For months my days consisted of laying on the couch with barely the energy to be upright long enough to eat or shower let alone go to church, which I didn't for 3 months. I was so weak I couldn't open my own waterbottles or even the bag inside the cereal box. My brain was clouded, and I (a teacher and lover of writing) found myself unable to think of words or able to focus. My heart pounded just a little off beat. I slept all afternoon while staying up unable to sleep half the night. My muscles felt like someone was constantly sqeezing me, and my joints felt like they'd been replaced with sandpaper that someone lit on fire. All as a result of something I picked up on our trip to Uganda in 2009.
Never in my life had I felt more alone, misunderstood, helpless, or useless. Yet for some reason I still could usually find it in me to smile.
(January 2010)Afterall, I had parents who took care of me night and day. My best friend came almost every day to just sit with me. Countless people, many complete strangers, prayed for me. I was anointed and was given 3 healing services at different churches. Congregations at churches we speak at throughout the year laid hands on me to pray for my healing. Others prayed for me in my absence.
But God chose to withhold healing for almost a year. Even then it wasn't some instant act where I jumped out of bed one morning declaring my healing. It was a slow and often painful process filled with diet changes, treatments, and herbs that made me feel worse before I felt better. Becoming healthy was a conscience effort on my part that took months more of constant reliance on God for strength to carry on.
With each trial I faced, I felt God give the promise of healing, and so He gave me the strength to overcome. When I was at my worst physically, I penned this in my journal:
I find it a privilege to suffer for the sake of Christ. Great things happened in Uganda while we were there. Great things will continue to come fro the work we did. I have no regrets, only the satisfaction of serving my Savior in one of the most amazing places in the world."
Despite the dark times I faced over the last 2 years, I learned first hand that even through trials, God remains faithful. He is ever present no matter our circumstances, and it is He who gives us strength to pass through the trials. Even though we often can't see it at the time, God has a purpose in our struggles, and one day He will begin to put the pieces together for us.
Today is a day of celebration for me. I am amazed at where God has brought me today. Back to full strength, healthier than I have ever been, and ready to once again take on the world. But this day will always serve as a reminder to me of God's power and faithfulness amidst the storm and his purpose amidst the pain.
(August 2011)Thank you to all those who prayed.