Thursday, January 10, 2013

How God Healed Me

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I've had chronic back pain since high school. 

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I've been working through perfectionism and fear-related patterns since high school. 

By the middle of last month, both of these problems had reached a peak. I was stressed, strung out, anxious, angry that I couldn't get everything done, and judging myself harshly for it all. I was also becoming more and more debilitated as my back pain kept escalating seemingly randomly. 

By Saturday, Dec. 15, I remember lying on the couch thinking, "My body feels so broken that I can't do the dishes without crying. I'm 24 years old and have no children. How will I make it?" What's more, I was waxing poetic about how innocent I was in the midst of it all. "I'm just trying to be faithful with the tasks before me, but I can't even get them done because of this pain. I've been unjustly afflicted and even though I'm doing everything I can to get rid of this problem (there's that perfectionism again!), it just keeps getting worse. Woe is me!"

The next morning I went to church discouraged and desperate to meet with Jesus. After communion, I went forward to ask for prayer that God would heal my back. A man and his wife began to pray for me by asking God what He would like to do or say. After a few minutes of listening, the man said, "Hannah, this will be hard, but I think you need to let go of control." 

The minute he said those words, I understood. I came asking God to heal what I understood the problem to be-- the back pain-- and He answered by revealing what the problem actually was-- my unhealthy pattern of trying to control my life through perfectionism. I thought I was an innocent victim of this back pain, and the Lord clarified that I was actually contributing to it through my lifestyle. In revealing my sin and the extent of its effects on me, God showed me how much He loves me. He loves me enough to heal not just the symptoms, but the disease itself. 

This powerful experience reminded me that God really knows my story-- that He sees and cares for my suffering, and He understands it better than I do-- and that God, in Christ, offers healing that is deeper than I even know to ask for. His response to my request for relief was to convict me of sin. In doing so, His kindness led me to repentance and restoration. It led me to healing. 

Since that day, I've invited God to keep showing me when and how I seek to seize control from Him over my life. I've invited His continual conviction because I know He exposes sin for my own good. Since that day, I've had to repent again and again and again of my destructive pattern, and practice releasing control to Him. 

Since that day, I have not had back pain.   

1 comment:

Susannah said...

Thanks for sharing this, Hannah. God is so good! I love how he speaks to our deep questions, not necessarily the ones we ask.