Well, friends, it’s time for a hard post.
Hard, because I love to share openly after I’ve gone through a struggle – I don’t mind telling you the deep, difficult stuff on this little blog, but I prefer to wrestle through it privately before sharing it publicly.
This time, however, I have an urge to share during struggle. I have a feeling there will be a whole lot of joy in the struggle, as well, and that’s the part I don’t want you to miss.
Here’s the deal:
I’ve written before about how I deal with different health issues. I live with constant pain, which is so normal to me that I can’t actually imagine not being in a ton of pain, every moment of every day.
In order for me to keep the pain under control, I go to a lot of appointments. Each week, I’m juggling a schedule of massage, physiotherapy, chiropractic, and reflexology appointments, as well as some exercise and movement classes.
It’s slightly crazy, and really expensive. About a quarter of our monthly budget goes into keeping my creaky body running as smoothly as possible.
For the past few years, I have felt very strongly that God is going to heal me, at some point. He has told me so, numerous times, and I’ve been prayed over on a number of different occasions. I’ve had some amazing experiences of hearing different things from God that have filled me with a lot of hope and joy.
But no healing, as of yet.
In spring, I had another such experience, and I felt as though God was asking me to trust Him for healing, by stepping out in faith and stopping all of my weekly appointments. I pretended I didn’t hear Him. I don’t really know how I would survive without my little team of therapists, each of whom I really love.
Two weeks ago, it happened again. I was home alone, planning a relaxing evening of watching Downton Abbey, but while I was waiting for it to download on my computer, I felt God telling me to get down on my knees and pray. So I did, and it was awesome, and when I was finished, I got back on the couch.
But God said, “Do it again.”
So I did. And then sat down again.
And God said, “You’re not done. Do it again.”
The third time was the most intense time, and that time, God gave me a very specific message. It came to my mind, one word at a time: “Sheddai….will…..heal….all……..Trust….me.”
It was amazing. I can’t even describe it, because my feeble words would ruin the moment. It was awesome.
So I sat there, thinking, “Now what? God, how do I trust you?”
And immediately, the thought came, “Cancel all your appointments.”
To which I immediately said, “Oh, that’s ridiculous. I’ll keep trusting God WHILE I go to the appointments, and I’ll stop going after He heals me.” Totally shoved that thought out of my mind, and moved on to more comfortable things.
Until a week later, at the weekly prayer class I’m leading. A lady came up to me and told me an amazing story about her relative who had felt God saying He would heal her eyesight, but when she prayed, nothing happened. When she asked why, she felt as though God said, “You never took off your glasses.” When she did, her eyesight was immediately healed.
The moment the lady said the part about taking off the glasses, I felt as though someone had punched me in the stomach.
I knew. I knew, like I knew that Ben was supposed to go to B.C., and I would give birth to our baby without him. I just knew what I was supposed to do.
I went to an empty Sunday school room in our church, and fought it out with God.
First, I cried for a really, really long time.
Then, I started coming up with excuses. But it didn’t matter what I came up with, I knew what God was saying to me.
And that’s the thing – I’m not saying He heals everyone, and I’m not saying that everyone should stop wearing glasses, or stop going for physiotherapy. I just know what He said to ME, in that moment. I felt as though I was supposed to give up ALL appointments for one month.
So I said, “God, if this is for real, tell Ben, too. I can’t do this on my own. He needs to be in agreement with this.”
After church, I told Ben the whole story, and asked him to pray like crazy. I said, “If I’m going to do this, I need God to tell you, too. If I’m wrong, and this is crazy, there is no chance I can go through with it. We both need to hear it.”
And Ben said, “I’ve actually felt a number of times, over the last while, that if we truly believe in God’s healing, that you should stop going to appointments.”
So that was that. And we’re doing this.
Part of me is wicked scared. I don’t want to live through the pain that could build up over the next month. I don’t want to be disappointed if God doesn’t show up and do something awesome.
But I guess I don’t really need to worry about that, because I feel as though He is ALREADY doing something. The peace and joy in my heart when I finally surrendered was already worth whatever comes of the next month. I’m so excited.
And I need your prayers. I need prayer like I haven’t needed it for a long, long time. I’m doing this in the faith that God will heal me, but somehow, it doesn’t seem to really matter what happens. I want to live in complete surrender and obedience to Him, and the more I do this, the more awesome life becomes.
Last night, I asked Ben, “If prayer is the only thing I have to face the pain this month, can you imagine how much harder I’ll pray?”
It’s like a huge month of fasting, for me. It’s stripping away everything I’ve come to depend on.
I don’t know how much I’ll share about it along the way. I have no idea how this will go. But if you think of it, and want to pray, please pray that the pain would be gone. Pray that I wouldn’t get cranky at my family, as I often do when things are hurting a lot. Pray that I will have the strength to hang on to Jesus and nothing else.
The other day, my friend said to me, “Sometimes the truest prayers come during the times of deepest suffering.”
It seems slightly idiotic to purposefully put myself in the place of deep suffering, and yet, that’s what fasting is, right? It’s going without what we truly need, to teach ourselves to truly need Jesus.
Oh boy, am I ever going to need Him. It’s like jumping off a cliff and trusting that He’ll catch me.
Any words of wisdom out there from those who are experienced with jumping off cliffs in faith?!