I’m going to share my story. It isn’t pretty, but with God there’s always hope.
As a child, I suffered from headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, chronic sinus infections, hypoglycemia and earaches. Symptoms occurred almost daily. My parents drove me to specialist after specialist hopeful for answers.
“There is nothing we can do.”
“I can’t find anything wrong.”
“Use over-the-counter medications to relieve her symptoms.”
“I can prescribe antibiotics.”
At age 18 my parents found a new allergist, she attributed all my symptoms to environmental allergies. She prescribed medications and allergy shots. Within a year or so my symptoms had improved! Four years of medication however put 40 extra pounds on me. I could have been mistaken for pregnant. It was mortifying to be in public.
I eventually changed allergists, again, and medications. My allergy symptoms continued to improve. I lost most of the weight.
My health appeared to be improving, but everything else started falling apart.
Raised in a wonderful, love-filled Christian home, I received Christ at a young age. By the time I was a pre-teen though, theological differences and poor leadership dissolved our church. I was never grounded in the idea of walking with Christ. Never heard of it.
Jesus saves. I was saved. (Whew.) I knew some Bible stories. It never occurred to me there was anything more.
I moved off to college and changed my major 3 times. As an introvert, I struggled to make friends. The ones I had abandoned me or worse. All the wrong guys kept wandering into my life. Without God as my center, bad choices abounded. I lived a selfish, purposeless life.
I began suffering from mood swings and depression. The idea of suicide entered my mind more than once. I drank to feel better.
By Divine intervention, I fell in love and married. My new husband’s relationship with God was no better than mine. Our selfish sins collided, creating an angry volcano.
After year one, he wanted a divorce. After year two, I wanted a divorce. After year three we somehow ended up in marriage counseling.
In 1999, I started graduate school. During those two years I was diagnosed with rosacea, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and chronic migraines. The migraines seriously interfered with my ability to work and go to school. The number of medications and their costs grew.
My marriage reverted to its previous volcanic state by 2010. Still I suffered from IBS, chronic migraines, mild allergies, depression, and rosacea. I had been to the Emergency Room several times over the last few years with debilitating migraines. In addition, my migraines began to drag on for days on end requiring steroids. I would be bed-ridden 2 to 3 times a month.
In the meantime, an Alternative Medicine doctor had been treating me for about 3 years. Bloodwork showed reproductive hormone deficiencies, hypothyroid, and nutritional deficiencies. My health would improve, only to decline again.
Exploring whole foods, I began baking from scratch. Suddenly my migraines became a daily occurrence and any forward motion was like walking through water.
My husband returned home from his third deployment in 2011. Our 2nd grader was flunking math, getting into trouble at school and being bullied. I researched homeschooling.
Our dysfunctional marriage created an unlivable situation. My husband worked 50 plus hours a week and one weekend a month, which left all the parenting to me. I was drowning with exhaustion from my chronic health problems, never-ending visits to multiple doctors and being on a first name basis with pharmacy employees.
God had been trying to speak to me for years. Consumed by my imploding life, I couldn’t focus on anything else – least of all God.
Deep in my heart at 8 years old, I had felt the love of God. I had taken it for granted, like an ungrateful child.
Finally, I cried out.
Down on my knees in the dead of the night, I said all I knew to say, “Please dear God help. I don’t know how to fix it. I don’t know what to do, but it can’t be this anymore.” The Holy Spirit interceded.
“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:14-21.
I deserved no Grace. Every bit of my despair and hopelessness was of my own doing. I was on a wretched island of my own creation. I had lived all for myself. Misery was my fruit. But through the love of Christ, Grace came.
Grace poured over me and through my very soul. The love and grace of God transformed me. Nothing about me has ever been the same. Sometimes I burst into tears of deep gratefulness. God gave me, my husband, my marriage and my son a second chance.
“You will live in joy and peace. The mountains and hills will burst into song, and the trees of the field will clap their hands! Where once there were thorns, cypress trees will grow. Where nettles grew, myrtles will sprout up. These events will bring great honor to the Lord’s name; they will be an everlasting sign of his power and love.” Isaiah 55:12-13
I still suffer from chronic health conditions. Perhaps I always will. A wonderful, holistic medical doctor treats me now. She has found the root cause of most, if not all, of my health problems. My body is slowly healing. I am grateful for each good day.
James 1:1-4 and Romans 8:28 teach me that my struggles create blessings for me and others. I pray that all God has taught me about being healthy – body, mind and soul, will bless you. May you be holistically healthy!