It’s been exactly three years now.
In October of 2008 I caught a common virus. One of the symptoms of my sickness was a continual headache, but when the sickness left, the headache stayed. Days went by, weeks went by, and months went by with no relief from my constant, debilitating headache, and with no idea when or even if it would
I went from working 8 hours/day to working about 2 or 3 hours/day (yes, my employer was very gracious). Many hours every day were spent lying in a dark room with ice packs surrounding my head.
As you can imagine, going from a healthy, active 23 year old to this state kinda shakes up one’s world. Countless tears were cried as I pleaded with my Heavenly Father to have mercy on me. More than anything, this condition (which I eventually learned was called NDPH) drew me to my Father, desperate for Him – desperate for His comfort, and desperate to know Him more. My pain drew out so many questions that were suddenly of utmost importance: questions like, “Did my loving Father allow evil forces to bring this headache, or Did God himself give me this headache?” And “Is this because of something I have done?” And “Is it because of some lesson I need to learn?” And “Who is this God who I know is so very loving because of what He did for me on the Cross, but who would allow something so horrible to happen to His child (and not to mention the unspeakably worse things that happen to countless others)?”
Oh, how I wanted more than anything to understand God and His ways. I had an insatiable hunger to understand God’s love and how He works through pain and through healing. I’ve come to realize that when we have a yearning as deep as I had then (and if it is consistent with God’s will/character as revealed in Scripture), it is a God-given yearning. It is meant to draw us to Himself and for us to ask Him for what it is we want, so that He can give it to us. I have not yet come to understand anywhere close to all that I want to learn about the way God works through pain and healing, nor will I this side of heaven. But God has graciously held me through very difficult times and spoken tenderly of His love to me. He has allowed me to witness the healing of others – sometimes immediate, and sometimes gradual. I don’t know why God repeatedly told me “not yet” for my own healing, but I persisted in asking for it, nonetheless. I have learned so much more about who God is through my pain…
and, through my healing.
Yes, I said my healing.
The absolute worst of my headache pain lasted about one year. Then, it gradually got a little better, (by God’s grace!), and at certain times during and after my pregnancy, it was very mild. It then gradually got worse as my hormones normalized, and so I went back to praying for and asking others to pray for my healing.
Let me pause in the story a moment and encourage you, if you have a physical ailment or any other problem in life (yes, that’s everyone), revisit the parable of the persistent widow (Luke 18:1-8). Do not ever stop praying for healing or God’s deliverance, saying “Well, I was persistent for a while, but it didn’t work.” That is not persistence! The judge in the parable granted the widow’s request because he knew that would be the only way to shut her up! She was never going to give up asking. That is persistence. I have read/heard of many people who have been healed through prayer after many many years of continually praying for healing, and then finally, just one more prayer offered in faith leads to their healing or deliverance. So continue to pray about the issue and continue to ask other believers to join you in praying for you.
Okay, so back to my story. After pregnancy and post-pregnancy hormones began to normalize, my headache pain was getting worse again – not as bad as it was the first year, but still bad enough to almost daily hinder my ability to take care of my responsibilities as a mother, wife, and student. So, I returned to regularly asking God for healing and asking others to pray for my healing. As I did so, I quickly saw improvement! This was late Spring of this year (2011). For a few weeks this past Summer, I had virtually no headache!! (To clarify, I still have “a constant headache,” but it is usually so low grade now that I have to intentionally think about it before I even notice it, so it really is nothing. But I still get headaches on top of that constant one when I’m tired, for example, or with loud noises, etc., so those are the “headaches” I will be referring to (I never got those or any other type of headache before this all started)). After those glorious weeks with zero headaches, I began getting headaches here and there, but only one every few days, and the headaches were now very controllable (ie. If I get plenty of rest, avoid loud noises, and keep excedrin on hand, I’m good to go). So, compared to my condition the first year, I am a whole new person! I praise God for the healing that He has brought, and I pray that He will continue to heal me until my headaches are completely gone, for His glory.
I know that countless of you have joined me in praying for my healing, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I wanted to post this to let you know that God has answered your prayers. I get emotional thinking about my state when this began compared to now, and I never want to forget how merciful and gracious God has been to me. He is so wonderful, and I know He wants to bless you and me both in ways that we haven’t even thought of. I believe He’s just waiting for us to ask.
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples. Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.” John 15:7-9
“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21