“God never wastes pain. He always causes it to work together for our ultimate good, the good of conforming us more to the likeness of His son.” -Jerry Bridges
This will be a hard post for me to write. Even though I have shared many struggles, like those with my children, and even shared a little about my family, I usually leave out the stuff that is personally related to me. Most specifically, my health.
I am not usually a “whoa is me” person. I was taught from an early age that no matter what you faced each morning, you shook it off, got out of bed, went to work, and didn’t complain about your ailment. For the most part, most don’t know the struggles I face each day just to get out of bed, shake it off, and get through a day at work.
A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding. She had suffered a great deal from many doctors, and over the years she had spent everything she had to pay them, but she had not gotten better. Mark 5:25-26
For 15 years or more I have suffered each day with chronic pain. Since the age of 20, when I should have been so full of vitality and life, I was afflicted with pain so bad I could not sit in a chair, lie down, or get a dish out of the dishwasher. I have been sidelined with chronic fatigue that makes it hard to get through a shower without wanting to collapse back into bed. Like the woman in Mark 5, I had suffered for years, been to many doctors, spent a ton of money on said doctors, and have found no relief.
For she thought to herself, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.” Mark 5:28
I saw doctor after doctor for 10 years, until one finally mentioned something I had never heard of before-fibromyalgia. If you have never heard of it either, I suggest you read this information which lists what sufferers like may can go through on any given day.
A diagnosis should have made me feel better. Even if it was one that was virtually untreatable, and so far-uncurable. But, it didn’t make me feel better. I got worse. No remedy to date has worked-not special diets, not exercise, not drug studies, or medications of which most have never heard. I have even touched the garment of Jesus. Yet, still I get worse.
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
The photo above is a tattoo-one I placed on my arm at 35 years of age to remind me of the pain I have suffered, and the one who gives me the strength just to get out of bed. The one who gives me the strength to tackle every obstacle, every situation, and get through the demands of each day, even if I have to collapse into bed at the end of a demanding day from sheer exhaustion.
See, I have prayed consistently for the healing power of Jesus to come over me as it did that ailing woman in the crowd. But, I realize He has healed me. He may not have taken away my physical pain, but He has healed my spirit. He has healed my heart. He has given me the ability to love unconditionally. He has also given me the strength to share my struggles with others, so that I can share the hope of Christ with others who may be suffering with the same daily pain that I must endure.
If my daily pain is to help someone see Christ, and to offer the hope that Christ can heal in the way He has healed me-in spirit and in heart; then I will gladly suffer through this pain. I will continue to reach for Him when I am in pain, and stay strong, even if physical healing takes 15 more years.
“Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.” Mark 5:34