You’ve been blogging for a few days and have no idea how God is going to use this thing (you haven’t even had a chance to tell your dad you are blogging again in your joint venture.) How the heck do people stumble upon a new blog anyway? When Beth Moore asks for your miracle. And in the comments section you decide to take another little jump off the divine diving board God has lead you to and link to this blog. You sort of feel like you are going to throw up but here it goes.
I was the most awkward seventh grader on earth when I got mono. There is no joke less funny then the joke that is told to the highly hormonal thirteen year old who has contracted the kissing disease, who has never been kissed. Trust me. For most mono means a couple of weeks out of school and then you are done. For me it was the start of a very dark journey. I missed 70 plus days of school that year partly because of the mono, which I could never seem to shake, and partly due to the anxiety that I was experiencing after having missed school for months at a time. But even without the emotional aspect (and I am someone who can emote) I just plain didn’t feel good.
In eighth through tenth grade I got myself together enough to make it to school on a semi-regular basis. I missed a lot more than most but had a very understanding doctor who wrote me a catch all excuse note while we figured out what the heck was going on with my health. Even in this confusing time the Lord blessed me with parents and a doctor who believed me. We muddled through.
But shortly before my seventeenth birthday things got really bad. I dropped out of all but one of my classes and made it to school probably less than once a week. On the cusp of dropping out of school completely I got a correct diagnosis. Fibromyalgia, and a promise from a kind and brilliant doctor that I was going to get much better.
With diet and less activity than usual I managed to live a relatively normal life. Mostly I learned how to be dependent on the Lord and trust that He would show up when I really needed Him. But God didn’t want me to get by. He wanted me to thrive. I had in my teenage years gotten prayed over for healing. I would name it and claim, and a few weeks later be angry that I still felt like crap.
Slowly in my 25th year the Lord began to thaw my heart toward healing. Through words from my sister and father, and a friendship I had been avoiding due to the fact that she kept claiming healing over my life (how dare her!), I began to hear the Lord speak that he wanted me to be free of everyday pain.
Disclaimer: I am in now way saying that my experience is that over every fibromyalgia. I just know that this is true for me. Now that that is out of the way.
I finally ordered A More Excellent Way from Amazon and after repeated shipping failure (spiritual warfare anyone?) I got my hands on that book. The passages about fibromyalgia being linked to fear of failure, fear that I was not good enough pierced my heart. It was as though the author knew me, knew things about me I did not even admit to myself. Maybe I would be healed.
Very shortly after that the Lord showed up on a Sunday during the worship and pushed me into my seat. There I saw a silhouette of a person clinging to a thorn bush. That person was me. Somewhere in the midst of my illness I had begun to hang on to it. Identify myself with it. For me, I was allowed to not be good enough, because I had fibromyalgia. It was okay to not be able to be everything for everyone, I would it is just I had fibromyalgia. The Lord showed me letting go of the thorn bush, straightening from the stoop I was in, and standing, turning toward the cross and instead clinging to that. And now (and I am battling to know this every day) it is okay to not be good enough, it is okay to not be everything for everyone, because what Jesus did on that cross is enough. His grace is sufficient.
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Wow. What a powerful story, Abby. Thank you.