Jesus is My Healer!
When we said “Yes” to the Lord’s call for our family to be missionaries, I thought that saying yes was going to be the hardest part. We prayed and discerned, we had so many confirmations, and so we laid down the fear of the unknown, and all the questions of “What if…,” and we said YES.
That meant that everything was going to fall into place perfectly right? Every door will open immediately without even trying because we said yes, right? Isn’t that what we think a lot of the time? Well I did, and how wrong I was! Almost from the moment we gave the Lord our fiat (our yes) to His will, to follow him into foreign missions, it seemed like our world started falling down around us. Everything that could go wrong went wrong. Everything that could break broke. The plumbing went out, the air conditioner went out, the roof started leaking and had to be replaced, the car broke down, bees moved into our siding and had to be removed, the stove broke, the garbage disposal broke and flooded the kitchen, the water heater broke and flooded the house, the tiles on the floor bowed up and cracked for no reason — we had to replace the whole floor! This is only half the list of the things that went wrong, and it all happened over a short few months! Fear surrounded us with each new obstacle, and doubt taunted us the entire way. I have nearly drowned in the chaos many times because I took my eyes off of my Jesus, the one who called me, the one who invited me with outstretched hand to get out of the boat and follow him. Each time I cried out, he reached down and pulled me back up. He didn’t tell me “Oh you failed, get back in the boat. I’ll get someone else,” even though I hoped at times my weakness was too much for Him, and that he would let me go back to that safe comfortable place. Instead, he told me to look deep into his eyes and continue to walk with Him.
I wanted everything to be resolved and tied up with a pretty bow on top! Instead he gave us just enough grace to get through each situation. As soon as one storm settled a new one stirred up from nowhere. This whole process the Lord has been teaching me to focus on his face, and not the waves and the wind. It has not been easy and it has not been fun, but it has been a time of such growth and grace.
A few weeks before our missionary formation began, I went to visit with my family out of state since we won’t have another opportunity for quite some time. The whole time I was stressing because we have much to do before we leave for Big Woods (FMC’s mission base in Louisiana). I was having pain in my back the whole time, which I thought to be a pulled muscle at first, but it continued to get worse. I ended up in the ER in agonizing pain and found out I had shingles, and also an unrelated infection. The shingles covered the whole right side of my back from top to bottom. I had no choice but to stay put at my sister’s house and let her minister to me and take care of my kids. This was really hard for me. At one point when I was trying to leave (because of my pride) even though I was still really sick, she said, “Don’t take away my opportunity to be a missionary too, just because you don’t want to accept that sometimes you need help”. She was absolutely right and so I stayed.
Over the next few days I came to such a place of desolation. I was sick in bed, in horrible pain, angry that God had let this happen to me right now, confused at why God was allowing it to keep raining on us. I tried to pray and just couldn’t find Him anywhere it seemed. I couldn’t go to Mass, and I searched for 4 days and couldn’t find my Bible or any Bible anywhere! The doubt and the temptation to give up was so intense. I was questioning my whole life and all the decisions I had made for years and years that were based on nothing but faith. The foundation of everything I believed was now being tested and tried. Was I the biggest fool on the planet? Basing all my biggest life decisions on faith, on a God who so many say doesn’t even exist. The only thing I had was my rosary, which I clutched for three days straight (even sleeping with it in my hand). After four days, my son came running in saying that he found my Bible just sitting on the seat of the van which we had already searched thoroughly. I was so relieved and immediately went off alone and poured over His Word. Nothing amazing happened or jumped out at me, and I can’t explain why, but consolation came flooding back to me. After reading for a while I was finally able to pray and just began praising Him and thanking Him and reflecting on how mighty and powerful He is. The God of the whole universe, who could wipe away everything with a word, created and loved tiny and insignificant me and has a plan for my life!
I began thanking Him for all these afflictions because I believe He doesn’t allow anything to happen to us unless it is for our good. I told Him I accept and embrace these crosses He has given me and that I will carry them as long as He sees fit. An all knowing, all powerful God can be trusted!
I began falling asleep praising His goodness when the pages of the Bible began to blow, rubbing my face and waking me up. I looked down and it was open to the book of Haggai. It began, “the Lord spoke to him on the 24th day of the month”. It went on to say that He had allowed all these bad things to happen to his people, but He was now calling them to take courage and trust in Him because everything belonged to Him and that from this 24th day forth He was going to bless! (It obviously is so much better than I can paraphrase, so please read it, it’s only 2 chapters long!) The passage repeatedly kept talking about the 24th and so I was curious, because I didn’t even know what day it was anymore. I looked at my phone and it was August 24th at 11:55 pm. Weird, I thought, could that really mean something or am I grasping at straws for hope? I praised God for filling me with hope and went to sleep.
When I woke up the next morning my first thought was “Why am I not in pain??” It had been a long time without pain meds, because the pain had not woken me up all night like it had every other night. Weird. I went to check my rash in the mirror. It was gone! Completely gone, not a trace of the bright flaming red shingles that were there 8 hours before when I went to sleep! No pain, nothing. I am still dumbstruck as I write this days later. Completely healed no doubt about it. I open my Facebook feed this morning to a photo of a note someone found written on the ground. It simply read “Jesus is my Healer.” After that, my son handed me the little paper from his Chinese cookie and it said “Now is the time to call loved ones at a distance and share your news!” Praise be to God, my healer, my deliverer, my love, my everything! I can not wait to go to the ends of the earth to proclaim His mighty and saving Gospel to all of His loved ones!!! To God be all the Glory forever! Please pray for our family and all those who have responded to the Lord’s call to become missionaries and have joined FMC’s Intake 2015! God is good, ALL the time!