Rachel Pieh Jones
About the Author

Rachel Pieh Jones writes about life at the crossroads of faith and culture for the New York Times, Christianity Today, Runners World, and more. She is the author of Stronger than Death: How Annalena Tonelli Defied Terror and Tuberculosis in the Horn of Africa.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Wow. Thank you so much for sharing this, Rachel! Thank you so much for your encouragement! Thank you for inviting us to see a different perspective, and Thank you for taking the time to share your experience.

    I am not sure how long ago you actually wrote this, but I hope your treatment is going well and that you are doing well. Praying that God will continue to minister His healing, truth, love, strength and comfort to you and all of yours. May God give your doctors/caregivers divine wisdom. May you be encouraged and strengthened, and May your mouth be filled with testimonies and praise to God. Same prayer I am praying for myself and my loved ones. Amen. Once again, I am reminded that God comforts us so we can comfort others! Amen.

    Thank you again for sharing.
    Hugs & Blessings to you!
    Bomi 🙂

  2. Lifting you up, Rachel, this very moment before the healing presence of God.
    And praying, too, that you would sense his unwavering nearness as he draws even closer during your time of need.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing this Rachel! What a beautiful perspective you have because of your experience. I’m praying that that pill will cure you and you will be able to share that story too!

  4. Good Morning,

    Rachel as Boni said Thank you for sharing your story.
    I also Your treatment is going well & you are recovering.
    Boni your reply is so compassionate and comforting.
    God Bless you both.

  5. Thank you so much for your message, it brought back many memories for me. I too had raidoiodine nuclear therapy. I was diagnosed with hyperactive thyroid, goiter when I was 16 in the summer before my senior year of high school, long story short, I was treated with meds for several years. Then in the summer of my first year of college the doctors decided the best course of treatment would be nuclear therapy, the dose would be less than what was expelled from TMI. We live within a 30 mile radius of TMI and this was 1980, just a few years after the accident at TMI. I didn’t yet drive and had an aunt who took me for the treatment and follow up appointments.
    It was scary, needed to take a radioactive cocktail with a metallic taste and then hold a piece of metal to protect certain body parts while the tech took pictures behind a metal curtain. I survived the treatment like I survived TMI but the feeling that I was radioactive remained. The doctors reassured me that the dose was so low that I didn’t need to worry about being near people. Well the feeling was there even more so when I went to my summer job. For the summer I worked where my dad worked and had to wear hard hats. As a joke my dad added a “radioactive” warning sticker to my hard hat, thinking it would help me laugh about it all. Well it didn’t help! Made things worse since a couple of coworkers asked if I really was radioactive and if I should be working at all. When I thought things couldn’t possibly be any worse my mother died within a month of my treatment.
    I went through 2 more radioiodine iodine treatments over the next 3 years. The third treatment actually shrank the thyroid too much to where it produces a very small amount of hormone, thus I am on meds for the rest of my life anyway! And I know that even though the radioiodine degrades over time, there is always some of it in my body, as miniscule as it is. But even more so I know that God is in me too, and he is bigger and more powerful than any radiation.
    Through it all I had to lean on Christ, my faith, my family support system. Life happens and God leads us through it all for his purpose for the best life we can possibly have. We can’t see the outcome but by faith we know he has control of it all in his hands.

    • Judy,

      Thank you for sharing your heartwarming story. You have had one incredible journey that God got you through. Thank you for that perspective on nuclear medicine. Super interesting. Praying for you to stay well.

      Blessings 🙂

  6. Beautiful! A reminder that she never, ever will leave us alone! I pray Gods amazing healing over your body because of the blood of this Son, our Savior!

  7. Rachel…I do not know the feeling of “being a danger” to others, but I do know the feeling of once being healthy and capable and then have accidents and illnesses (and two brain tumors) change me into someone I did not know. My pride (because of how this changed even the way I walk) made me want to isolate and protect myself from the curious. Your words helped me refocus on Jesus this morning, and how He is here, even when I am physically alone in my home. In fact, He uses this time, to minister and heal me. I am never alone. Thank you Rachel. I too pray that you continue to recover and feel well again.

  8. Rachel Don Moen sings a beautiful song you get it on Youtube it is I Am The Lord That Health Thee. You should listen to it. The words of it are so true. Never think you are Unclean but clean as you say in the title of your reading today. As Jesud has made you clean. He went to the cross for you. You are a beautiful daughter of the King. Plus go on Youtube to get the Father Love letter. It will tell you what God really thinks about you. I will pray her in Enniskillen in Northern Ireland where I live for you for your Cancer. Just type in on Youtube the words The Father’s Love Letter. It will play for you. All so true. Plus the Don Moen song for you. Plus stand on this song also For I am standing on the promises of God The promise that cannot and will not fail. I do that I listen to thoes songs and at times the and Father’s Love letter. Plus stand on the promises in Gods word the Bible and Prayer. Especially Philippins 4 verse 19 which says, And my God shall suppy all Your Need according to His Riches in Glory by Christ Jesus. Words so very true. Even when sick and down etc. Love todays reading Love you my sister in Christ. Dawn Ferguson-Little xxx

  9. Rachel,

    Praying for God to send His healing touch to your body. May you feel God near you during this time. Thank you for sharing your heartwarming testimony. You bring out such great insight into other cultures & how they treat “unclean” people. It was thought back then that anyone with a deformity or disease must have sinned-either the person or one of the parents. Jesus turned their thinking upside down as usual. He said “no one is unclean.” We don’t have to live with a shame mentality. Jesus loves us “warts & all”. He will come near to the sick & extend His healing touch. Praying no one feels shame for having a disease or deformity. Jesus sees you as beautiful & wonderfully made in His image. No condemnation in His world!

    Blessings 🙂

  10. I had to go through this too, and it brings me back to that time. Thanks for sharing and helping me to remember God’s faithfulness.