I’m not one who usually remembers dates well, but today’s date is one I don’t think I’ll soon forget. It’s been a year to the day. Not a day or a season I really want to remember, yet painful enough that I don’t want to forget the lessons I learned.
I had just returned from a writer’s conference, so amazed by the unique and marvelous ways God had shown himself to me there. I was ready to return to my dream of writing the book God had laid on my heart years before. I had renewed hope, and I had plans!
I was in my office seeing patients, when I was overtaken by sharp shooting pain. I kept on seeing patients, pushing through the pain and ignoring my body, like I’m so accustomed to doing. Suddenly it became obvious that something was terribly wrong.
I surreptitiously escorted my patient out of my office to schedule her next appointment. Immediately bee-lining it back to my office, I met my husband at the back door of the office as he was walking in. “Something’s not right” was all I could explain before the pain intensified, I began vomiting, and fainted.
We decided I just needed to go home and rest, but on the short drive home the pain worsened to the point of taking my breath. There was no going home, but rather, straight to the emergency room. We didn’t know it then, but it would be the first of five visits to an ER, resulting in three hospitalizations and two surgeries.
The next four months were some of the most difficult times in my life: physically incapacitated, unable to work, forced bed-rest, and at times very close to death and seeing no answers in sight. My weight dropped to a dangerously low 74 pounds. Unable to hold down food or drink, I was sustained by IV hydration and nutrition, but so dehydrated most of the time that I was bruised up one side and down the other from all the needle sticks just trying to find a viable vein for an IV.
The road back to health was long. Many days felt like I was in battle for my very life. There were some days I wasn’t sure it was worth the fight. I hardly recognized the frail image in the mirror staring back at me. Many prayed for healing for me. When I wasn’t vigilant, thoughts crept in making me wonder why I knew of God healing others but not me.
Days ran into weeks, and I generally lost perspective of time. A natural born “do-er,” it was painful to lay there, hooked up to machines, void of any remnants of my normal life. I couldn’t do much physically, but I could read, pray, and listen. I read and read…the Bible and so many other books that I lost count about God and his character and his desires for his children. I prayed continually. I watched and listened to old sermons of favorite preachers and teachers of the word. As friends would share scripture with me that particularly spoke to me, I’d look up the passage, write it down on a post-it note, and stick the notes up anywhere around my room where I would see them and meditate on their truth.
I have come to realize over the past year, that God desires for all of his children to be in full health. He wants healing for us more than we want it for ourselves. More importantly, however, God desires a relationship with us more than he desires our healing. Those months of illness and recovery were painful, to be sure, but they gave me intense time in God’s presence and created an intimacy with Him that I never knew was possible.
It’s not lost on me that this anniversary date comes at the start of Easter weekend. Because of what He did in and for me during this past year, this date can be one of celebration. For surely, “what satan intended to harm me, God intended for good” (Genesis 50:20). What held true 2000 years ago holds true for me this year: I sing Hallelujah, The Lamb has overcome!
Absolutely beautiful, Michelle! Praising God for his healing hand!!
Absolutely Sarah! Hope Prevails!
You are an amazing woman! I’m so glad I’ve met you! I love that you are telling your story!
Thank you Leah. It’s in sharing our story that we can comfort others with the comfort God has given us. To Him be all glory given!
Michelle, your story is so beautiful. Thank you for being courageous enough to share it with us!
Thank you Rebecca. God truly does use for good what the enemy intended to harm. God deserves all praise and glory for that. The Lamb has overcome!
What an inspirational story. Absolutely glorious!
Thank you Mary. To GOD be the glory!!
Thanks for sharing your story of healing by taking us there and letting us experience it with you. I’m thankful God brought you to good health, and glad you were one of the ones he healed that went back to thank him.
Thank you Anne. God is so good. His ways are definitely higher than our ways. He deserves all the glory.
Amen to all the comments above. I love the picture too, Michelle. It is a glorious reflection of the woman I’m proud to know. Have a blessed Easter and may God continue to clearly mark the path set before you!
Thank you Pat. You certainly know me well, and I owe a great deal to you for being such a source of ready encouragement, helping me keep my eyes on God during that very difficult time. The photo was actually taken at Mt. Hermon on Palm Sunday when we hiked up to the cross at sunrise! Special memories to be sure! I’m glad you were part of those memories.
I love you, friend. Your ears were probably burning all weekend. I shared your story many times at Mt Hermon last week (the BEGINNING of your wonderful, in-process, story, that is).
Have a blessed Easter!
Oh Pat, I wish I could have been there. My “story” would’ve been much different this year than it was when I shared it there last year, for sure! Who knew that’d be the start of an amazing journey! Hang on, there’s more to come. As I shared a year ago, “It’s not over until God says it’s over!” Hope Prevails, without a doubt!
My heart is strangely warmed and my feet are anxious to run to Him and know Father more than ever. The strength of your words and the confidence with which you wrote impressed upon me that the greatest value in life is simply knowing Jesus…and knowing Him intimately!
Margie, there is nothing better, nothing worth more, than knowing the Father intimately. Everything, all trials, pale in comparison. Run, my friend, do not stop until you meet him in that intimate place, and do whatever it takes to stay there. There is no greater joy!
I am so glad you made your way back to health. I am on that road now. I will continue to pray for you. Thanks for sharing your story.
So thankful for what He did for you in your time of need. Praying that you continue to heal and are soon back to your full level of wellness. Can’t wait to see what God does through your struggle!