Fringe of Healing

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“…She touched the fringe of his robe, for she thought, ‘If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.'” Matthew 9:20-21

*I’ll be talking a lot about female physical issues in this post, so if that doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, feel free to turn around before reading further. Consider yourself warned.*

For about two years, the story of the woman with the issue of blood has connected with me on a very personal level.

You can find her account in Mark 5:25-34. The Bible says she suffered from constant bleeding for 12 years and had spent all her money trying to find a solution from a doctor, and yet her bleeding only became worse. She believed that she would be healed if she could only touch the robe of Jesus. She made the touch happen; He took care of the healing. Jesus told her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.”

My physical story began about two and a half years ago. My baby was four months old and, awesome, my period returned. I chalked it up to being a little unlucky.

Everything was normal at first, but a few months later things started getting weird. In January of 2015, I noticed extra spotting. No big deal as I knew my hormones were still out of whack. I was breastfeeding and expected a little weirdness.

It got weirder though. More spotting, more frequently. Sometimes more than just spotting. A pattern gradually developed and I seemed to be getting two periods every single month. Two weeks on and two weeks off. Sometimes it was every other week.

I still blamed the breastfeeding and decided that as soon as we were finished in that area, I’d make an appointment with my doctor and get back on the birth control pill. Hoping, really, that the situation would resolve itself in the weeks before my appointment.

The situation did not resolve itself and I so forward to the magical pills that had always regulated everything so nicely for me.

But, the pills didn’t work. In fact, my first month back on them, November of 2015, I bled every single day.

Every. Single. Day. Fear tried to wiggle it’s way in to whisper the possibilities.

While I didn’t bleed every day the next month, we had hoped for a more significant level of improvement. In January of 2016, an ultrasound was scheduled to make sure there were no other issues present. The ultrasound revealed that I have a “beautiful uterus”, at least, according to my doctor. Good, yet bad news, as now we would simply play a waiting game with pills.

Every few months I would try a different pill, hoping it would work. Every so often, I would have a normal month, just to have things start back up again the following month. I never knew what to expect. We tried timing pills differently, skipping weeks, and so forth. Still, the bleeding continued.

If you read my last post, Out of the Fog, you might have put together that this physical issue coincided with my loss of joy, and ultimately, the decision to attend counseling. I now believe my issues with postpartum depression and random bleeding were connected.

On a logical level, the irregular bleeding was a nuisance more than anything. On an emotional level, I felt defeated every time it reared it’s ugly head. I half-heartedly contemplated how freeing it might be to just remove my uterus and be rid of it all. But, that’s a significant surgery with significant side effects, so it never went beyond a thought.

Two years of inconvenience in my world. I cannot imagine twelve years of suffering in Biblical times without all our modern conveniences.

I ended up making the decision to stop taking birth control pills in hopes that my hormones might regulate naturally; thereby having a positive effect on both my emotions and my cycle. It didn’t happen in an instant, but where I am compared to a year ago feels like a dream.

I believe healing is a process. It is a reminder of our dependency on the Lord and that despite what we would love to believe about ourselves, we have some serious weaknesses that only He can strengthen. It strips away our pride and forces us to kneel at His feet, surrendering ourselves entirely.

When we come to Him broken, fully relying on what only He can do in our lives, we get that opportunity for Him to look us in the eye and say, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”

So, I am letting go of the need to fix it and I’m taking it all to Him. I may not be able to physically touch his robe, but I am His daughter. And I have faith. He can make me well.

“O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you restored my health.” Psalm 30:2

“O Lord, if you heal me, I will be truly healed; if you save me, I will be truly saved. My praises are for you alone!” Jeremiah 17:14

“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has a great power and produces wonderful results.” James 5:16

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Waking Up

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“You don’t know you’ve been asleep until you are awake.” These were words spoken to us by Pastor Allen of Daystar Church on January 1st. We were beginning a series called “Awaken” where our pastor was sounding a spiritual alarm to encourage us to wake up if we had been sleeping.

I had been asleep.

You probably wouldn’t have noticed. Perhaps the absence of blog posts the last few months would be a clue, but there is more to it than that, and I’d like to fill you in. Okay, well, maybe I don’t actually want to post these things over the internet for the world to read, but I’m going to do so for two main purposes.

My own personal growth and healing.

Do you know where the enemy is most successful? In the darkness. He loves to separate us from all that is good and lead us away from the Light because it is in the dark that we are most likely to believe his lies. Often, when we hide our struggles and try to brush them under a rug, we have a hard time of escaping them. I’ve made a lot of progress over this past year in several areas, so the last thing I want is for that progress to be lost or to be caught in a downward spiral again. By bringing my issues into the light, it gives me an opportunity to process what I’ve learned and it allows others to call me out if they sense anything going awry. It also gives me a chance to acknowledge my weaknesses to the Lord and allow Him to work in my life.

“Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.” Luke 1:78-79

Encouragement for others.

I can’t say this enough. I’m a pastor’s wife and I am not perfect. Not even close. I struggle just like everyone else, and I think there is something very human about that struggle. We are in the fight together and we need each other. It is my hope that in sharing these details, someone else who has been in the muck will find these words and be encouraged. The details might be different, but the theme is the same. We are in a battle, but friends, we are not alone. Let’s light each other on fire as we see all that God can do. All hope is not lost. Do not despair. He is here and He is working and He is GOOD.

“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

What can you expect from me?

It’s too much for one post, so I’m going to break it up a bit. I’m going to share with you about my emotional, physical, and spiritual struggles. Everything all ties in together, so it may sound a little redundant. I plan to be vulnerable with you, sharing things that I have only on occasion shared with others, and even then only if it so happened to come up in conversation. As I share these struggles, I will also share how God is working in them and through them. He is teaching me much about Himself and who I am in this process. It’s a messy work, but it is worth it.

I had been sleeping, but now? I’m waking up.

“I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Everything he does reveals his glory and majesty. His righteousness never fails.” Psalm 111:2-3