Ally Hotchkiss // COVID-19 / Trusting God in times of health scares, fear, and quarantine

March 19, 2020 Trueface
Ally Hotchkiss // COVID-19 / Trusting God in times of health scares, fear, and quarantine
Ally Hotchkiss // COVID-19 / Trusting God in times of health scares, fear, and quarantine
Mar 19, 2020

On this special episode of the NEW Trueface podcast, Robby is here with Trueface Director of Systems, Ally Hotchkiss. Our world is in a shaky and scary place with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. We talk with Ally Hotchkiss, who lives with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) and helps us learn how trust is far greater than our fear.

As always, if you enjoyed this episode please share it with a friend and rate us 5 stars! 

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Show Notes Transcript

On this special episode of the NEW Trueface podcast, Robby is here with Trueface Director of Systems, Ally Hotchkiss. Our world is in a shaky and scary place with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. We talk with Ally Hotchkiss, who lives with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) and helps us learn how trust is far greater than our fear.

As always, if you enjoyed this episode please share it with a friend and rate us 5 stars! 

Support the show (

Support the show (

spk_1:   0:08
welcome to the true face podcast where we discuss principles that help us live beyond the mask. My name's Robbie angle and I'll be your guide as we learn how to increase trust and experience grace in our relationships with God, ourselves and others. Let's jump into this week's conversation. It's just taught us

spk_0:   0:33
that everyone is limited, and I think just a lot of people choose to kind of not recognized the limits that they have. And we've just learned like I win. It's kind of like giant brick walls that we don't really have a choice, but to face all the time and facing limits every single day is challenging for sure. But we've also learned that God has never left us through any of the scary moments. End of times where we wonder, What are we going to do? How are we gonna make it through this? How are we going to face this for even one more day?

spk_1:   1:23
I am super excited about this week's conversation because we have a guest, Uh, who I know Well, she has been a member of the true face team for about six years. Her name is Allie Hodgkiss. She lives in Portland, Oregon, and she is an incredibly gifted integrator operator. Her execution on details and systems is unbelievable. She's a remote team member and has become a good friend, and I am so excited for everybody out there to hear her story and meet her and get Thio, um, here what she's been going through because it's timely with everything else that's that were going through in a small dose with the cove it 19 and how that's affecting our lives. And so without waiting. Ali, welcome to the true face podcast. This is exciting. How are you doing?

spk_0:   2:18
Thanks, Robbie. I am good. That's it. Is

spk_1:   2:23
it snowy? Is it warm? What's Portland looking like?

spk_0:   2:26
Um, it's been snowing the last few days, but today the sun is out and our shades air wide open. So we get a CZ much sunlight as we can.

spk_1:   2:36
That's awesome. That is better than Portland. Rain. Um, eso Ali. I want to jump in. I want you to give some context about your family and about your life, particularly what God has been doing in teaching you with the house stuff. But first, give us just general context of what of your family and then share with us your story of your health journey over the past few years.

spk_0:   3:03
Okay. Um, well, I've been married to my husband, Teddy, for five and 1/2 years, and we have two little daughters, One who is two and 1/2 and one who's nine months old, and they are wonderful. Um, I used to live in Phoenix, and that's where I started working with true face. And then four years ago, we moved up here, and so I've been virtual working on the team. Um, yeah.

spk_1:   3:32
How old are you, Allie?

spk_0:   3:34
I'm 30.

spk_1:   3:36
So Ah, normal. 30 year old life with two little girls in the home. Two and 1/2 in nine months.

spk_0:   3:44
Yeah. Yeah, Well, I don't I wouldn't say normal 30 year old life. Um, but, no, I am 30 and I have two girls.

spk_1:   3:54
Tell us what Ah, how your life has been different than what you would have predicted or assumed 10 years ago. Give us some context and walk us through the journey that you've been on with with the health issues that you've been dealing with.

spk_0:   4:10
Um, yeah. So 10 years ago, I I think that I would have thought by now I would have like a great career and my husband would have a great career and we would just have a life that looks a little bit more like what it seems like. Everyone else's life looks like a bit more traditional and standard. And instead we have a life that we don't really know anyone that has a life quite like ours. Um, my husband stays home full time as our caregiver for our daughters and for me, Um and yeah, things just look totally different. I work virtually whatever hours I can do. Um, and I'm incredibly grateful for getting to still be with true face because it's incredibly life. Giving to me to have this team and have this is pretty much one of my main connections with the outside world because we don't really leave our house. And it's been like this for it's been to this extent for about a year and 1/2 now. So, yeah, things air different than the standard life. Um, I have a condition called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, and I was diagnosed with that about a year after we got married, but that diagnosis was 16 years coming. Um, at least it had been 16 years since I started showing the first signs, but it's a rare condition, and it just took that loan until I was 25 to actually get an answer for what was going on. Um and then in the past, it's been almost five years. In the past five years, things have just decreased down at a very quick ratan. More diagnoses have been added, and it's just been a journey that we didn't expect and anticipate. Um, but one that God is still continued to be so good during and has taught us a lot about who he is and how much he loves us. Um, so, yeah, it's been an interesting journey.

