When something significant happens in your life, you usually remember details about the date or where you were when it happened. For example, I remember every detail of my Tuesday morning, September 11, 2001: what I was doing, where I was, and what happened and didn’t happen (air travel) in the days following.
If you ask people what they were doing on November 22, 1963 when JFK was shot in Dallas, they can still tell you.
When we were asked last Sunday – What has happened in your life that you know was God’s work? – I blanked! I had nothing. I knew there were many moments, large and small, when I knew He was there, but one specific, significant event? Nada. It just didn’t come to me.
It hit me like a Gibbs smack and I knew it was time to share it. So here it is, my story:
When I was 6 years old, I started getting horrible headaches. At that time, the pain-fighting drug of choice was aspirin. The problem was, every time I took one, it came right back up. So, we thought I was allergic to aspirin. Turns out, I just had severe nausea…due to migraines!
BUT, we didn’t know they were migraines until I was 17 and flipping through the dictionary one day (yeah, I’ve been a word geek for awhile) and saw the word “migraine” which now is defined as: “an extremely severe paroxysmal (sudden or severe) headache, usually confined to one side of the head and often associated with nausea.”
I was ecstatic! Not that I got them, but that I finally knew what I’d been suffering for all those years.
Anybody who has or has gotten migraines knows these aren’t your mother’s headaches. These suck to a degree not wished on your worst enemy. Well, maybe your worst one…
There is a painting I saw in a museum many years ago of a head with a spike through the temple that pretty accurately describes the sharp, debilitating pain that shoots through different areas of the head, neck or shoulders during a migraine. The pain gets so bad that it usually leads to severe nausea. The catch-22 is you can’t take pain meds on an empty stomach because they come up, and you can’t eat anything to take the pain meds because the food comes up!
So you suffer in sucky existence.
These migraines occurred at least once per month, every single month, and lasted an average of 2-4 days each, for a total of 31 years!
That’s a lot of pain.
When I was 37, I had become somewhat discouraged with churches after something bad happened at the church we were attending (and the pastor knew about it and didn’t tell anybody). However, we had just found a new church family and although I was hesitant, I was open to see if this one would work. I did not know yet how blessed this place and these people would become, not only in my life but in my kids’ lives, because they are still a blessing to us, even after the church (Camino Real Christian Fellowship) disbanded because the pastor was so awesome that those in charge called him back to do bigger things.
But I digress.
These strong prayer warriors – something I had not encountered before – prayed over me. It took a couple times, but within 3 months, I did not have any more migraines. This was easy to prove since I had gotten them EVERY month for 31 years so one month without one was easy to see. Two months without one was a miracle. You get the point.
But something else happened also. This might seem like TMI, but it is imperative to the story…my “monthly gift”, as they say, always came at 28 days. Except for those few times when stress threw it off a day or so, for 26 years I was so regular I could mark it on the calendar at 28 days without fail.
After those first couple of months, it changed from 28 days to 25 days. Every month. Provable.
So God didn’t just snap His fingers and take away the migraines, He actually changed my body so I wouldn’t get them any longer. The migraines very obviously had become linked to my cycle, and now…they weren’t. And 12 years later, although I get “normal” headaches once in awhile, I still don’t get migraines.
Romans 5:3 says: “More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance.” That is SO true. Suffering sucks, there is no way around that, but I couldn’t have handled the pain of some other events in my life, like the police academy, if I didn’t know I was stronger than I thought I was to begin with.
So, there it is. My story. I know there are those who say they don’t believe in God and they are entitled to their beliefs; that is what makes this country great. But nobody can ever make me believe God isn’t real because I have personal testimony to the contrary.
Becky is a single mom navigating her own groovy trails. She knows God has called her to share his Word with others even though she is reluctant in that calling, but feels confident that He will equip her along the way with what words she should share on her journey. She does her best to trust in that knowing, and to not judge others on their journeys. Unless the waist of their pants is at their butt cheeks; then she thinks they should pull those puppies up. Or if somebody says she eats too much chocolate; then she just can’t be friends with them anymore. Join her to discover how your plans and God’s plans come together in this life full of reluctant discipleship!