I’m known for saying, “God’s got this.” And I mean it…no matter what I’m facing, or the mess I’m in, I believe wholeheartedly that God is moving on my behalf. But do you know what makes my faith waver? Human suffering. I have a mentor who will spend the rest of her life on chemo to keep cancer from returning. A friend’s husband is fighting for his life – and the treatment is ravishing his body as much as the disease. Still another family friend lost his battle more painfully than one can imagine. I am reminded that we are in desperate need of hope in this fallen world – hope that the Jesus we meet in the Word still heals today.
I was diagnosed with a Chiari malformation in December 2015, a condition in which the base of my skull was not formed properly at birth. An MRI revealed that the back part of my brain (cerebellum) extended down into my spinal canal, causing severe, daily headaches (think a 12 on a 1-10 scale). Medication, sleep, caffeine…nothing helped. I waited months to see different neurologists, but it looked like surgery might be the only option to halt the progress of the damage and decompress the spinal fluid buildup.
Only those closest to me knew just how much pain I was in. I put on a brave face during the workday, but on evenings and weekends, I was non-functional. I took up a spot in an Adirondack chair on the front lawn (you Southern ladies get it!). At first I just sat in the sunshine, but God worked on my heart. It started with playing worship music on my phone, but I was unable to keep from singing along. I read the Word, journaled, and prayed, pressing into Him like never before.
Almost a year after the initial diagnosis, I got an appointment with a neurosurgeon that specialized in Chiari malformations. He began by having me walk him through my medical history, and looking confused, he then asked me to look at the two laptops he had set up. One screen had my first MRI pulled up, in which the drooping of my brain was very visible. The second screen showed my most recent MRI, only a few weeks before. The neurosurgeon said out loud what I could already see: “Your Chiari is gone. Your brain is perfect.” I knew from research that this wasn’t medically possible, that the skull won’t reshape and the brain can’t reposition. All I could say was, “Jesus.”
Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things He does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. – Psalm 103:2-4
I sometimes struggle to share my testimony. I don’t understand why He healed me, while others suffer so greatly. But then I see firsthand how encouraging it is for friends, family and even strangers to hear that He still heals, and I remember that the glory is His. It is hard to imagine, but I wouldn’t give back the time spent with the Lord during that season. It was precious. Stepmomma, if you are suffering, or walking with someone who is, I am believing with you for healing and full restoration. We serve an awesome God, and by His stripes, we are healed.