Trusting in God After Losing My Voice - A Letter from Alyssa Grace Castricone

Alyssa Grace Castricone

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Dear Sisters in Christ,

Trust. If there was one thing I could tell you that has completely transformed my life, it is all rolled up into one, simple, five letter word. Trust. I’ve spent most of my life wound up in places and down paths that I would have never expected. To put it simply, life has pretty much gone in the complete opposite direction than what I thought I wanted for myself. But that’s ok. Because of trust.

"If there was one thing I could tell you that has completely transformed my life, it is all rolled up into one, simple, five letter word. Trust."

God has been writing quite the story with my life. A story far more wild, adventurous, thrilling, exhilarating, and challenging than the simple life I set out for myself. At the age of 20, I was working in the two places where I was most passionate: figure skating and high school youth ministry. As former competitive figure skaters, my sister and I coached group and private skating lessons during the week, and on the weekends you’d find me at my local parish, working as an intern under the youth minister, and starting college classes in catechesis and dogmatic theology. Just like any other 20 something, I had a big dream and an even bigger plan. Or so I thought. But little did I know, those were not the plans God had in store for my life.

"Just like any other 20 something, I had a big dream and an even bigger plan. Or so I thought. But little did I know, those were not the plans God had in store for my life. Life took an unexpected turn when the loud, outgoing, talkative me was no longer able to talk."

Life took an unexpected turn when the loud, outgoing, talkative me was no longer able to talk. Yup. You read that right. After months of struggling with hoarseness and voice fatigue, I was diagnosed with permanent left vocal cord paralysis. Take notice, I used the word permanent. Permanent. Phew! That’s a pretty daunting word, right?

Walking into the doctor's office that day, I would have never expected how much my life was going to significantly change. They went from thinking that maybe all of this was just caused by allergies, or maybe even some kind of weird virus, to permanent damage all being the result of a possible tumor. I remember so vividly crying in the bathroom of the doctor’s office, praying that God would somehow make all of this go away. All of the unknowns and uncertainty started flooding my mind with millions of questions, making my heart race a million miles per hour. I was filled with every kind of feeling of utter devastation and defeat.

"After months of struggling with hoarseness and voice fatigue, I was diagnosed with permanent left vocal cord paralysis. ...Walking into the doctor's office that day, I would have never expected how much my life was going to significantly change. ....I remember so vividly crying in the bathroom of the doctor’s office, praying that God would somehow make all of this go away."

I was no longer able to coach. I was no longer able to direct games, lead small group discussions, or give talks to high school teens. I had to quit both of my jobs and ended up not having a voice for 3 very long years. But that’s ok. Because of trust.

Not having a voice for those 3 years was by far one of the most difficult, trying, and frustrating things I have ever come to experience. But God worked in so many miraculous ways, and in even more ways I’m sure, that are still unknown to me. And as crazy as this is going to sound, one of those ways was my vocal paralysis being a huge blessing in disguise. How, you ask? Because of trust.

"Not having a voice for those 3 years was by far one of the most difficult, trying, and frustrating things I have ever come to experience."

To rewind a bit, back when I was 13 years old, I had been hospitalized, had an emergency lung surgery, and ended up being diagnosed with what my doctors called an “undiagnosed lung disease.” In a roundabout way, my doctors were telling my family and I, that something wrong was going on in my lungs, but they weren’t quite sure what it was. It was something that they had never seen before. I was what they called a “medical mystery” and my family and I were left with more questions that never got answered. Until an unfortunate turn of events 8 years later, when I ended up losing my voice. All because of trust.

My vocal cord paralysis was the puzzle piece that was missing, the piece that my doctors were able to put together to figure out what was wrong with my lungs, to bring about a diagnosis after so many years of not knowing what was wrong. After 8 years of living with an “undiagnosed lung disease” that lung disease, finally had a name. And it all came about because of a new cross ... a cross of not being able to speak, sing, laugh, coach, converse, and even share the Gospel and evangelize ... a cross that God allowed in my life to use for an even greater purpose, that at the time, was beyond my knowledge and understating. But He allowed it all to unfold in this way, and I trusted Him. I not only trusted Him, but I promised Him that if He ever allowed my voice to return, I would use my voice all the more for Him.

