How Healing Happens, Part 2
If I could define the first 24 years of my life with a word, it would be: more. I wanted to do more work, make more people happy, accomplish more dreams, save more money, do more research, read more books, get more done for God, speak more truth, get more friends, and ultimately, feel more loved.
I didn’t know any of this, of course. I just knew I could juggle a dozen balls in the air just fine and felt safer, happier and more satisfied the more people I was helping. Somewhere along the line I’d picked up this magical thinking that I could solve the world’s problems, one person at a time. I was the most responsible and reliable person you knew. You could count on me to get a job done, do it right, and make everyone feel good in the process.
Oldest child, teacher’s pet, star employee, but I wasn’t seeking popularity, at least not consciously. I genuinely believe doing my best meant doing more, more, more. Perfection was my goal, from the most sincere desire to get life “right.’ And I longed for people to know they were valued and loved so I gave and gave to them.
My identity was very much defined by the great things I could accomplish for God. I took for granted the way that God saw me, beloved and treasured simply for who I was. Of course he loves me, now let’s get on to the important stuff, like ministry.
In some ways I wonder if that’s what the young Moses was like, in Egypt? Of course God loves me, he rescued me from the Nile and put me in the palace. Now let’s get on to the important stuff, like rescuing the Israelites. And then God sent him to the back woods to tend sheep for 40 years. In my case, my body broke down under stress from the quick succession of college, marriage, ministry and motherhood like a runaway train. He has called me to serve in high stress roles I can’t step down from, with a body that no longer wants to function under stress.
Now as I look back on the last decade or more, I see clearly what God has been doing in me. I feel vulnerable writing this story because the pages are not finished. God is leading me to share my story of my health struggles, but as of right now, I only have a partial diagnosis. My symptoms are still at times unmanageable. And I’m still very much in the middle of healing. In other words, my health journey is not wrapped up in a bow. It’s more like the Christmas gifts I get from my husband, wrapped in a grocery sack and covered in a blanket. Here you go babe, in all its imperfect wrappings, but with lots of love.
But does the lack of shiny paper, a bow and a reindeer to/from sticker diminish the thoughtfulness of the gift inside? Does writing the story without a picture perfect ending subtract from the truth and the connection to be found within it? I’m trusting that God will accomplish what he wants in the middle of this mess.
So here I find myself, in my 30’s, with severe adrenal fatigue, the autoimmune skin condition dermatitis herpetiformis, various deficiencies in hormones and vitamins, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), and quite possibly other issues we have yet to unearth. I can see now that the way here was gradual, although I had no idea it was coming. God is writing my story in a way I never dreamed but with a purpose I fully believe is born out of his kindness and wisdom.
Sometimes, secretly, I compare myself with the woman whose hemorrhaging Jesus healed…but on about year 5 1/2, instead of year 12, when he healed her. Currently spending all I have on doctors and suffering a great deal…and I keep saying, “Jesus, where are you? Can I just touch the edge of your garment? I know you could heal me! And then I could get back to doing all these great things for you…” And my voice trails off because I’m starting to think that my addiction to more may be why he’s let me get to this place to begin with. So I wait, and take another dose of supplements, another vitamin D shot, drink more lemon water and breathe deeply. And trust.
This is Part 2 of a 6-part series on How Healing Happens. I’m currently in the middle of a search for a diagnosis and healing solutions for some autoimmune and gut health concerns, and along with that, a journey to freedom. I believe we all have something we need God’s healing for and that Christ has come to set us free. I’m not an expert and I don’t have all the answers. I’m just responding to God’s leading to share what he’s teaching me in the middle of the mess. Thanks for joining me!