I sat in my bed as she continued to have clusters of seizures in my lap. With my head pressed hard against the headboard, I really didn’t know how much more I could stand. She had her 16th seizure for the day and I yelled at my husband because her doctor wasn’t calling back… and we even had his cell phone number.
It was so surreal. Was this really happening? Was this our life? No, this wasn’t life. This was hell on earth. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. And I sat there in it and I could not offer up one prayer. I was empty… depleted... spent. I was just a shell of the person I once was and I was sinking in this tumultuous sea that would not even let me come up for air.
I called my mom, who lived in Virginia. Oh, how I needed to be the one in her lap. How I needed to see the love in her eyes for me. She answered and I collapsed into her arms through the connection of a telephone line and I let it go… the ugliness of it.
I asked it out loud, with a broken and beaten heart but with conviction... “Where is God… how can He continue to watch all of this and do NOTHING, how can He hear me pray and cry and beg and plead and watch her slip closer to death daily and do NOTHING?” And then the deeper truth followed from my mouth… “I can’t bring myself to pray one more prayer… not one. There are no words left. He has heard them time and time again… and nothing.”
Needless to say, I was not at a good place. I remember driving one day and seeing a bumper sticker that read, “God is good,” and I laughed and spoke out loud… “Yeah? That’s a crock.” There she was… Bitterness. Bitterness was entwining herself around my heart and I was sinking deep into a dark hole.
My mom offered words of love as only a mom knows how to do. It didn’t help. And then she offered this: “You don’t need to pray right now. Let us be your Aaron… we’ll hold your arms up right now, we’ll hold you up. You have no idea how many people are praying for Abby daily... hundreds... maybe thousands. Her illness has driven hundreds into a faithful and constant prayer life with the Lord. God is being glorified even now through her suffering… your suffering. You may never know how many people will come closer to God because of Abby and her journey.”
Getting permission to stop praying was actually helpful. I felt I could fall back… rest. After I hung up with her, I chewed on her thoughts. I pondered them over and over in my mind. I thought about how many people were praying for her, how many churches had her on their prayer list… all over the country… and how strangers were sending us cards and praying for my child.
Then it hit me. I didn’t care. And as she had another seizure in my lap, I spoke out loud, “I don’t care how many people are drawing closer to You through prayer because of Abby. This is not fair. She is just a child. She doesn’t deserve this. And you are letting it happen. It’s not worth it. It’s not worth her pain and her life. You can reach them some other way.”
Pressing my head harder into the resistance of the headboard, tears overcame me, and I had one of those good gut cries. Then it happened. The Lord washed me with His Spirit and I was filled with His reply. It was the second time this had happened to me during these darkest of days. No audible voice thundering down from heaven. Just peace and words as quickly as a snap of a finger.
“My child came to earth to suffer and to die… so that others could come to me. My child came to earth with the very purpose of suffering and dying so others could know me. He was my child. He didn’t deserve it either. And yet, He did it to glorify me. Who are you to think you or Abby are above what Jesus Christ did?”
The words sunk deep. Even with the rebuke, I had peace and my eyes were opened. I realized there was much more going on here than what was happening in my bedroom. It was a spiritual battle and it involved a lot more people than Abby and my family. If God watched His child suffer and die… who was I to think I was above that… that she was above that… that we deserved better than that… more than that?
New tears fell down my face as I repented. I repented for selfishness, pride, arrogance, mistrust, and bitterness. I was washed with the knowing that God Almighty knew exactly what I was feeling. I found comfort there. My perspective changed that day… and my heart. And I prayed.
Praying for healing can be so exhausting, discouraging, and exposing. It tests our faith, our knowledge of the Word, our belief of what it says, and our endurance. And it always, always, always heals. Something else I learned that day… and see so clearly now… I had been praying and praying for my daughter’s healing… and the Lord was giving me mine. Parts of my heart were being healed that I never even knew needed His touch. Praying for healing can go on for a long time in some cases, but it always offers a sweet invitation for intimacy with the Father.
Have you been praying for healing? Are you tired? Do you want someone to join you… to hold up your arms like Aaron did for Moses when he was too tired lift them any longer? You can share as much or as little information as you want in the comments. And if you are on this journey, I invite each and every one of you to pray for each thing written. It can be one word… like marriage, an illness, pain, emotional pain, physical pain, or a person’s name or initials. But if they are written there… we will join you and pray.
And here are some scriptures to encourage you today. Thank you for being here. I am so very glad you are here.
Psalm 5:2,3 Psalm 55:16-18 Psalm 55:22 Revelation 5:8