Monday, July 17, 2017

Why God Hasn't Healed Me



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When I was 17, I went to an outdoor Christian music festival for 2 days with some friends.  That's when I found out that I have a heat and sun intolerance and also when it got kicked into overdrive.  I spent most of my time sleeping in the tent, and it took me several months to recover.

Why God Hasn't Healed Me

Since then, things have gotten worse.  Each one of my pregnancies intensified my heat and sun intolerance, and now it's so severe that I often joke that I'm a vampire because I stay out of the sun as much as I possibly can.  Just a few seconds in the sun or heat, and I start feeling dizzy, nauseous, weak, and like my head is going to explode.  I panic when I get into a hot car until the air conditioner is running at full blast, I will go out of my way to walk in a shaded area versus a sunny one, and I stay indoors whenever possible.


In fact, the symptoms of my intolerance were getting so severe that they're part of what pushed me to start looking for an underlying diagnosis for that and my other weird health issues.  Last year, I found out that I have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome or POTS which explained pretty much everything.


So when I agreed to go with Hubby and the kids to Family Camp at Camp Chetek, a Bible camp in Wisconsin for a week, I seriously questioned my sanity.  On top of my fun little heat/sun intolerance, there's also my EDS with the unstable, dislocating joints, constant joint and muscle pain, and the inability to walk without a walker or cane some days to consider as well.


Hubby and I both grew up going to Camp Chetek as kids, and we loved it, so the idea of Family Camp was definitely appealing.  Plus, in the 20ish years since Hubby and I had been there, the cabins had been rebuilt with air conditioning (pretty much the deciding factor for me!)  However, I was pretty sure that to get the full camp experience, I would have to actually leave the cabin occasionally.  

About a month before camp, I headed to Amazon and bought just about every cooling product I could find.  I got a baseball style hat, a head wrap, neck wraps, a misting fan, a misting water bottle, and even cooling shorts to wear under my much-loved maxi skirts.  I also got some hydration drops to add to my water since I didn't want to have to lug a million bottles of Gatorade along to camp.  (Side-note, I only brought eight bottles instead for the five-day trip)


I also added camp to my prayer list each day.  I prayed hard for cool weather, strength for my joints and muscles, and freedom from pain for the week.  God had opened some unexpected doors for us to be able to attend camp as a family so I trusted that He would help me to be able to enjoy the time there.  But, I was still nervous that I was going to ruin everyone's week with my medical issues.  
When it came time to pack for camp, I pulled out every suitcase we owned and stuffed them full of everything that my family of six would need for the week.  One entire suitcase was filled with braces for just about every joint, everyone's prescription medications, and over-the-counter ones as well.  I threw my foldable cane in too just in case and managed to squeeze my rollator walker into the trunk of our minivan alongside the luggage.


In case you think that was overkill, on an average day, I can only walk short distances, I get sick after just a few minutes in the sun and in temperatures over 70ish degrees, I often have problems with my legs buckling or being very weak which means that I need to use a mobility device, my pain levels jump from my normal of 4 /5 to 9/10 with any activity, I dislocate or sublux at least a couple of my joints, and my fatigue gets so severe that I have times where I can't even lift my head.

Here's the crazy part...

During the week at camp, I did more walking than I have in the last month straight, we went sailing, tubing, target shooting, went on a pontoon cruise, played carpet ball and pool (I beat Hubby!!!), and more.  I did end up staying back at the cabin while Hubby took the kids to some activities, but I was able to do waaaaaaay more than I thought I would.  Also, during the entire week, I only subluxed/dislocated two or three joints, my fatigue never got bad enough to slow me down much, and my pain levels were very manageable.


So what happened?

Well, there are two explanations.  The first one is that I'm just faking all of my problems the rest of the time and can do things if I really want to.  But if you believe that, then I'm not sure we can be friends anymore.

The second explanation?  I asked God to give me a break, and He did.  Right now you're probably asking why, if it's that easy, don't I ask God to heal me completely.


I have.  Many, many times, I have pleaded with God to heal me and my children.  But he hasn't.

This quote from Joni Eareckson Tada really hits home for me...

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“He has chosen not to heal me, but to hold me. The more intense the pain, the closer His embrace.” Joni Eareckson Tada

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If life were perfect and if God took away every bad thing from our lives, we would have no reason to reach out to Him.


My pain also gives me a greater sense of empathy for others.  Because of everything that I've been through and am going through, I can encourage and help others as they go through rough times of their own. 

So yes, I would love to be healed from my EDS, POTS, EoE, asthma, GERD, etc., but if God chooses not to do so, I trust that He has a plan for me in all of this.  

Why God Hasn't Healed Me

If you're struggling with something and asking God why He isn't taking it away, I put together a list of books that could help you which you can find here.  I also encourage you to reach out to someone to talk to, your pastor, a mentor, etc.  I don't claim to have all the answers, but I'm more than happy to talk with you as well.  You can email me at hannah@sunshineandspoons.com if you ever want to talk!

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Not only did I survive a week of summer camp, but I learned something: http://bit.ly/2uwyjG5
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You don't have to go through this alone.        






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