Life can change in an instant. My life changed 7 months ago when I was raised up from my sick bed and able to walk again. How?? Well, healing comes in different ways. Medicine, prayers, treatment, doctors, miracles… ALL of it is God. All those things are how He is choosing to heal me. The past 3 days I faced the possibility of being back in bed 24/7.
I have a blood/heart condition called POTS. Mine is neurological, one of the most severe cases they know of. Whenever I stood up, or even sat up, I lost all the blood to my brain and passed out. My heart rate would also race to the 180s (which is equivalent to what your heart would do if you were sprinting as fast as you can). This made it so I had to live my life from bed, FLAT on my back. I crawled to the bathroom. Sometimes I could walk with my walker 20ft, but I had to quickly sit or lie on the floor before I passed out. Losing the blood to my brain this frequently did NOT help my brain injury. It flared the symptoms. But after living this way for 4+ years God would change all of that within 2 weeks.
Last summer, June 2017, I was put in the hospital to try a medicine that would be experimental for my condition. After a few days we saw some progress, the blood was pumping better to my brain. The problem was I didn’t feel any better. The symptoms I already had of severe nausea, dizziness, weakness, heaviness, and more, were not going away. I was beyond exhaustion. Just lifting my arms to put a shirt on took SO much out of me!!! That night I broke down crying and praying in my hospital bed, “God you have to help me. I can’t do this. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, I need you.” Very soon after this prayer, God gave me a vision answering my plea. (Trust me, my prayers are not always answered this fast.) 😉
Here I was, curled up in a hospital bed looking like a beat up soldier. I’m crying. I’m desperately wanting to go home. And the Lord gives me a vision: “I saw a long trail created out of the medicine for my POTS. I saw loose (green & white just like my medicine is) capsules piled up a foot deep, and a few feet wide. The trail was a few miles long!! (Imagining how many years of medication this would make up was mind-blowing.) Then I saw the Lord’s hand wave slowly over the trail of medication. As He did this I saw black stuff coming out of the medicine which I knew symbolized the side-effects. Then I saw the capsules turning gold”. I understood this meant that He was blessing the medicine in my body.
The next day something changed. The side-effects were leaving. My body was suddenly adjusting quickly to the huge amount of medication being put in me. It would take months and months of physical therapy to build my body up after 5 years in bed. But after 2 weeks in the hospital I went home sitting up in the van (previously I always laid down on a mattress on the floor so I wouldn’t pass out).
A few days after I got home we had a family get together. When my 4 year old niece, Selah, saw me sitting UP outside (she had only seen me lying down in a dark room) she ran to me saying “Aunt Rachel, are you better??!!” Seeing the excitement, wonder and joy on her face said it all!! As she crawled up on my lap I smiled and answered “Yes, I’m much better. I’m still sick but I’m much better.” Over the next 7 months she would hear me say “Jesus is healing me” many many times. Why?? Because that was the truth :).
Of course my desire is to be miraculously healed and need no medication. But more than that my desire is, “Not my will, but your will be done God.” If His will is to use these meds, then I am so grateful. Over 5 years I’ve had countless people praying for me. I’ve had so many lay hands on me expecting God to heal me right then. I’ve had many tell me if I had more faith I’d be healed. When I heard their words I would break into tears praying, “God I do believe. But I’m so sorry if I don’t have enough faith.” There were days I woke up and my “faith” expected me to get up walk out of bed and have NO symptoms.
But when the symptoms flooded my body like a tsunami, I knew I wasn’t healed.
After years of being sick and trusting God through it I learned a lot. The Lord showed me that the reason I wasn’t healed wasn’t my lack of faith. All it takes is a mustard seed to move a mountain, and I had at least a mustard seed ;). It wasn’t that God was a cruel God that wanted to watch me suffer. NO He showed me how His heart breaks for those of His children that are suffering (which is all of us at some point in life).
Why God wasn’t healing me I didn’t know. I still don’t know the answers to His timing, His will, His ways. What I know is He is faithful to be with me through the struggle. He is faithful to give me grace throughout the day. He is faithful to draw me close into the intimacy of His presence through the suffering. I know God has grown me, changed me, and taken my soul to a depth I don’t think I would’ve experienced without this sickness. For that I am forever grateful. (1 Peter 4:13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.)
A few days ago I found out my insurance hadn’t approved a refill at my specialty pharmacy for this medicine. I run out in a few days. This medicine costs 13k a month!!! It’s not something I can just afford to pay out of pocket. So When my insurance is trying not to pay for this medicine, my mom (who’s my caretaker) and I realize that I may be back to living in bed. It feels like the carpet is ripped out from underneath you right after you learned to stand on it. I told my mom, “Even if it was only 7 months God got me out of bed I’m SO grateful for them.” If the rest of my life is in bed, I’ll treasure these 7 months!!
We asked many of you on my Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/RadicalRoad/) to pray. We asked you’d pray for favor with the insurance to approve this medication again at a pharmacy that actually carries it. (Most don’t and then they had to be in-network of my insurance company) After a lot of red tape, phone calls, and prayer, the insurance company has approved the medicine at a new pharmacy and it is being shipped to me as I write this!!
I think sometimes we think that it is either God who miraculously heals us, or it is modern medicine. But often it is God’s will to heal us through modern medicine. Why?? I don’t know. But I’ve seen God heal people miraculously, and I’ve seen Him use medicine. He’s God and He can use whatever He wants. I’m learning to go to God every day and depend on Him and trust His ways whatever they may be.
For those of you that don’t know me, I’m an ambitious go-getter, a dreamer, and passionate about Jesus Christ!! Often I’m so excited and ready to go tell everyone about Jesus that I don’t wait for His Spirit to lead me (bad move lol). This morning my mom was teasing me. She said “If you didn’t need this medicine you’d probably be in India or Africa on the mission-field. And that may not be where God wants you right now. This medicine is God’s bridle to reel you in.” We both started laughing knowing that I can get ahead of myself. I need God to bridle me ;).
God has answered many prayers with modern medicine. He inspired the minds of those scientists and doctors who created the meds out there. He has given knowledge to doctors and nurses so they can use it to heal people. Sometimes God has us pray for someone and they’re healed instantly. Sometimes he answers our prayers through medical treatments.
In John 9 there is the story of Jesus healing a blind man.
Jesus spits on the dirt making some mud, then rubbing the mud on the blind man’s eyes he tells him to go wash off the mud in a pool. The blind man does and he was healed!! Why did Jesus use mud to heal this man when He could have just touched Him and He would have been healed?? Here we see Jesus taking something from the Earth, and touching it so it would heal a man. Just like Jesus has taken something from this world (my medicine) and showed me a vision of Him touching it (turning it gold) and using it to heal me.
I heard of a surgeon, who is a follower of Jesus, who tells his patients, “God is the one who does the healing, I just send the bill” lol. What a great outlook… and sense of humor ;). God is the one that decides how and when our bodies heal. Sometimes it’s instantly, sometimes it’s over years. Sometimes the ultimate healing is what God chooses for us by allowing us to enter into Heaven and be completely healed.
God has CHOSEN to use THIS medicine to control my POTS for the time being. Maybe this will be my whole life. Maybe He will heal me without meds one day. Whatever He does I trust Him because He has reasons I may not understand here on earth, but I trust. Meds or God?? God!! But sometimes He uses meds. Always, He is good :).
Psalm 136:1 “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever.”