I’ve always known that I was…”different”. I was born…”tired”. I could handle it as a child because I had regular youthful energy but everything always took a great deal of effort. By the time I was 12 years old I started having various aches and pains. At 18 I couldn’t keep a job for long because of the fatigue. I’d gone to numerous doctors for help about the fatigue and various pains but to no avail. They all said…stress, depression, hysterical syndrome, conversion disorder, PMS, menopause and panic disorder. Pills and counseling were the doctors’ orders so I did that.
In 1989 I lost 100lbs and gave up sugar to which I was so addicted to and all hell broke loose in my body. I was watching TV with my kids when I felt like I was going to black out. I felt like I was having a stroke. I went to the ER that day in an ambulance and they said it was allergies. Next ambulance trip to the ER they said it was panic disorder. I’ve lost count at how many ER’s and hospitals I’ve been to. I’ve seen at least over 100 doctors and specialist. I had major surgery to fix the problem and 27 years later I’m still having these very frightening and horrifying episodes. They have caused me to have permanent muscle weakness and constant pain from suffering with this for so long. I was diagnosed with a rare disorder called Periodic Paralysis about 8 years ago.
Have I prayed about this? Heck yeah!! I’ve had many people praying for me and I pray constantly for myself. So today I thought I would write a blog on how it feels to be sick for so long and praying for God for help yet still no healing. Just to let you know in advance the ending to this earthly story has not happened yet but my heavenly ending has been written so I can say it is well with my soul.
When the first episode happened to me I fervently sought the Lord. I have never stopped asking God to heal me. So today I’m sitting here in my bed typing this and I’m wondering how can I still be going through this for all these years? Almost every day feels like my last because of the severity of the symptoms. God has NOT given me an answer or explanation about what’s going on with me and He doesn’t have to either.
So where does this leave me? I can tell you that I’m not mad or angry with God for me still being sick. How can this be? Because before I got sick I had developed a really great relationship with Father God through deep prayer and bible study. I KNOW that my Father God knows what’s best for me. I have to admit though that I truly don’t understand the very long delay in the manifestation of my healing. I’ve asked for help and I’ve gotten the same answer every time. The answer is “my grace is sufficient for you”. When God first revealed this answer to me early in my illness I was like “that ain’t working for me Lord… give me some more info!” As I matured in the Lord, I realized that this is the greatest answer and I truly get it from Gods perspective. Without God’s grace I would have truly succumbed to my situation physically and emotionally.
Still as I feel so sick even as I’m writing this never knowing if these are my last moments on earth I ask myself if I’m alright with this? I’ll let Jesus answers this one for me: “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” Luke 22:42. I’m truly with Jesus on this one! I’m surely NOT comparing my suffering with Jesus suffering but God included this scripture in the bible of Jesus prayer in anticipation of the suffering He was about to face. Even when Jesus was in the midst of His many hours of tremendously painful suffering He cried out this to His Father: …“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46 Jesus was in such great agony emotionally and physically. God didn’t have to reveal this very vulnerable time in Jesus suffering but He did. God knew that I needed to know this!
Now I want to say here that God has healed me many times over. I thank the Lord for all the healings that basically happens every day as I suffer daily. I get the victory and another day to give Him praise and glory through my life of total devotion to Him. God has healed me of many major illnesses also including cancer. I want you to know that I always give a testimony about how God is bringing me through this thing called…suffering. I’ve made pamphlets on the different illnesses and trials I’ve suffered through and I describe how God has bought me through each one victoriously. I give them to everyone I meet and leave them everywhere I think someone will read it. I’m trying to work for the Lord anyway I can. Use me Lord even in this condition!
If God is allowing me to still suffer from the rare disorder that I have, then I too say what Jesus said “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” I don’t like being sick and the way I’m feeling right now…I’m human…this hurts….it’s uncomfortable and it’s really scary! There are many biblical examples of people who have suffered greatly including Jesus Christ. But in the core of my being…I know that God has His reasons and purposes for all this suffering. I trust Him no matter what! And boy do I have the “what”!
