Feel forgotten? In pain? Hopeless? My guest poster today has felt all this, as we all have at one time of another. Melinda Means has a new book out. Maybe you don’t need to read her new book Invisible Wounds: Hope While You’re Hurting, but maybe, you know someone who does need to read it.
Here’s what Melinda’s bio says: She is a weary soul in need of refreshment from the only Source who can quench our thirst. After years of chronic pain and questioning God’s plan, she has finally found the joy of seeking the Healer more than the healing.
I felt forgotten. Abandoned. A little hopeless, honestly.
After nearly two decades of battling chronic pain, I was in the most brutal stretch of suffering that I’d ever experienced.
I could see no end in sight. My prayers seemed futile. My heartfelt cries were only met with deafening silence.
Throughout my pain journey, reading God’s Word usually brought me incredible comfort and hope. Over the years, I had so related to the story of the woman with the issue of bleeding.
I often mentally envisioned myself reaching out for the hem of Jesus’ robe. I just knew one day Jesus would grant me His healing power, just like He did for her. I clung to the hope that one day He would call me “Daughter” and tell me, “Your faith has made you well.”
But during this time of suffering, thinking of that story made me a little angry. Disillusioned. I had thoughts like, Where is my healing? I’ve believed. I have faith. I’ve reached out over and over again, but no power comes into my body. Why does she get her healing, but I never get mine?
Around this time, I had undergone an extensive panel of testing with a new doctor who specialized in hard-to-treat cases like mine. I went into his office to get the results.
He looked at me in amazement and said, “I have no idea how you are walking into my office and functioning as well as you are and looking as good as you do. If I hadn’t met you and only looked at your test results, I’d expect you to come in here in a wheelchair.”
See? More proof that God wasn’t present in my pain.
A few days later, I met with an older woman who has become one of the sweetest blessings in my life. She has suffered deep wounds herself and yet exudes such an amazing spirit of love and grace.
Through bitter tears, I poured out to her my frustration and disappointment with God. I questioned why God ignored my desperate pleas for His power and healing. Then I relayed what the doctor had told me during my latest doctor’s appointment.
My dear friend mostly listened and shared in my tears. Then she said something life-changing:
“Melinda, don’t you see? God has been present. You should be in a wheelchair! But despite your ongoing health issues, He has given you the power to be a wife and a mother, to care for a special-needs child, to write a book, and be in full-time ministry. Consider all you have been able to do—that is the power of God working through you.”
She continued, “I don’t know why He is allowing you to go through this terrible stretch right now, but I do know this: This period of your life is anointed. God will bring victory out of this pain.”
God hadn’t abandoned me. I was not forgotten. I was just as much His daughter as the other woman grasping for the hem of His robe. It was His power that had been flowing through me all these years to empower me to be able to do what I could not.
No, He hadn’t healed me. At least not in the way that I had always envisioned. But He was not absent in my suffering. I was as much His daughter as the desperate woman in Luke 8.
Jesus is walking our road of pain and heartache with us. Like the travelers on the road to Emmaus, we just may not always recognize Him.
But now I have eyes to see that He has already supplied it in abundance.
Today only, you can get Melinda’s new book, Invisible Wounds: Hope While You’re Hurting on Kindle for 99¢.
You can connect with her on her blog and website at melindameans.com.