I have written a lot here on the blog about coping with pain and suffering, trusting God in trials, and persevering in a body that doesn't work the way I’d like it to. Maybe, in reading all these posts, you’ve come to the conclusion that I've given up on the possibility that God may one day heal me. I want you to know today that that is most certainly not the case. Through all my striving to live a life that is pleasing to God in this body that doesn't work the way He intended, I have never stopped asking Him to heal me. I know with 100% certainty that He is able to do it, and I have never had any doubt that, if He thought that it was the best thing for me, He would heal me.
There have been many times over the years that I have tried various medical options to improve my situation: Minor and major surgery; physical therapy; joint supplements; injections; painful massage techniques, topical and oral medications, acupuncture, and the list goes on and on. I have had many people praying for me, and sought wisdom as I decided whether to try each of these things that offered me some hope of relief. Each time, I have hoped that whatever I was trying would work, and each time I was disappointed. Some treatments even made me worse.
So, I stopped trying. After the last failed attempt to fix this, I dusted off my white flag of surrender and waved it at God. I told Him that, if I could be of better use to Him in this condition, then I was willing to live out the rest of my life this way. I cried out my complaint to Him, just to make sure He knew how much I still didn't like this new normal. I grieved the loss of my mobility and comfort, and then I told Him that I was ready to “cease striving” and acknowledge that He is God and He knows what is best for me. I had reached a point of contentment in my heart. I truly sensed a new kind of peace that I had never known before. My dear Friend and Father desired to occupy this broken body, and it was a grace and a privilege that He would abide in me.
And then He sent something new. I wrote about it in another post a while back, as I was debating whether or not to try this new modality that I’d heard about. I wanted to make sure that my surrender had not waned, and that I was prepared to press on if the therapy didn’t work, or even if it caused a setback. I wrestled, prayed, sought advice from many friends, and did a lot of research on the technique before I decided to take the plunge and try it. The Lord led me to a wonderful physical therapist who respected my limits, and truly seemed to desire to help me. I know that this was of God because I was never fearful or anxious about her work on me, and I was able to trust in Him completely.
This therapy was bathed in much prayer, and today I very joyfully share with you that the pain and disability I have suffered for the last 5 years has been remarkably lessened! The anatomical problems created by the surgery are still there, but the pain is very significantly reduced. I really cannot believe how much better I feel, and I am so very thankful for my dear loving Father, who waited until just the right time to bring me some relief. Perhaps He was waiting for me to be content only in Him. I really don’t know His reasons for allowing me to feel so much better. I only know that there is a purpose in His timing, just as there is a purpose in my suffering.
So, now what? I’m not 100% healed, and there will still be some things I cannot do, but the pain, which was the hardest thing to bear, has eased. Now that the therapy has ended, many questions come to my mind: What if it slowly goes back to the way it was? What if the pain begins to creep back? What if I have to go back to the limitations that were so difficult to live with? How will I cope? How will I not lose heart?
I believe I have good answers to these questions, and I will share those with you in my next post. But, for now, won’t you rejoice with me in this miracle? The Lord has seen fit to answer my prayers for pain relief and for a more functional body. How about you? Are you asking God for healing, or have you given up? Do you still believe that He can heal you? I know it is hard to keep believing and asking when all signs say you've been denied, but I want to encourage you today, friend, to persevere in prayer:
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7