Last week I posted something I had written in 2009, and within that was a paragraph about waiting for the results of a medical test that I had taken. How encouraging it was for me to read those words again after so many years! Let me share another piece from the middle of January in 2010 to explain…
I am currently 37 years old – and I have been sick with a thoroughly disgusting and horrible disease called ulcerative colitis since I was 21 years old. I wish it were something less revolting because then I would feel so much more comfortable sharing details with you. I will say that it involves a lot of blood, a lot of discomfort, and a life of just having to know where the bathroom is in any establishment and at all times. The last time I had a colonoscopy – which is in itself a humiliating thing – I had over thirty ulcers in my colon which had to be biopsied. It has been terrible. We have had to come home from many vacations and ministry trips early because of me and my stomach, and there have been entire years where I was pretty tied to home because I had to visit the restroom fifteen or twenty times a day. It is a horrible condition.
I have known and have believed beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus is our Healer. For all of this time, I have been very faithful to go forward to pray and be prayed for any time anyone opened up an altar service, never doubting that I could be healed. I have known many people who have experienced a miraculous healing, and have even had the privilege of praying for people who have received healing during our prayer. But all these years – over sixteen years - my sickness has just continued. It has been better and it has been worse, but it has never been good or normal. I long ago forgot what it was like to be normal, and I had somehow resigned myself to the fact that this was just the way my life was going to be. Perhaps it was just my thorn in the flesh, my cross to bear.
But on December 6, 2009, I went forward to an altar in my home church and received real, undeniable healing in my body from the Lord. From sick to healthy, just like that. No bells or whistles or even electricity. I asked Him, friends laid hands on me and prayed for me, and Jesus healed me – it was that simple.
I have not a clue why that night turned out to be so different, why the Lord chose that Sunday night to heal me. I had no inkling of what was coming, no goosebumps the days preceding – and I really do not even think I was having a particularly holy time in my walk with the Lord that weekend. I don’t think I had read just enough of my Bible that week, or that I had finally crossed some sort of unseen spiritual barrier which somehow finally made me eligible for healing. I cannot begin to tell you why that night was the night. But it was.
It took me a couple of days to snap to the fact that something was radically different. I have had times – even months at a time – where things were a little bit better. But this was not like that. On the Wednesday of that week I told my husband over breakfast – could this really be? Have I been healed? Now it has been over six weeks, and I still want to cheer every time I think of what Jesus has done in my body! Is it strange to shout with happiness in the bathroom?? Maybe, but I just don’t care! I am so, so thankful – He truly does make all things new.
Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
-Isaiah 53: 4-5
Back to the present time -
All of that was written almost 9 years ago, and in that time I have never had one day of sickness at all. My body is well and whole, and our whole life is changed - I can travel with my husband and fully participate in our life. It is a glorious miracle, and I am so grateful to God every day!
Here is what I want to ask you to consider… what is it that you have been dealing with all these years? What is the thing that you have been carting around, the thing that you have just resigned yourself to accept in your life as normal? It might be a sickness in your body like I experienced. But it could be lots of other things, too – maybe anger, or bitterness, or unforgiveness, or fear. Perhaps you are like me, and have gotten very good at just living your life as though you were perfectly healthy and normal, when in fact you have a horrible, debilitating thing in your life all day, every day.
Please be encouraged! God really is Who He says He is – He really does heal us and make us new. God can heal our bodies, our minds, and our emotions. Please do not listen to those nagging doubts, don’t settle in and accept this thing as normal, even if it has already been sixteen years or even sixty years. Live expectantly for the day that He comes in and takes away the thing you cannot get rid of by yourself. And in the meantime, rest assured that He is with you every step of the way – and know that you will one day look back at this time of affliction and remember it as the time you learned so much about the goodness and faithfulness of the Lord. And as a sweet and holy time of learning about sharing in the fellowship of His suffering. I know that is true in my life, and I pray that you will know and experience God in this way also.
Hi! I'm Mary - mother to two wonderful grown daughters, wife to an incredible husband, and loving our life in the piney woods of Texas... (read more!)
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