I know what it feels like to try to act and look normal when you are anything but that.
For much of my life, especially when my children were younger, I battled a lot of physical challenges. I would get through one thing, have a bit of a break, and something else would come along.
Looking back, I can see that I had a lot of fear and anxiety that probably contributed to what seemed like waves of crisis.
How it all began
It all started when I began having some really strange symptoms. Things like numbness around my mouth and feeling random weakness and strange sensations in different parts of my body. And I was so tired. I ran all sorts of scenarios through my mind about what could be happening to me. It was terrifying.
I went to see my doctor, and he told me I was one of those anxious people and that I should take more walks. More walks?
It made me furious to be patronized like that, and that is the last time I ever saw that doctor. Being an RN, I knew all of the scary things that could be wrong with me, and I felt justified in my alarm.
So much fear
As a nurse, I believe that traditional medicine has a lot of offer. But since all I had been offered in this instance was a doctor who thought I was wasting his time, I went to see a naturopathic doctor.
I quickly gained a lot of respect for her vast knowledge regarding the roots of health issues and how the body heals. She started me on supplements and they began to help my energy level, which was great!
I could also tell that as I nourished my body with what it needed, I was gaining strength. For the first time in a long time, I felt fortified. It felt like reinforcements had arrived and I began to feel like I could see a little tiny light at the end of my long tunnel.
Still, I had so much fear–no, really it was terror–that I was actually going to end up disabled and ultimately die. Doesn’t that sound silly now? It does to me. But boy, it wasn’t silly or funny then.
I didn’t even have a diagnosis, and my doctor wouldn’t take me seriously. But it was so very real for me–the symptoms were real, and they dominated my thinking most of the time. The battle truly is in the mind.
Meanwhile, I had a wonderful husband and two precious little girls that I was missing being fully present with. Oh I was there each day, doing all of the things, but inside I was trying to keep it together while wearing a smile.
I was a Christian all during this time, and we even hosted a Bible study in our home, and some wonderful things were happening–people were getting healed and set free. And by Christian, I mean I really had a relationship with God–I spent time reading the Bible, and a lot of time praying.
It so happened that during this time I was being mentored by a lady in our church who had lots of wisdom and experience in prayer and intercession, and I wanted to learn from her. I knew I was also supposed to be a pray-er.
My husband and I also had close friends that would come and pray with us on the days when I would feel really bad, which also meant I would feel really scared. That strengthened me, and those prayers made a difference.
And the word of God–that was my lifeline. I got serious and decided to take verses that talked about healing and freedom literally. The result? I made more progress and got more bold.
Day by day, I kept pouring those verses into my heart and mind. I took my supplements and trusted God that healing was working in me, even when I couldn’t feel it.
Feeling desperate and discouraged
One day when my mentor was over at my house, I was talking to her about how long this had gone on. Even though things were better, I still had too many moments of panic and anxiety about my future and whether I was really going to win this battle. Feeling desperate and discouraged, I knew something more had to change.
She shared a scripture with me that changed my life!
John 15:7-8 says: “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask what YOU will, and it shall be done unto you.” (caps mine)
She went on to explain that God didn’t put any qualifiers on this verse except the abiding part, and He allows us to decide what we want and ask Him for it.
I was very familiar with that verse but had never seen it or thought of it in that light. Since it was right there on the page, written in red, I decided I was going to take God up on that!
This was in the middle of March, and I decided that I was going to be completely free of every terrifying symptom by March 31. And, that over the next two weeks, everything was going to gradually improve. By the end of the month, I was going to be well.
So I wrote it down and prayed that bold prayer based on that scripture. I stood my ground against whatever had attacked my body and mind. Every.Day. and you know what?
It happened just that way!
By the end of the month, I was FREE.
God performed His word, and that scripture in John was the scripture that spoke to my particular situation at that time.
All of the symptoms left, and I felt normal again. I still had to battle some anxiety at times, but I was determined NOT to let it back in.
Things dramatically changed when I approached my situation and the word of God in a different way.
Keys are key
As I thought through all that had happened, I was reminded that there are keys that the Bible speaks of. If things aren’t working and aren’t going in the right direction, it is very likely that you are missing a key.
It could be a key of knowledge, or a key of understanding of how to apply knowledge (also known as wisdom.) It could be unforgiveness or a wall of anger or resentment.
But don’t give up–keep praying, keep searching, keep asking, keep seeking. God is faithful! He has promised that we have been given keys, and that Jesus has been made unto us wisdom. God is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him. He will show you the way out.
The answer and that scripture were there all the time. I just had to apply it in the right way to my situation.
The next chapter
Fast forward a few years, and we moved to the University of Virginia so my husband could attend grad school. It was a very exciting and happy time for our family, and we LOVED our little apartment on campus.
I was homeschooling our daughters and for the first time in a long time, I took a break from working. I couldn’t imagine a better situation for our family in that season.
Except, I started feeling depressed. And I gained a little weight. I’ve always been kind of a quiet and subdued person, but I wasn’t depressed. And why would I be now, in one of the best seasons we had ever had?
Not having a doctor there yet, I called mine back home and spoke with the nurse, who was also a friend. She told me to have my thyroid checked.
Hmm, never had any problems with that, but ok. Sure enough, my TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) was over 7 (way too high). I started on Synthroid and within 3 days, the depression was gone and I was back to normal.
I felt a little weird about the thought of having to take a pill every day for the rest of my life. But I put that aside (mistake) and went on with our new life on campus. I would deal with that later.
What I didn’t realize at the time was that a shadow fell over me that would play out a few more years down the road.