spk_1:   6:28
I didn't know anything about E. T s Eller Dander syndrome before we met. Um, I I know you were a dancer in high school, but you said you saw indicators of this thing coming that was then diagnosed a 25. Give us talk about the high level progression of what that physical ah changed what those physical changes look like. Over the years,

spk_0:   6:53
I had a lot of pain as a kid and it just kept growing. Um, even as like a teenager and a kid, we tried to get answers when I was kid, but doctors just kind of said like, Oh, we don't know what's wrong or it's probably this other thing or you'll probably grow out of it or things like that. But it just kept progressing. Um, each year would just be slightly worse than the one before. Um, and it kept going and going, and I had to quit dancing. I had to quit doing a lot of the things that I loved. But I was definitely I lived in the room of good intentions, I think. And I really liked my mask of being a high achiever and a perfectionist and everything. So I fought really hard to keep up with everyone else, um, and not let anyone really know what was going on. Um, I I doubt anyone in my high school really knew that how many nights I would spend just crying at night because of all of the joint and nerve pain and all of the things that I would have to cope with every night after school. Um, because I think on the outside. I just worked really hard to pretend that I could keep up, Um, in total. Eventually, I couldn't do that anymore. And I didn't really get a choice. Um, so yeah,

spk_1:   8:23
is e d s given How does it affect the body? What? What is it?

spk_0:   8:30
So others Demo syndrome. It is a connective tissue disorder, and it basically it's Ah, collagen. It's a genetic disorder where collagen is made incorrectly in the body. So it affects a lot of things, from like the veins to the organs to the fashion to all of the joint. So I can dislocate or sub Lexx ate almost every joint in my body even once that you think you couldn't do that to like the little bones inside my ears and things like that. So it's pretty widespread on me. Um, some people have it and that they're not really affected that much. And then it's a spectrum thing, and I just happen to be a little bit farther on The spectrum, along with some co morbidity, is that it caused which are other conditions. So it's turned into a really complicated thing that greatly effects every single day of my life, Um, and takes a lot of time and effort to try and manage and just get through each day. Um, and still have, like, ah, positive life with a lot of complications and scary things.

spk_1:   9:43
And this got worse the past couple years. Uh, since particularly the pregnancy with Ada?

spk_0:   9:51
Yes. So having my first pregnancy was hard, and I was very sick during it. Um, but we just kind of thought maybe this is a one time thing. Um, we hoped that I would recover after that pregnancy and go back to how it was right before it. But that didn't happen. But things still like I could still walk around for the most part in things like that. So eventually we were just gonna have one kid because I didn't think that I could go through all of that again. But then we heard that start like that still small voice that was telling us. Trust me with this. Trust me with one more child, trust me. And I didn't want to, But eventually God won me over. And, um, I agreed to trust him with it, and I definitely had hoped that maybe that means the second pregnancy will be a lot better than the 1st 1 was, um but it ended up being significantly worse. It made it to where I didn't have a choice anymore. But to become a wheelchair user, Um, and I have not. My daughter's nine months old, and I just have never been able to go back to how it was even before that pregnancy, which wasn't all that great of a place. But, um, yeah, it's been difficult trusting God through something like this, and the last three years of our life really have been very difficult and, um, challenging. But they've taught us so much, and we honestly, we wouldn't take it back. We wouldn't choose to not go through anything because of how God has used it and refined us of the things that he's taught us through this. And also we love our little girls so much, and they're incredible. So of course they were worth it to us.

spk_1:   11:50
And so chronic pain there. There's not a window of time that goes by without pain in this and the wheelchair. Uh um has changed most aspects of your life. Azaz. You're now a wheelchair user. What what else does your life? Um, give us some examples of what it looks like and what it is limited in your day to day functioning.

