How do you know what healing looks like, are you the healer?

God is not shy about asking questions. In fact, it seems God is a bit fond of asking rhetorical questions. One of God’s first rhetorical questions is noted in Genesis 3:11 after Adam and Eve ate of the apple. God asked them, “Who told you that you were naked?” Of course, Adam and Eve didn’t need to answer the question, nor did they make a verbal response. They were fully aware, they were self-aware, and precisely understood God’s point.

Another question God asked is listed in Genesis 18:14, when God asked Abraham, “Is there anything too hard for the Lord?” This question arose after the story of three visitors coming to tell Abraham that Sarah will have a son. Again, there was no need for explanation. Abraham knew nothing is too hard for the Lord.

One of my favorite rhetorical questions is listed in the book of Job. When God asks, “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it?” Those two verses are just part of the beginning of one of the most beautiful rhetorical pieces ever written. It captures who God is and magnifies God with immaculate details. Who better to describe God, than God himself?

This past week as I was singing and worshiping I felt like God asked me a question. The question was, “How do you know what healing looks like, are you the healer?” You may know I suffer from postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, along with many other complicated ailments. I recently got a port, and I am getting infusions weekly to help with hydration and keeping my electrolytes balanced as much as possible.

Getting infusions is one aspect that is helpful to POTS patients and brings a bit of relief. By no means is it total healing! In fact, even with infusions every night around 8:00 PM or even a little earlier, I feel as though I am getting sick. You know the feeling, when you are tired, cranky, your throat begins to hurt, and overall you feel worn out. I try with all my might to stay awake until 9 pm, and then I crash. The good news is I have been waking up in the morning before 8 AM and I’m able to stay awake a whole 12 hours or more. A year ago, most of the time I couldn’t last 6 hours without taking a nap. So there is an improvement.

Although I am happy with the improvement, I wish I could see more…do more. I would like to see something more tangible and physical – what I determine healing to be.  I would like to run 5 miles a day, do everything possible with my kids, make phenomenal meals, have an immaculate home, be active in my community, church, and so much more. I want to do it all! I guess I want to be some superhero, because really, who alone can do all things well? My ideal healing is nearly impossible for an average person. I’ve defined healing as being able to do whatever I want. As I write this definition on paper, it seems so arrogant, lofty and utterly selfish.

I don’t know what healing looks like. I don’t know what transpires in a body after surgery is performed. As stitches close a wound, I can’t see beneath an incision. Of course, I can see the effects of healing. I can see that I no longer take naps every day. I can see improvement in my blood work. But what is there I can’t see? Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the evidence of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” All these things I can’t see – my belief, hope, and longing to do so much more. Do I believe?

My belief is running five miles a day, doing everything possible with my kids, making phenomenal meals, having an immaculate home, being active in my community, church, and so much more. It looks like my belief is rooted in selfishness, not healing.  It is rooted in I; not the I AM. Me trying to be super. Ultimately, it’s a superficial healing. It’s what I deemed healing to be. But the real, the real is so much broader than I could ever see.

So I pray, God heal me. Heal me with and by your definition. Not mine. I do not know. I am not the healer. You are the healer. You are the great I AM. Heal me however you see me healed.

Who Took off My Clothes?

If you have read A Little Piece of My Spiritual Journey you probably already know in 2008 and 2009 I thought I was going through the hardest moment of my life and was going to lose something, if not everything. I specifically mention the night my son started to turn blue, and I thought I was going to lose him, and if not him, I would definitely lose our house, car, or whatever else we had, due to medical bills. We had 5 hard medical years. Now, I laugh, because it has been 10 years. Regardless, in those dark moments, I realized as I wrote in A Little Piece of My Spiritual Journey “I had never felt so stripped in my life, I felt like I was walking around completely exposed.” I had generous neighbors pay our mortgage, I had a mother’s group I attended, Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) give us money, I was given groceries and most importantly my child lived, and blessings didn’t stop. Still, blessing haven’t stopped, but things haven’t been easy. In fact, I almost feel things are harder now.

For instance, recently I have been given the diagnoses of losing brain mass. I have a long medical history starting from the day of my birth being told I would not live through the night. Now 37 years later by God’s grace, I am still alive after fighting death numerous times. Currently, I battle 2 diseases (asthma and GERD) and four hospitals are currently looking for other diseases, disorders, and/or syndromes. Overall, I am grateful because I have battled and conquered a nasty disease called C-diff. I am so thankful c-diff is gone, but it did leave battle scars.

One scar that continues to open is a syndrome called Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), I also have multiple disorders’ (Endometriosis, IBS, Fibromyalgia, PMDD, Anxiety, Depression; added with a whole lot of other symptoms.) It’s a lot to manage on top of having medically fragile and/or special needs children. However, after reading an article tonight from Christianity Today I am wondering about vulnerability, because the title of the article in the November 2014 issue is called, “Sorry, Brené Brown: Not All Vulnerability Is Brave.” With that being said, I began to wonder if being as vulnerable as I am, should I be asking the question “Who took off my clothes?” I can’t deny the feeling of being stripped regarding the circumstances that happened in 2008 and 2009. And as funny as it may be I really do have to take off my clothes a lot of the time for all my medical procedures, but I always put them back on after my appointment. Through all of this, I’ve  discovered after my appointment with my neurologist, discussing that my brain mass loss is like the equivalent to dementia I realize I took off my clothes. Of course not literally, but as I was crying outside the hospital sitting next to a cement wall feeling like I should just go live on the streets, I took off my clothes.

It has been a hard battle not being dressed for a few weeks, in fact, the other day I was sitting with my dad (obviously with real tangible clothes on) talking about how he was going to preach a sermon specifically about garments. He mentioned scriptures like Isaiah 61:3 “To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified.” He also mentioned other verses regarding the priestly garments and we discussed his sermon some more. At that time it never occurred to me then that I took off my clothes, specifically my spiritual clothes. I took off the garment of praise. I took the breastplate, the belt of truth….I took everything off. I took off my identity in Christ.

With all that being said, I encourage you to put your clothes on! Isaiah 5:27 is encouraging too.  It says, “No one will be weary or stumble among them, No one will slumber or sleep; Nor will the belt on their loins be loosed, Nor the strap of their sandals be broken.” God encouraged them to fight and keep their clothes on!

So again, I encourage you, put your clothes on! Be strengthened in God’s righteousness, his identity, and his garment. When we are naked, we are ashamed. I’ve been ashamed of my losses, but I don’t have to be. Jesus can cover me just as Isaiah 61:10 says in The Message, “Sing for joy in God, explode in praise from deep in my soul! 
He dresses[s] me up in a suit of salvation, he [fits] me in a robe of righteousness.”

We got some great clothes to wear so let’s put ’em on, and keep ’em on!