Today is the one year anniversary of waking up and being able to get out of bed on the first try without intense pain shooting through my body. For those of you who don’t know my story, let me give you a bite of it.
Eight long and painful years I had a combination of severe fibromyalgia and myofascial pain disease. That’s a lot of letters strung together to say I was in horrific pain in my entire body every moment of every day. It was relentless. The myriad of symptoms alone would leave me writing a novella. I’ll just leave it at pain and inability to function most days.
April 17, 2011 I reluctantly went to pray with some women because I was tired of my financial stress. You see I thought that was my problem. If my finances came back into harmony with my life, then all would be right in the world again. Ha! Nothing had been right in my world in decades if I’m honest with you. But, you know how it is. You think if you stick a band-aid on a hemorrhaging wound you’ll make it another day until you can replace the band-aid.
So, I’m with these two lovely women who are going to pray with me. Another side note without getting into my entire story was that I was a hot mess. I’d lived life my way for so long that I was a disaster. Two marriages, extensive abuse by a spouse, betrayal, heavy emotional wounds and the shame and guilt I laid upon myself was the deepest of all of the wounds. I didn’t value myself at all and gave myself away to people all of the time for the possibility of a word of affirmation.
Back to prayer time which by the way I was so not ready for. I’d been running from my Creator for so long because I thought (like most of us) that God = Religion. So, I’m with these ladies and ready to bless my bank account when God had another plan. By the way, I was doing this on a dare. So when you read the next part understand that you just have to open that door a crack when He’s knocking. You see He was tired of waiting on me to get my act together (trust me when I say I’m very stubborn). He started weeding out my garden of junk. I’ve got emotional wounds being healed all over the place. Forgiveness is just full force flying around the room. I’m praying to have my ex-spouses blessed (okay, I choked a lot on that then but I do mean it today). And then it happened!
He wanted to heal me of my disease. Huh?! Stubborn me fought it the entire way. Because what would He want from me in exchange? I don’t want to be “that girl”. Guess what? I am THAT girl! I didn’t believe it when I left that day. Yes, I never felt the sting of my old emotional wounds again. It’s like watching a movie play out when I think back but the emotional ties are broken. But, how can I wake up and be healthy?
I’ve not experienced ONE symptom in the last year tied to the old me. Not one! And being “that girl” is the most awesome thing in the world. I thought people would look at me sideways or raise an eyebrow but they don’t. Even if they did who cares? I no longer lay in bed writhing in pain wanting to die. I know my value, my worth, my identity.
In the next hour, I’m leaving for my second trip to Haiti to build houses. I could never have begun to fulfill my purpose in life this last year if I hadn’t accepted his gift. It is such a simple gift. Grace.
Grace, His abundant love, is a gift. You don’t have to earn it. There is no scorecard or regulations to follow. Just simply accept it. Time doesn’t heal all wounds but His grace does. All dis-ease, all torment, all shame, all guilt, all pain, all woundedness….nothing can stand against His grace. If you’ve ever begged out loud for a second chance – here it is.
If you don’t identify with this part of my story, no worries. I recommend you check out People of the Second Chance – there may be a story there that does resonate with you!