April 5, 2011
When Healing Never Comes
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart..." Proverbs 3:5 (NIV)
I remember when she was 13. Sitting in a doctor's office, between tears and trembling, we heard these words: "scoliosis," "a curvature of the spine," "back brace," "23 out of 24 hours a day," "two years."
Words cannot explain life those next weeks and months as she faithfully wore her brace... a brace that deformed her body, caused sleepless nights filled with pain and sorrow, and required her to quit something she loved: competitive cheerleading.
Questions plagued her heart. Why me, God? What did I do, God?
Questions plagued my mind. Why her, God? What did I fail to do? Please take this from her and give it to me, Lord...PLEASE!!
I cried out for healing. We obeyed Scripture. Elders of the church prayed over her. I laid hands on her and anointed her with oil. Hundreds of women prayed for her healing.
Healing never came.
Many nights she lay in my bed, locked in her brace, sobbing, asking, "Why me, Mom?" I lay next to her, tears rolling down my cheeks, exhausted, feeling helpless, wondering how we would make it to the other side of this.
Healing never came.
Her back worsened despite the brace, so we tried alternative methods.
Healing never came.
Oh, for a time, the brace kept her curve at bay -- until she was 16. A newly licensed driver, varsity cheerleader, confident, strong, funny, and beautiful, inside and out.
A beautiful teenager with a curve in her spine and pain that had increased with astounding speed over three years, until it reached the point that we had to face the reality of surgery. A surgery that required this precious child of mine to put her life on hold. A surgery that meant rods and screws would line her spine from top to bottom. A surgery that required months and months of rehabilitation. A surgery that prevented her from ever tumbling again.
Healing never came... or has it?
At first glance I'd say "no" because the Lord did not heal in the way I so specifically and faithfully prayed.
But, when I look at the promised result -- it will straighten her spine and allow her to live pain free -- I must say, "yes" healing is coming, just not in the way I hoped and prayed.
The passion of my heart, the call on my life, is to point others to find answers to their struggles, great and small, in the Word of God. So what do I say to myself as I kneel before the Lord? I allow the tears to come. I shake my fist, asking why has it had to come to this? I ask why did He not choose MY way?
And then, I surrender.
I take my own advice.
I go to His Word. His Word that speaks sweetly to me:
"Wendy, trust Me with all your heart. Do not lean on the knowledge of chiropractors, physical therapists, and others. Do not lean on your fears. Acknowledge Me, Wendy. My Name. My Power. My Strength. My Love. I promised to direct your path, and I have. This is the path I have led you to follow. Trust Me." (Proverbs 3:5-6)
"Wendy, I do not give you a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind." (2 Timothy 1:7)
"Wendy, remember My ways are higher than your ways, My thoughts higher than yours...TRUST ME with her because I have a plan and I love her more than you will ever know." (Isaiah 55:8-9)
I wish I could tell you I wasn't afraid the day of her surgery. But I would be lying. I was afraid. I was very afraid the day they rolled her away to cut into her spine and insert foreign objects into her body. But I can tell you that I trusted my God, and I asked Him daily to help me with my unbelief. And He did.
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Word. Thank You that it is TRUTH. Father, for every woman whose heart aligns with mine today, direct us to Your Word. Speak truth into our circumstances. Help us with our unbelief. Help us take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. Fill our hearts and minds with whatever is lovely, true, pure, excellent, and praiseworthy. Father cover us with Your wings. Help us to fully trust in You. I ask this in Jesus' Name, Amen.
Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner: The Transforming Power of God's Story by Wendy Blight
i am not, but i know I AM by Louie Giglio
All Things Wise and Wonderful E-book by Wendy Blight
An Untroubled Heart: Finding Faith that is Stronger than My Fears by Micca Campbell
If you have a struggle, take a few minutes today, go to God's Word, and ask Him to speak into your circumstances. Note the verses to which He draws you and personalize them as I did above. Pray them every day this week and watch what God will do.
1 Corinthians 2:16, "For who has known the mind of the Lord that He may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ." (NIV)
Isaiah 44:2b, 21b, "Thus says the LORD who made you, who formed you from the womb and will help you: Fear not...I formed you; you are my servant; O Israel, you will not be forgotten by me." (ESV)