spk_0:   12:19
So we I'm not really able to leave the house very often. Um, it just cost so much that we leave about two times a month. Pretty much, um and it usually is like, one or two hours at a time. Um, and sometimes even one hour out will take me two or three days to recover from how much pain it causes. Um, that's so even. Yeah, it costs a lot physically to leave and to go out and do things. Um, so it's kind of like we have to sacrifice to be able to go out into the world, and sometimes it's worth that price. And then other times, it's just too high for us to pay for us to still be ableto have a normal functioning life on the other days. And for me to be present as much as I can with my girls. So yeah, we don't really leave, um, which has been challenging. It's been just a big change to adapt to a life of the four of us being home almost all the time. Um, my husband can leave during nap times to, like, run out and go get groceries sometimes. But then he has to come back pretty quickly because he is the one that physically takes care of our girls. And I am their toe provide emotional support to them and just to be present with, um um But it was a

spk_1:   13:48
fun getting to visit you. Ah, a few months ago and just the joy of in the home with Aubrey and eight. And Teddy, Uh, it's it's incredible to me because I have fears of, um, limitations and unknowns physically of something happening that derails expectations and changes, expectations and changes. Everything that we all assume, um, and the Peacefulness and the join your home was such a blessing to me to be able to see And because I I get to see your cadence every week and, um, it is that easy. Is it difficult? How

spk_0:   14:32

spk_1:   14:32
the world do you ah, have the Peacefulness and the thankfulness, or does that come in waves? What is this journey been like in regards to your faith in relationship with Lord?

spk_0:   14:46
I would say we definitely have days where it doesn't feel like that. What, At least hours, Um, some days it's really hard to have a life like this, and it definitely will affect us, or we'll just have days where we're kind of sad and we're like, we didn't choose this life. We, um we didn't know that this was coming. We didn't know that things would progress at this rate because the doctors didn't know either. So some days we have those hard days, but in general we have a really peaceful home, and it's just taught us that everyone is limited. And I think just a lot of people choose to kind of not recognized the limits that they have. Um, and we've just learned like I win. It's her kind of like giant brick walls that we don't really have a choice but to face all the time and facing limits, every single day is challenging for sure. Um, but we've also learned that God has never left us through any of the scary moments. Any of the times where we wonder, What are we going to do? How are we going to make it through this? How are we going Thio face this for even one more day. Um, he's just taught us that you just look at one day at a time. We can't really plan much past that because things are very unpredictable with my health. Um, so we kind of do one hour at a time. But in general, it's taught us a lot about not worrying about tomorrow, not projecting too much or thinking about tomorrow too much because we really, truly have no idea what tomorrow holds. Um, are we can do is just be present where we are right now, and we're not in control, God's in control, and one day at a time, he's gonna be here with us, no matter what we face. Um, we don't think that it's true when people say God doesn't give you more than you can handle. We think that he definitely allows things that are beyond what you can handle. But it's nothing is more than what he can handle. So anything that feels too heavy for us or things that we just say, OK, we can't take any more. We can't make it through another thing. We just desperately need your, um he just shows up continually month after month, day after day, He's here and he's with us. And he takes the burdens that are too heavy for us. Um, which is really cool. We've learned so many scriptures have come to life like my burden is easy in my yoke is light. It's really true if you just cast all of it that's too heavy for you on to him. All of those fears and all of the limits and everything. He's limitless and fear doesn't come from him. So you've learned a lot.

spk_1:   17:58
I have been so blessed by your faithfulness and your thankfulness and modeling this stuff to me because it's like I look around and with the Corona virus and with the fear that is so epidemic in all of our lives. And and, um, the uncertainty, the unknown from financial stuff to job stuff too fierce for loved ones and the sickness. And how's this gonna end? Um, this is so timely and so encouraging for me. Uh, because these thes truce that you just said or so right, um and I I am just thankful for you modeling that to me and these truths that we can trust God that if it's any time that we feel like it's beyond our ability to cope, it's not above his ability to deal with it. And so when I'm feeling the anxiety when I'm feeling the chaos of what's going on in the world and our jobs and our families, with everything going on right now, we have a father that is in control, and it's a fresh reminder to trust him with the outcomes. And that is the light burden that you just said. And so often I'm carrying it like it's a heavy burden because I haven't worked the muscle to trust him to carry it therefore, feels heavy, but it's light when he carries it. And if you are incredible in your ability to trust in thankfulness and take it one day at a time and just how you have built those muscles of trust and faithfulness one day at a time, um is so encouraging to me because I have not, and I see your faith and your optimism, as you have been self quarantined for a couple of years, and the the muscles of for trusting God with his piece and Philippians 46 And don't be anxious about anything. But in every situation, by prayer and petition with Thanksgiving present, your request to God and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ. Jesus. You are ahead of me in this and I am encouraged and blessed. Um, toe have a model. And to hear your story today, what do you hope as you look around? And what encouragement do you give from this practice that you've been practicing for a few years for all of us in this time of kind of chaos and uncertainty,

