This is a new blog because I have so much to say. Some of it’s really exciting about Jesus stuff, and some of it’s really heavy stuff I need to say publicly. I haven’t known exactly where to start so this testimony seems a good place. I told God I was going to be posting this because I just knew he would do it. So please wade through the first part that may sound like complaining; it’s not.
Two days ago I got some really strange pain, sort of in my back, lower abdomen, maybe kidney? I couldn’t totally tell. I do have regular back pain, usually when I sit for too long. My doctors have always told me running helps it. Monday I ran 4.5 miles–and the pain continued. It didn’t get worse, but it never lightened up much. It wasn’t horrible then, but it was making my run a bit less fun. I finally decided to slow it down, so I could enjoy it more. It ended up being a good run, but with the cloud of pain. It didn’t get any worse from the run, but even sitting hurt. It bothered me because it was NOT like any of the pain I sometimes have. I knew it was different and it was making me nervous, but I didn’t want to be all whining about pain on FB. Monday night I went to bed at a normal time, planning to rise early and get on the road to Kansas. I had glimmers as I went to bed that I might wake up worse since the pain was getting worse, and even had the thought I might not be able to drive 6 hours.
At 3:44 a.m. I awoke. In pain. Serious pain. I went to sleep with a lidocaine patch on (leftover from a procedure a few years ago), and then wrapped a back brace over that, lightly. It didn’t help. The pain was so deep, and when lidocaine doesn’t work, you know it’s not a certain type of pain; that scared me more. I was in too much pain to get comfortable to sleep. It wasn’t that it was so terrible like I was keeled over as much as it was nothing would help it. I was miserable, sleepy, and praying as coherently as I could do. It was then I realized I might have to cancel a trip because I was too sick to drive. I even wondered if I couldn’t run. Run streakers run with the flu (only a slow indoor mile), so you can imagine how troubled I was to think that. I took some Celebrex, an OTC sleeping pill, and waited to sleep. It took an hour to fall back asleep and I didn’t bother with the alarm. I awoke again about the time I was planning to leave. I decided if I could just get there, that was accomplishment enough.
I took a couple prescription pain pills that don’t affect my driving, and packed up. I was feeling better—and was somewhat encouraged that at least pain pills worked (I was too sleepy and uncomfortable to get out of bed the night before and get these—and the Celebrex and other Advil I had was messing up my stomach so I added that problem to it.
The pain subsided enough that I felt better about driving. I knew I’d get good medical care in KC if I got there, so I just went for it. I drove straight through to Wichita and seemed to do okay. I went to the restroom and got gas, and headed for the last 2.5 hours of the drive. Almost as soon as I got back in the car, the pain was dominant. It wasn’t excruciating, but it was scary. Like walking or moving had triggered it all again. I could not get comfortable. I was scared at this point. This was not some running pain or strain from a bad workout. My pain pills were in my trunk, and I just wanted to get to Kansas so bad that I didn’t want to stop again. I only had NSAIDs in my car and wasn’t up to messing up my stomach. As it was I knew I had to get some stronger antacid meds until this passed. I felt like my body was falling apart. When I got to just outside my destination, I found a Target that was on my way to where I planned to go run. I had a goal of mileage for the day, and while it wasn’t long, I had given up and was going to settle for one slow mile to keep up the streak, if I could do that without extra pain. I was genuinely scared of this pain. I had goggled both appendicitis and kidney infections. Thankfully, I didn’t have a fever. I was getting nauseated, but mostly I think it was from the pain—you know how when you hurt too much it can give you chills and make you feel like throwing up? Or I was trying to deny that symptom.
I didn’t say anything because people always talk about this and that hurting, and plus, who wants to hear horror stories of what happened to someone else? So I was just praying a lot. I was so uncomfortable that my own prayers and worship would get interrupted because the pain was distracting me. At Target, I got some Prilosec, which I inhaled, and barely anything else because that involved walking. I was 15 minutes from the lake where I planned to run (hobble). I took two more pain pills and the Prilosec. I was feeling decent when I got to the lake, again, relieved that pain pills worked. I couldn’t be that sick if they worked right? Appendicitis wouldn’t respond to some piddly pain pill! I felt encouraged by that.
So I got out of the car to run and within the first 1/10 of a mile was smiling. It was cold and I was in a tank top and shorts—and that was my biggest problem physically. I have never thanked God so exuberantly for being too cold! The run (only 1.76 miles—which was more than I planned but felt so good) refreshed me and gave me hope. It recharged my prayers and I had a wonderful worship time as I drove to the running store. When I finally checked in my hotel, I was feeling lots better. It had been about three hours since the pain pills and I could tell the pain was coming back a bit, but it didn’t feel too bad—but I knew it was there. I had relief but I was not healed. I took another dose and another antibiotic, wanting to keep it in me if there were an infection.
I finally texted my friend and told her why I didn’t call while I was driving as we planned—the wind was loud but I was just too uncomfortable to focus on talking. I told her to pray. And later I emailed her with a lot of these details in asking her to pray.
