I'm a bit rough around the edges. The hardships I have gone through in life have given me some jagged spots. Yet God is polishing me into an eventual diamond. I don't know what kind of rock I'll be by the time I enter Eternity, but I know I won't be the same shabby old pumice that I started out as when I gave my life over to him in 2002. Back then, I told Him to do whatever He wanted with me, but to please give me peace. That peace has been a decade in the making, and the process continues to this day, but I can honestly say He's been making good on His promise.
I haven't agreed with His methods. Nope, I've kicked and screamed most of the way. Because when I envisioned God bringing peace to my life, a beautiful, tranquil island scenario is what came to mind-not some fiery furnace where (ahem) all of my rough edges would be burnt away by trials.
I don't believe God ever willed for me to get a neurological disease that would cause dysfunction in all of my organs. I don't think He assigned pathogens to drill holes in my brain. I don't believe He meant for me to lose my home and job, and to have to move seven times in seven years due to physical disability. And I know He cried with me as I wailed daily in despair for over half a decade. But He has used the process, paradoxically, to bring me to a greater place of peace.
I believe that God wills for His beloved children to be well, and that He is able to heal them. But as I mentioned in my book, Healing Chronic Illness: By His Spirit, Through His Resources, He may allow disease for a time, if the process of illness will teach us strategies that we need to regain our health. I'm not saying He needs us to be sick to make us into better people -indeed, sickness is from the pit of Hell-but He may use our infirmities to teach us how to pick up and use the weapons that He's given us to fight disease.
And I don't just mean vegetables, vitamins and viral remedies. I mean, the power of His Word, and revelation of the truth that He loves us, wants to prosper us in all areas of our life, and that yes-He has the desire and ability to heal us. Truths that most of us assent to on a mental level, but which we struggle to assimilate into our hearts, because life has beat the crap out of us.
It's taken me years to understand that God is healing me. My cells yet lag in the understanding of this great power and love towards me, but I'm starting to get it, as He uses me to pray over others, and I witness Him touching their hearts, minds and bodies through me.
As part of my healing process, He has shown me, time and again, that I need to learn to change my thoughts-with His help, of course. Still, at times, I whine and make the excuse that I don't have enough happiness-inducing neurotransmitters in my brain to think His thoughts. I protest that I've been through too much trauma to believe in His promises- but He always comes back to me with the rebuttal, "So you think your past and disease are greater than my Spirit?"
Yes, my battle with the flesh may be stronger than that of the soul who frolics about the pulpit on Sundays, all bubbles and bounce, and my knowledge of what disease does to the brain sometimes works against me, but He is my warrior. He stands beside me and fights for me when I cannot fight. He enables me to think my way back to His perspective, whenever I choose to go to Him.
He has also used medicine to heal me. Seven years of integrative and alternative medical treatments have either brought the party of Lyme disease pathogens that I suffered with into remission, or eradicated them completely. No test exists to definitively determine their exit, but ART (an advanced form of muscle testing) shows they aren't causing me symptoms anymore. Ironically, my book, Healing Chronic Illness was published exactly one day after my doctor declared me to be free of these infections. As if to show me that writing a book to tell people that He is their healer wasn't in vain.
God is still healing the damage that the infections caused in my body, though, so I'm once again being stretched in my faith. Yet because I now know that His will for me is health, I believe that a deeper healing is yet coming. I stand in faith, even if some days, I still cry.
It's okay. I don't need to be perfect. Neither do you.