spk_0:   20:37
For one we hold on to that burst that you just said and we repeat it often. Um, there handful of versus that have really helped us through this and that. Philippians one is definitely one of them. Um, it's been really helpful to just I know that we don't have to worry, even though in my flesh, I definitely worry. I worry, it's it's very easy to worry about things and tow. Worry what tomorrow will hold. Will we be able to pay this bill? What are we gonna do? How long can we make it through this season like this. Um, but with time, we've just learned that he's always there, no matter what, this has lasted way longer than we ever anticipated that it would, because we didn't see it coming. Um, we didn't know that things would spiral down as quickly and as hard as they have, but we just know that he has not left in any moment, even when we're on our knees crying out that we don't know how we can make it through this. Um, he's always been here, and he's a deeply good father, which I don't know if I would have learned the lessons as deeply as I have if we didn't have to face all of this stuff. And I think it's really cool that everyone is kind of getting a tiny glimpse of an opportunity to face these fears and acknowledge them and give them over to God, because in reality, everyone has limits. No one knows what tomorrow's gonna hold, even though we can kind of hold on to the illusion that we do. But no one really knows what tomorrow is gonna hold, and there's constant uncertainty in our world. Whether we acknowledge it or not. But God has not left us with the Corona virus with whatever each individual person is going through. He's here, and he's good and he can be trusted.

spk_1:   22:55
All right, so you've been ahead of us. You've got a head start on this daily thankfulness trust. Ah, and with anxiety. And, uh, I'm going to take this and meditating on Scripture and reminding ourselves of these truce on a daily basis toe learn to trust God with the outcomes to trust God with our anxieties. And as the the father that is trustworthy is just a fresh reminder in the season to build faithfulness and muscles of trust that you are ahead of us on. Ah, Ali, this has been awesome. Thank you for joining. Ah, so we wrap up with a couple questions for everybody. Um, first of all, what is something in your life that's life giving

spk_0:   23:43
right now in this season was so much uncertainty. It's been really cool that I've found people on Instagram that I can help encourage and say, Hey, we live like this already. Um, how can I help you be able to cope with this better, like here are some things we've learned, and it's been really cool that God is using us already. Having a lot of experience with this, too. Help other people, um, they sit and stuff like that. It's it's really great that he's using it and it hasn't just, like, gone to waste. What's

spk_1:   24:21
the longest you've gone without not leaving the apartment?

spk_0:   24:25
Um, I know, like last month. I think it was 22 days in tow. I finally got to go out and we went to the library for an hour to in the you had to come back. Yeah, it's It has taken learning how to be like that because it's not my personality, but it's my body, so I'm kind of stuck. I

spk_1:   24:49
I saw some of that stuff. You had a cool instagram post at Alley. Hotch a l l y h o T c H. If you want to check out alleys, tips and tricks for quarantine, the quarantine game. She's got some good ideas on there. Mexico Action. Who are work or what are you learning from in your reading? Listening or studying?

spk_0:   25:10
Um, one book that I just read recently was suffer strong by Katherine and J. Wolfe. And it was a wonderful book that they have, ah, completely different but still kind of similar experience in their life. And this is their second book. And there was this quote in it that really stood out to me and explained things well on what we've experienced unlearned. And it says, flourishing within our limitations doesn't come quickly or easily. It takes much practice, but in time, redefining our constraints as opportunities rather than barriers helps us expand our thinking in ways we never would have imagined otherwise. Limitations force us to look at what remains with more clarity.

spk_1:   26:01
That's awesome. That is strong. Allie, I'm so glad you are on the podcast. You do not like this kind of stuff, But you are amazing.

spk_0:   26:09
I do not wear

spk_1:   26:11
gonna be ah, moving towards Guess off the true face team. But with Aly on the team, in this time of anxiety and uncertainty, she is who I learned from in my life about this stuff. So I hope this was encouraging as encouraging to you guys as it was to me. And every other week we do this podcast On the off weeks, we've got blog's of make sure you go to true face dot or GE. We are ministry that is here to support you in these times, with messages of how to trust more deeply in the father and ourselves and others and so good and true. Face dot org's to sign up for some of that stuff. And thanks for the true face team out there that gives monthly to help support the Ministry of Truth. Face toe. Quit people to experience authentic relationships with God in others. Because as a nonprofit primarily supported by men and women like you, please consider joining the team and given any amount on a monthly basis a true face at work so we can continue to partner together to see a world where all Christians exchange their mask for the freedom that comes from trusting others with themselves. Thanks you all. And thank you, Allie. We'll see you guys in a couple weeks.