I was just happy the pain hadn’t flared up as I went to bed. I got out two of the pain pills, one antibiotic, filled a cup of water, and got my OTC sleep meds and lay them all next to my bed. If I did wake up when this round of painkillers wore off, I would have it all right there to take and be back to sleep sooner. And I prayed some more. Because I wanted more than just relief and Jesus was working in my life a lot lately and I knew this was nothing. What happened the week or two before was a much bigger miracle. This wasn’t knocking me out.
So I prayed a lot. Well, I sort of pray a lot anyway now (see other posts of my crazy life!) But I was walking around like a crazy Charismatic anointing myself with oil because, well, there were no elders, so I decided I was the elder in my house and car! I have always had some unexplained faith for physical healing. I have never been a sickly type, something for which I am grateful and realize is a huge blessing which I do not take for granted (especially in understanding other types of chronic battles). But when my vocal folds got damaged when I was a teacher and singer (like I kind of needed healthy ones for every single thing I did!) I even had surgery by a guy who has operated on celebrity singers, and that didn’t help! I was sick for 13 months. One of the worst memories of my life as a worship singer was the night Mark (he’s not the bad memory) said, kindly, that maybe I better not sing that night because my voice wasn’t even holding out at lower notes. 13 months and some days after I first injured it, I asked a random person I just met (now my very dear and bestest friend, Camilla, who also had a vocal issue going on but was a worship leader, how she managed to just hand the mic to her sister to lead when her voice went out and not feel such grief. That night was the beginning of our friendship (14 years ago in May), and maybe that’s why God used that moment, but she prayed for me, a casual sounding, non-dramatic prayer (she’d just met me) and the next day I woke up with a full voice–and it never went away again. I don’t even know that I have been extremely hoarse when I got sick! In that same season I remember having what was probably arthritis in my thumb, constantly bothering me, and praying and praying–and Jesus healed it. Never happened again. In that same season once He even healed a cold. No joke. Jesus can be the cure for a common cold. (Wish that worked all the time). So I already had faith for physical healing, from those small experiences–except the voice thing wasn’t small; it altered my whole life dramatically–though the fruit of that was I began to dance more and that’s one way God used it. I couldn’t sing my worship so I had to dance it.
All that to say that between that and a natural faith I have always had, without any real experience with sickness in me or those close to me at the time, I have been able to believe for healing more than I can explain, and so I was on it with this pain.
This morning I did not have to set an alarm, so as I went to sleep the mystery was if I would wake up in the middle of the night or not. I woke up at 8:34 a.m. and realized immediately I had slept through the night. This time the pain pills had worn off and I didn’t need them! Then I turned over in bed. No pain. I got up to start my day. No pain. Was I healed? I wanted to run first, to be sure it wasn’t like how I was fine sitting in the car but when I walked in the travel center it triggered it.
I thought it would be good if I could run at least as long a I did Monday. 6.55 miles later—the longest run since my 15K in Tyler—at a faster speed than some races I have run, I knew I was healed. Zero pain, twinges, or anything else in that spot. The rest of me felt like I had just run 6.55 in the cold and rain, and my hips felt a bit of a strain. My abs felt it—but all of it was nowhere near the pain that had scared me.
How little it must sound to some to report a two day pain went away. But it was such a unique and scary pain. I could poke that area and feel it. It was not generalized like most pain. It was in one spot, and I was sure it was not okay. I have always believed your body gives you warming signs when something is really wrong. Most people I know who got a serious disease could identify small precursors and stuff. I don’t take stuff lightly. It’s never wrong to pray too hard or believe for too much healing, you know?
For two days (only two days, thank the Lord) I was afraid, nervous, distracted, unfocused. And in unusual pain. And Jesus healed me. And I told Him if He did I was going to tell everyone, and I do so with great joy.
This is a minor chapter of a major thing going on right now. Two weeks ago I was not the person I am now. It’s exciting, invigorating, fun. I feel like a child in awe of a new discovery. I have known the Lord a long time, but I have spent many years with a more cerebral knowledge than anything, trying to hang on to a faith that was damaged and actually did hit rock bottom one day about 1.5 years ago. That was one of the scariest moments of my life. In past years I would have never believed that I would passionately and excitedly write about Jesus healing a pain that hadn’t even been diagnosed as anything. But that’s the bigger point here. When Jesus comes in that way, everything changes—sometimes in a moment. That’s’ what happened for me. And this seems like the best place to start this new blog. Most of my personal thoughts are in an old-fashioned handwritten journal, some of them also go to a friend, but then I have bigger thoughts and experiences that I hope will encourage others.
Nothing has changed circumstantially in my life. I didn’t make a new friend, meet a guy, get another job, find a church, or anything else. Jesus changed me. And even if I wanted to shut up, I couldn’t right now. There’s nothing more important. Healing is a byproduct, but today I rejoice and praise Him for it.
Stay tuned for more spiritual adventures and spiritual commentary about some things it’s about time I talk about. But don’t stay tuned for any negative drama because that’s not how I roll.