A word of encouragement: When the odds are not stacked in your favor, that’s when the Lord will display His finest craft of carrying out the impossible!
Soon after I started promotional work as a publicist for several noteworthy clients, I was diagnosed with a very serious illness that finally answered a great deal of mysterious pain and discomfort for many years. Issues began to escalate into a true emergency in February 2013 with sudden tremors, insomnia, various pains in my abdomen, a feeling of nausea, skin inflammation, and a continuum of aches and stiffness.
Right away, it became evident that my ordeal was more than just being ill, which is so foreign to my normal level of well being, but, more a matter that this was a full scale attack from the enemy to attempt to keep me still. Since nothing slips through the filter of our Savior, I had a sneaking suspicion that the Lord was and is sharpening my weaponry in warfare. The taller the flames of the ordeal, the greater the triumph when we pass through them without even a hint of smoke trailing behind such as with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
During the months of sickness and search to find a diagnosis and treatment, I have spent MUCH time calling out to the Lord for His intervention. My literal pray has been “PLEASE HELP ME”, and, He delivered indeed with the correct label on this problem via a tremendous Christian Doctor who specializes in my particular ailment with the surprising declaration of Lyme Disease. Not only that, but a co-infection that often is affiliated with such a named burden. From what we can surmise it has been in my system for several years.
The course of healing requires medication for an extended length of time that can bring a hefty level of unpleasant side effects, required enormous detox concoctions, and a sudden sacrifice of ALL comfort foods we have ever known, such as; chocolate, coffee, tomatoes, bananas, anything boxed or canned that has elements in the ingredient list that are not “pure”, and certainly, no spices what so ever in any dish at all. That means no Mexican Food … my all time favorite. Boo Hoo. In other words, extremely healthy and organic.
For relief from unrelenting pain that an average food list can bring, those items have been replaced with a low acid list, alkaline water and green drinks, juicing, herbal teas, probiotics, and a suit case full of supplements.
On top of dietary issues, I’ve had to add a purchase of an infrared sauna used at home, detoxing clay packs, hours of exercise and sunshine, and a preoccupation of my time in order to “treat” the body so that my immune system can carry out it’s orders to heal. Thousands of dollars have been poured into my new living regime to purchase what insurance will not cover, not to mention a nice investment in our local Whole Foods.
I have no guarantee that treatment will cure this, and for sure, the process of undergoing this treatment is much worse than the illness has been itself. With brain fog, fatigue, dizziness, ringing ears, blurred vision, weakness, I am forced to accept that this is no longer a body I know with it’s familiar response to things. Often I have to brace myself for what each day will bring that is new and unfamiliar territory.
HOWEVER, God is faithful! Often I remind Him of His promises to me throughout Scripture and from the specific times I have heard Him speak to me of Jeremiah 29:11 -14 for His plan, and, Matthew 28 that He will be with me … always. When one hears God’s voice, they are never the same and are none too soon to forget that stunning voice and His given Word of comfort. Several times I have told Him I would wear His ears out with my request for healing while coming boldly before His throne of grace.
Every fiber of my heart believes, by faith, for Christ’s total touch of healing. My nights have been spent with hours listening to healing Scriptures on-line, and speaking out loud to my illness commanding it to leave my body. There is too much to do that requires a healthy enough body, but find that reading through history, many many of the Lord’s most effective workers, had to harness heart aches, health issues, and crippling losses that are part of the fiber of their stories; Corrie ten Boom – lost four family members in the Holocaust and later battled Hepatitis and was silenced for five years from consequtive strokes. Elisabeth Elliot – suffered the loss of her darling beloved husband that was speared to death by the very tribe they were delivering the Gospel to, and to this date, is suffering the ravages of Alzheimers. Let’s not forget the greatest suffering of all with our Savior, Who left the glories of heaven to be humbled while living on this earth while serving His very own creation … and then betrayal and torture to the level of unthinkable, for you and for me. His isolation during those hours of His life were the very moments that allow us comfort to understand that He “gets” our suffering, having been-there-done-that. Thank you Father for not abandoning us in the unfamiliar.
The great comfort in this unpleasant ordeal is that looking back, one can see that of all the trials, furnaces, and valleys, one thing I NEVER have can doubt, is God’s character and His plan. He has never let me down and has used every difficult moment for His glory. So I eagerly await to see what He will do with “this one”, for without a test, there is no testimony. Incidentally, in the Old Testament Hebrew, one of the root words of desert/wildnerness … is “speech”. The desert dry parched moments of life are the required elements at times in order to hear our Lord’s voice.
In the mean time, the Lord has given me much in the way of favor and blessings during this waiting period for “what next” … including a surge of business opportunity I never dreamed possible. In a short amount of time during my darkest hours, my businesses have been doubling if not tripling. Often I ponder that this illness experience is required in order to buffet my mind, body, and soul to be fixated on Him and not the success of the business. As Paul states, He must increase and I must decrease … knowing that this is my thorn for the time being, I trust increasingly for what He is going to do. In fact, there is no choice but to adopt a spirit of gratitude IN the fire long before I can even see the way through the fire.
Which leads me to ask, what are you doing with your trial? Are you crying out to Him? Are you forging forward no matter what the prognosis? Are you determined NOT to give up and utilize what gifts you have during the hours and days that you are capable of working them? Are you confident that you will emerge from the flames a spiritually deeper and readily prepared soldier for the greater tasks that lie ahead.
He promises He has a plan and will be certain to carry that plan to fruition even and especially using your trial that looks hopeless. No telling what He is grooming us for in the upcoming days, but the issues of suffering now are supreme preparation in strength building for the greater good. Join me in believing what He has promised and that all things will work together for good – Romans 8:28.
And certainly I will cling to this Word I heard from His very mouth in April of 1995: Jeremiah 29:11-14, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”