"And it all came about because of a new cross ... a cross of not being able to speak, sing, laugh, coach, converse, and even share the Gospel and evangelize ... a cross that God allowed in my life to use for an even greater purpose, that at the time, was beyond my knowledge and understating."

God’s grace led one thing to another, and even though my doctors told me that I would never have a voice again, once again, God had a different idea. He led me to a doctor who offered to perform a surgery on my vocal cords, and even though my left vocal cord would still be paralyzed, he informed me, that this surgery could help my voice improve up to 90%. It’s a long story, and I wish I could share with you all of the details in this letter, but with a two inch incision across my neck, and a “gortex rubber” vocal cord implant in my throat, after 3 long years of silence, this girl hasn’t shut up ever since!

"It’s a long story, and I wish I could share with you all of the details in this letter, but with a two inch incision across my neck, and a “gortex rubber” vocal cord implant in my throat, after 3 long years of silence, this girl hasn’t shut up ever since!"

I still have a lung disease. I still have a permanently paralyzed left vocal cord. I still have vocal limitations and I still battle chronic illness every single day. But trusting God and watching Him work in and through my suffering has been the greatest adventure of my life. He has taken all of my pain, all of my suffering, all of my crosses, and turned it into something so incredibly beautiful.

And He wants to write a beautiful story with your life too.

Now, more than ever before, I can share with others God’s faithfulness. His providence. His might. His power. His grace. His understanding. His timing. His will. His ways. And His dreams. Because dear sisters, God dreams with you. But His dreams are quite often even bigger and more extraordinary that what you could ever dream up for yourself.

"He has taken all of my pain, all of my suffering, all of my crosses, and turned it into something so incredibly beautiful. And He wants to write a beautiful story with your life too."

God will ALWAYS pave a way. And sometimes its a way that you weren’t expecting. But dear sisters, you MUST trust Him. More than you trust anyone else. More than you trust your parents, your spouse, your doctors ... even yourself. He knows what is best for you, better than anyone else. And He not only wants what is best for you, He wants what is best for your soul. Let go of control, let go and surrender, and trust God to write the most unimaginable story with your life. A story that will not only bring you the most joy and peace, but a story that will glorify Him, make you fall deeper in love with Him, and a story that will shine so brightly that it will lead all the more souls to Him.

Trust, dear sisters. God loves you. He cares for you. And He will always give you the grace to succeed. I promise you, if you trust in Him with ALL your heart, you will never be disappointed.

In Christ through Mary,

Your Sister, Alyssa Grace

"God will always pave a way. And sometimes it's a way that you weren’t expecting. But dear sisters, you must trust Him.


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Alyssa Grace Castricone The Catholic Woman

About Alyssa Grace Castricone

Alyssa Grace is a 29-year-old Catholic motivational speaker, writer, and soon-to-be published author.

Although she is unable to work full-time due to living with several health conditions (some of which include Celiac Disease as well as an extremely rare and potentially life-threatening lung disease called Fibrosing Mediastinitis, FM) she considers her “full-time job” working for the Kingdom of God by offering up her chronic illnesses on a daily basis and praying for the intentions of others. She is the founder of Alyssa Grace Speaks, a ministry focused on helping others find worth, meaning, and joy in the midst of suffering.

Despite living with multiple health challenges from a very young age, Alyssa is often found laughing and with a smile on her face. It is her deepest desire to spread that same joy and laughter to all those around her.

Some of her favorite things include: dancing around in her kitchen while making and eating gluten-free cookie dough, praying endless novenas to Saint Thérèse of Lisiuex, and playing with her 11-month-old nephew. You can learn more about Alyssa at her website Alyssa Grace Speaks or on Instagram @AlyssaGraceSpeaks.


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