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The Pain Series: The Pain of Chronic Illness

Important links:

Covenant Lifestyle Blog - - R8P Podcast Version

The Scarlet Letter. For me it is E. E for Endometriosis. If you’re unaware, this condition occurs when tissue similar to that in the uterus called endometrium grows elsewhere such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes. It has a whole heap a symptoms but I’ll spare you the gory details my dear reader and say the most common symptom is extreme pain some time before during or after menstruation. Clearly this is a condition which is unique to women and unfortunately quite prevalent, one in ten (1 in 10) women in the US alone suffer from it. There is no cure and barely any treatment or coping options which are effective.

I was diagnosed with endo and officially inducted into the #EndoWarrior club in March of 2017 after having painful symptoms for a year prior. So, I’ve been dealing with this condition for about 5 years. I’ve been prayed for by others many times, I’ve prayed for myself, I’ve declared my healing and I’ve had several desperate moments of crying out to God in utter agony. Yet, my condition has persisted. There have been many times when I have wavered, doubted that the Lord would heal me. I’ve also been weary, tired of praying, feeling like I’ve been “beating up my gum” for nothing. I’ve been distressed at the things I’ve missed out on and excuses I had to make up because I simply couldn’t move that day. I’ve gone to several doctor’s appointments, hated the little brown bags of pills I get sent home with. Always some new pain meds and maybe even some birth control, anything to help give me some relief.

But I have also had so many times when for what ever reason my medication wasn’t working, when I couldn’t take any more for fear of overdosing and in those moments much like David in many of his psalms I cried out to God for rest, for relief. In those moments he heard me and I know he did because he answered my prayers, granting me that rest and relief. I went through those periods of doubt and the Lord reminded me of all the other times He has healed me and many others I know or have heard of from pains and ailments even worse than my own and the doubt completely dried up. Yes, my story of healing is not yet complete, but my God is still powerful enough to heal and He will do it for me, I must endure, I must cling to Him and maintain my faith in Him and His power until the day His word of healing has materialized in my natural body.

In the times of weariness and exhaustion from the pain, the tears or even from the praying, the Holy Spirit reminds me that God hears even my tears and He ministers to my spirit, strengthening it so that I may keep fighting. The enemy Satan would have me curse God and have angry words towards him like Job. The Devil would have me doubt the power of God and be faithless, giving up on my belief that I can receive my healing. But I then must consider the word of the Lord to Job in Job 38-41 ““Who is this who darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me. “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it?” The Lord rebukes Job for three whole chapters for his faithlessness and disrespect. Yes, he had suffered but it was not without purpose or plan!

Yet, Job in his humanness couldn’t see past what he was experiencing to the glory the Lord had to reveal through it, probably because he wasn’t God. For me, this reminds me to trust God through my experiences with this illness. Yes, I suffer but it is not without cause or plan, God isn’t putting me through this just because He can. God is not a sadist, and He takes no morbid pleasure in my suffering. He does take pleasure in my extension of faith in Him, in my reliance on Him to endure and my continued pressing in prayer knowing His word is true and healing is mine and I lay claim to it and wait for it to fully manifest in my natural body on the day He has appointed. Romans 8:18 reminds me that the things I suffer now cannot be compared to the glory that is to be revealed in me. In my darkest hours it is to these words of God that I hold, clinging to my creator as He holds me through this struggle. In Him I find my help, my hope, and my healing.

Prophetess Latoya Deshawn Smith is a fellow #EndoWarrior who talks openly about her journey with God, endometriosis and much more on all her platforms including her Covenant Lifestyle blog and Christian Girls in the City podcast which I have linked above along with other platforms she uses. Over the last two (2) years or so following the amazing Woman of God’s journey has been a great help in my journey with God and endo. I found more courage to testify and talk about it due to the amazing work she’s done. Many times, I have felt so seen and so heard, like someone understood what I was going through just by listening and paying attention to her journey, the things the Lord has done in her life remind me of what he can and will do for me. My friends and family have also been such an amazing and constant support to me, and they continue to be. I am eternally grateful for them all and one day soon we’ll celebrate my total healing together.

Being a Christian which a seemingly never-ending illness can be such a trying experience but today reader if you are facing your own struggle with an aspect of your mental and physical health, I pray you’ve been reminded of the power and goodness of the God you serve. I had a conversation with a friend lately and I told her, whenever we cannot understand how God could allow something or how something could be in his will for us, we must trust that He has remained the same. He’s the same God that loved us when we did not deserve, the same God that heard us, delivered us and heard us. We must trust that that God is hearing us in our chronic illness and will come through for us in this too. I pray that you would be continually strengthened and kept firm in your fight until the Lord grants your total deliverance. It is yours to claim and to receive and I challenge you to do so and keep doing so until the natural world responds. You will see and experience of the Lord, whether in this life or in the next, His word never fails nor does it return unto Him void but it is fulfilled that men might know and believe that Jesus Christ is Lord.

Glory to God in the highest. Amen.

- Vessel

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