or supplement exists, we’ve probably either tried it or already talked to our doctors about it. There’s just no easy way out of that conversation. 

    • “Going through things you never thought you’d go through; will only take you places you never thought you’d get to.” Morgan Harper Nichols

  5. Some days are a struggle. It might be symptoms, pain, exhaustion, having to say “no” to one more invitation, losing a friend to illness, feeling trapped financially, too many appointments in a row … sometime it’s all just a lot to manage.

    • “When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it …” Henry Ford

  6. The Pain Scale is a pretty ineffective way to communicate pain.

    • “We are conquerors, we are survivors, but we are also sufferers. It is commonly misunderstood that a person cannot be both, but I wake up and go through each day understanding the reality of my health circumstances, which includes being honest with myself and those around me.” Devri Velazque

  7. We want to be invited, even if we’re not able to go.

    “So this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.” Stephen Chbosky

  1. We would love to be spontaneous, and “live a little,” but we really do have to pay attention to what we eat, how much we drink, what we did yesterday or need to do tomorrow, sleep, medication schedules, temperature, sun exposure … the list seems endless, and it really is a pain!

    “Chronic illness is hard. It’s a new life. All I knew has gone. It’s different now. I’m not depressed, I’m grieving. There is a difference. And it’s normal.” Georgina E. Banks


  2. Dating is complicated. How much do we tell someone about our illness? When? First date? Second date? Not till we get serious? When do we discuss the impact of illness on marriage, children, finances, work?

    • “…to all the men and women out there who are daunted by illness, I encourage you to get to know a person whose health may not be perfect. No, it may not be the easiest life, but you may never know the compassion that humanity holds until you meet someone with a chronic illness.” Anand Omprakash

  3. College comes with so many questions! Can we manage a full-time course load? Should we attend part-time? Can we live on campus? What about roommates? Should we commute? What about food and managing medications? How will our bodies cope with less sleep? More stress? How do we manage appointments and treatments? What about hospitalizations?

    • “We must be willing to let go of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” Joseph Campbell

  4. How will illness affect our ability to work? Live on our own? Afford insurance? Manage healthcare?

    • “Behind every chronic illness is just a person trying to find their way in the world.” Glenn Schweitzer

  5. We have hopes and dreams for our future even when we don’t talk about them. It just feels risky sometimes to put them into words in a life with so much loss.

    • “Hope doesn’t require a massive chain where heavy links of logic hold it together. A thin wire will do … just strong enough to get us through the night until the winds die down. Charles R. Swindoll

  6. Sometimes we’re quiet, not because we don’t want to talk, but because we don’t have the words to describe what we actually feel.

    • “Please be patient with me. Sometimes when I’m quiet, it’s because I need to figure myself out. It’s not because I don’t want to talk. Sometimes there are no words for my thoughts.” Kamla Bolaños

“Maybe life isn’t about avoiding the bruises. Maybe it’s about collecting the scars to prove that we showed up for it.” Hannah Brencher



Only 7 SecondsRemember that time when you felt like disappearing and were sure no one would even notice? That moment was real. So real, that millions are experiencing the same moments of hopelessness in their daily lives. Your story is important. Isolation, depression and anxiety are real, and they have a bigger effect on our lives than we realize. It only takes seven seconds. Send one simple message. You could impact a life, forever.

“Because of everything my family went through with my son and what our small town had faced, I felt led to create a movement called #only7seconds.” The goal of the movement was simple: spread kindness through thoughtfulness. “Take seven seconds out of your day to send a text telling someone that you are thinking of them.” To Kristin, this simple thought meant everything. “You never know if that text could be the one thing giving them an inkling that life is worth living.”

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