May 26th, 2014. My husband and I sat at home while the rest of the free world sat poolside and set off fireworks to celebrate Memorial Day. This day was supposed to consist of a fun-filled pool BBQ at my parents’ house with my cousins and their kids. Yet when I rolled out of bed at 10 AM or so, I quickly realized this day wouldn’t be the loads-of-fun kind of day I had envisioned. In fact, it’d be quite the opposite. Memory-filled? Yes. Fun? No. Trying to maintain composure, I quickly texted my husband who was out golfing with his buds. “I think I’m getting a migraine.”
Unfortunately, as upsetting as this was, it was not all that unexpected. Earlier that year, between mid-February and the end of March I had already been the victim of three migraines. Not to mention, one in April and another in early May.
My usual symptoms occurred as follows:
- First thirty minutes: aura (in case you’re not up on migraines and medical jargon, this means blind spots—they start as little white dots floating around and quickly turn into, ‘Excuse me, where’s the rest of your head?!’ It’s terrifying, really!)
- Next thirty minutes: numbness in my left arm, tingling in my lips.
- At least one of the above is usually accompanied by major confusion. Drunk dialing has nothing on migraine texting. Really freaks Mom out. Not to mention, I completely lose my wherewithal to do simple tasks.
- And for the next several hours I’m writhing, moaning, vomiting, and am hopefully tucked away in a very dark room with an excellent sound machine (which is especially necessary when your sweet husband thinks he’s being a blessing by doing the dishes in the next room).
But this day was different.
My aura cleared quickly as usual, the confusion didn’t last long, and I was able to sleep away the worst of the pain. But the numbness lasted far longer than normal. We’re talking eight hours as compared to my usual 30 minutes. It worried me a little bit, but since my other symptoms had passed, I tried to let it go. Very long story short, we ended up in the ER just to make sure everything was okay (that I wasn’t in danger of having a stroke). And from there, my neurologist (who I’ve since ex-communicated) strongly suggested I go on a maintenance medication to prevent migraines. This was a really weighty decision for my husband and I. Ultimately, we decided against the maintenance meds (due to some potentially serious side effects) and to seek other, less risky, less expensive, and perhaps more holistic alternatives.
In this season, God was so gracious to teach me through his Word and through the testimonies and bold faith of our friends about the power of prayer and faith. In particular, I remember reading Matthew 7 and getting a fresh perspective on a very familiar passage. I’m a sucker for the New Living Translation, especially for my alone time with the Lord and the words couldn’t have been clearer or more convicting. I read Jesus’ words, “Keep on asking and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking and you will find. Keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you (v. 7)” Keep on. It was as if the words literally jumped off the page and straight into my heart. The Lord was teaching me about persistent prayer. And about his nature. He goes on: “If you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Heavenly Father give goods gifts to those who ask him (v. 11)?” The command is matched with a promise. Be persistent in your requests to the Lord. He is a good Father who gives good gifts to His kids.
So I keep asking. In bold faith that He is as good as He says He is.
Fast-forward a few months to the wonderful experience of house church. We met every, single day for 40 days with a group of about 15 folks from our church and we ate, read and studied the Word together, encouraged, challenged and prayed for one another, all the while giving testimonies of God’s activity in our lives. It was a costly experience but one I wouldn’t trade. And I’ll never forget this one moment. I had just finished sharing about how I was wrestling with God about whether or not I was already healed, how I would know it if I was, or if I’d never be healed this side of eternity. And my friend Doug directed me to Exodus 16—the story of Moses and the bread sent from Heaven to feed the Israelites who were wandering in the desert.
“The Lord said to Moses, “Look, I’m going to rain down food from heaven for you. Each day the people can go out and pick up as much food as they need for that day. I will test them in this to see whether or not they will follow my instructions.”
Similarly, the Lord said to me, I will give you exactly what you need for today. So since then, I am resting and rejoicing—oh, how I rejoice!—that the Lord, today, has made me well. I celebrate each day that passes migraine-free. And friends, although I did get another migraine in August, I have not had one since!
That’s eight months migraine-free!
Now, I feel that in the spirit of full disclosure, I should mention that I have made my share of changes in hopes of maintaining wellness. But these changes are not of my own merit; the Lord both inspired them and has empowered me to implement them. Nine months of chiropractic care, a few cranial-sacral therapy sessions (or as my husband calls it, “cranial magic”), learning my limits at the gym, eating (mostly) clean and every couple of hours, having everything in moderation, and even changing my pillow. In general, many of those were beneficial to my overall health and/or were lessons that needed to be learned. I feel really great but most of all thankful, that today I got to enjoy another day free of the migraines that once weighed me down. Praise be to God!
Jen Hatmaker explained in a recent blog post, “We are not an aw-shucks people. We are God’s own family, so we ought to pray like it.” And I couldn’t agree more. Might He be calling you to bold prayer and faith in his promises as our Heavenly Father?
In addition to the lessons I’ve learned about persistent prayer and God’s provision of good gifts, I have also realized the significance of my ultimate healing from sin. I no longer am subject to the devastating effects of my sin-condition. I have been healed by the sacrificial death of Jesus. And that is the most wonderful gift and miracle of my life.
I’d love to hear your stories of how the Lord has increased your faith, in general, or through physical healing. And if you don’t share it with me, please, share it with someone! The enemy is defeated by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony! Revelation 12:11.