In order to stay encouraged and in the right frame of mind I keep these two scriptures very close to my heart and mind:
- Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
- 1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
I’m so comforted to know that even when I don’t know how to pray for myself Holy Spirit will get a message to God for me. Let me tell you He does it a lot for me too! Romans 8: 26-28 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
I’m gonna be real honest here…I don’t like this kind of suffering and I just don’t understand it! I do understand receiving grace to get through it. So since I understand about grace …when I receive it I will hold on to my grace like crazy! I will remind myself that the Holy Spirit is inside of me and is helping me to overcome my difficulties. I know the advantage of being a Christian is that supernatural strength is available and is given to me so I can bare up under this kind of heavy suffering. Not everyone is going to suffer to this degree and there are many who will suffer much more than me…but if you do have to go through this my advice is to know God intimately and know His word!!!! Nothing else that I know of can help you get through an extremely painful and debilitating medical condition or any kind of heavy trial for that matter. Some people are just strong by nature and can make it through, but many more are not and need divine intervention. Oh God have mercy on us! Please!
Many years ago my baby was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. He was completely disabled. God told me He was going to give me a miracle if I would trust Him. I told Him that I would but it was not an instant healing. It took 18 years to complete. Sometimes God is slow in answering prayer and sometimes He heals instantly. So this is the big take away here….Never ever give up hope!!!
We have choices in the matter of being sick and needing a healing. We can choose not to be bitter, pitiful and completely bombed out about our situation to the point of losing our will to live or we can endure with Gods help and strength.
Let me tell you about 2 godly women who through their great physical suffering endured with grace. They were my mom and mother-in-law. They both suffered from different debilitating illnesses but I witness them praising God to the end. My mom was in so much pain her last year of life and all I heard her say was how much she loved Jesus. As she was being rushed to the hospital on her last day on earth she told our family to take care of each other. She was in great pain and was suffering from a massive stroke as she managed to mouth those precious words. My mom read her bible and talked to God every day!!! She served others in every possible way and was always giving people money and things. When she needed God in the greatest time of suffering God was there for her and she knew it. She moaned a lot in pain but God through the power of the Holy Spirit gave her the grace she need to make it though to the end.
Nobody gets an easy pass in life for suffering! Yes some people have very little suffering in their lifetime and others endure tragedy after tragedy. The way that Jesus was killed and the way that the apostle Paul was killed was so horrendous. Who can ever figure out why God would ordain this? We definitely won’t know in this lifetime but we will know for sure when we get to heaven. Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown. Revelation 2:10
For right now we need to be secure in this fact: And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying: He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelations 21:3-4
So now that I’ve written this blog today because of my own suffering…I have to say I feel much more encouraged. I needed to write this and I know I’ll go back and read it again and again. I needed to write this blog for me!!! It’s my private struggle with suffering from a chronic illness but I wanted to share my struggle openly because I know I’m not alone in this battle. Maybe you might want to share a scripture that has given you strength or something that really gave you encouragement during a great time of suffering. Feel free to comment below.
“Father God…I thank you for my life and for reaching out to me to accept your gift of salvation. Thank you for all the healings you give me every day and that’s why I’m still here. God I need a healing from this disease that I’m suffering with right now. My hope is in you oh Lord! I’m also asking for a healing for anyone who is reading my blog today. Oh God we need your grace and we need our bodies healed. God we truly thank you for Holy Spirit who is there when we can’t even speak or pray through our pain and He lets you know the cries of our heart. Lord as we study your word help us to hide it in our heart and so we can be strengthened by it daily.
Lord some of us are so sick and weak so we lift those precious people up in prayer right now. For those of us who feel like we are going to faint….strengthen us. Lord please lead our friends and family members to be patient, gentle and encouraging towards us as we wait to be healed. Father God… as defeated as we may feel at times we are still looking to you for our help. Those of us who need to see doctors and specialist please guide all medical staff to be kind to us and disperse the right treatment for our care. We all thank you for giving us daily victories and we look forward to the day that you deliver us completely from our pain and give us the greatest reward of seeing your face and being in your arms forever. In Jesus name Amen!”
2 Corinthians 4:17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. There are GREAT things planned for our eternal future!!! Be encouraged today!