Almost three years ago I was shuffling my weak self from appointment to appointment at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, undergoing every test imaginable in a week-long attempt to solve the extreme exhaustion and plethora of accompanying health issues I’d been dealing with for several years without any solutions. I’d tried every diet, exercise plan, sleep schedule and supplement, but nothing helped.
At the end of the week, I left a campus full of medicine’s best with an even more fatigued body and no answers. I appreciated each doctor’s efforts – they were beyond wonderful, a group of the most professional, knowledgeable and accommodating people I’ve ever met – but both my energy and finances had been depleted and my hopes weren’t far behind.
A few years earlier, I’d begun to notice a few odd symptoms. All of them were minor and seemingly random, so I didn’t pay them much mind. I’d get an upset stomach after I ate guacamole. (I figured I must have an avocado allergy.) I started catching every virus that went around even though I never used to. (It was bound to happen sometime, right?) My body began requiring more and more sleep. (I was under a lot of pressure and assumed this must be how I coped.)
For the first couple years, I had no idea that a major illness might be at play. I tried to avoid avocados, I became even more of a germophobe than I already was, and I religiously scheduled extra time to sleep every night. As a recent college graduate, I was in a constant state of transition and I was no stranger to stress. I grieved some difficult losses, moved a few times, threw myself into a series of stressful jobs, and still felt like I was a teenager when it came to getting enough sleep each night. I kept waiting to outgrow it, but I never did.
As time went on, it started to become clear that something was just not right. My hair was falling out in clumps, my digestive system acted like it was on a two-year Caribbean cruise through choppy waters, and my daily exhaustion became so intense I could hardly function. My muscles started intermittently cramping up and going limp, and sometimes it was all I could do just to walk a short distance.
Within a few months after my trip to Mayo, I literally felt like I was dying. I don’t know how else to describe it because there isn’t any other way. I believed that I was going to live and that I had a word from God that he’d eventually heal me, but my body was shutting down and I was powerless to stop it.
Just after my 28th birthday, I quit my full-time job. I was generously allowed to work part-time and keep my insurance if I could log at least 10 hours a week, but it was a major struggle just to accomplish that. Sometimes I’d actually have to clock out, crawl under the desk with a blanket, and rest until I could regain the strength to move a mouse back and forth again. Sleeping up to 20 hours a day became the norm, no matter how many coffees I downed or how desperately I tried to live a “normal” life. Breakfast wore me out. (We’re talking Chobani here.) I could barely make it through an hour-long church service. I basically had to use every ounce of my energy every time I left the house or even just my bedroom, and then I’d completely crash as soon as I returned. And if I didn’t return soon enough, I’d crash anyway.
Several months earlier, I had felt God tell me that he was going to heal me in 2016. Naturally, I was hoping for January 1st. 😊 But January passed, and then February, and then March. Nothing happened. I just got worse. The months went by, one after the other, with no sign of any change. By summer, I felt like I was on my deathbed.
And then the miracle finally came.
On August 7, 2016, I was healed!!!
The day began like most other Sundays. I went to church, came home and climbed back into bed without changing out of my church clothes, slept for a few hours, and got up for my “second wind.” I was home alone that afternoon (though I probably shouldn’t have been) and it was a bright, sunny day. I wanted to go outside so badly, and normally that didn’t go too well for me, but I couldn’t resist. I used up a few of my precious minutes to slip into a swimsuit and I headed out back to my parents’ pool with a book I’d been trying to finish for weeks.
I had K-LOVE playing all cliché-like in the background, and just as I settled into my book, God suddenly started to “speak.” Still, small voice and all. (Thus far in my life, he has yet to sound like Morgan Freeman, although that would be pretty sweet.)
Stubborn as always, I told him I was nearing the end of a really good book…could we just postpone this dialogue for like 10 minutes?
Nope. He kept dropping sentences into my mind that demanded attention. Even further, he’d say something and – boom! – the next song on the radio would be about that exact same thing. Almost word-for-word. This happened over and over through a playlist of at least eight songs.
God: “There will be a day…and that day is NOW.”
Jeremy Camp: “There will be a daaaay with no more tears, no more pain, and no more fears…”
God: “It is time for restoration, for healing…for closure, for LIFE. For a new chapter.”
Danny Gokey: “Yesterday’s a closing door; you don’t live there anymore. Say goodbye to where you’ve been, and tell your heart to beat again…”
Then I felt God say all nonchalantly, “Go under the water, and when you come up, you will be healed.”
I finally gave up on the book. I soaked my hair with a garden hose to prevent chlorine green (because I am overly responsible even in the midst of a miracle, apparently) and walked straight into the deepest part of the pool until I was totally underwater. I surfaced, swam around as a handful of completely timely and relevant songs continued to play on the radio, and decided about a half-hour later that I was ready to get out, not “feeling” anything but trusting that I was healed because I did what God told me to do.
The second I stepped out of the water, Needtobreathe’s “Washed by the Water” started playing.
(Right after Casting Crowns’ “One Step Away,” naturally.)
I smiled. I cried. I laughed.
I never “felt” anything. I’d been outside reading during one of my tiny energy streaks for the day. Normally I’d have a good hour and then the fatigue would hit again like a hammer.
It never came.
It never came AGAIN.
I was “normal” the rest of the day. I slept 11 hours that night (which actually was my “normal” prior to the years of fatigue) and woke up when it was still morning like normal people do.
That pattern has continued for nearly two years. I still require extra sleep at night compared to the average adult, and I’m an introvert; I still need (lots) more alone time to re-energize than most. I still get tired pretty easily. But God has COMPLETELY healed me of my exhaustion, and it has not returned for one. single. moment. All I did was go under the water and come back up, but I know exactly who was responsible for the changes that followed and there isn’t a doubt in my mind who healed me that day. MY GOD ANSWERS PRAYER.
My God HEALS!
I am so grateful for this miracle and for all the prayers that were sent up on my behalf. They were heard, and they were answered! I didn’t see the result of those prayers for several years. But it came. Finally, it came.
God is good. He is good when he heals, and he is still good when he doesn’t. I don’t know why he chose to heal ME. I don’t know why he chose August 7, 2016. I don’t know why he didn’t choose 2011 or 2015 instead. And I don’t know why sometimes he says “no” or “wait” in response to so many other things I – and others – request. But I know he is good regardless. I know his ways are higher than mine. And I know that he works ALL things for the good of those who love him!
“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be given you.” – Jesus (John 15:7)
2 Corinthians 4:16-18: “So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making a new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.”
Romans 8:28: “That’s why we can be so sure that EVERY DETAIL in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.” (emphasis mine)
Twenty-one months ago, I was healed. I am living proof that my God answers prayer. And my life is forever changed because of it.
I hope that my story encourages you, and if you’re still waiting for your own healing or your own miracle, there is hope! I waited six years to be healed. We never know when God will choose to surprise us with the miracle we have long-awaited! (And, believe me, I’ve got a couple more I’ve been waiting on, so stay tuned!)
Comment below if you’re facing something of your own and I’d love to pray for you. And if you have a miracle story to share, I’d love to hear that, too!
I pray that each one of you will be encouraged today. The best is yet to come!! ❤