My friends, I am going to peel back the curtain even further for you into my ongoing suffering. I want you to know that I know you suffer, too. It’s the way of this world. Something changes when we stop trying to escape the pain and instead, embrace God through the pain. Something beautiful happens to our faith when we stop thinking there is something wrong with God because we experience trouble and instead, invite Him into the center of the storm. A divine connection is made to our Creator when we are able to admit that His creatures suffer.

It was about 9:00 pm a week ago, Wednesday. I was supposed to be on vacation. My last vacation was spent working through the trauma of the horseback riding accident. Now, finally, I could get some real rest, or so I had thought.  

I had spent the afternoon and evening battling the “monster” headache as we call it. Brain inflammation took over. My vomiting was uncontrollable. When awake, my body shook violently from battling the pain. My family knew the last place I wanted to go was to the ER for the 80th time. We fought hard together as a family. Ice chips, cold packs, no! now I need warmth, no! please, get me fresh air, oh no! I’m going to get sick again! Where is that light coming from? Please make the room darker. Hours and hours pass by.  Finally, my brain reached the point of no return. They knew I needed to go to the hospital. Somewhere in the distance, I hear my husband making the 911 call. I groan in frustration and disgust that, once again, my attempt at rest, a vacation, a few days away from the grind of work and duty has led to nothing more than my family experiencing the grind of duty caring for me. I’m angry. But I can’t afford to be angry because that will simply make the pain worse. I find myself once again succumbing to the pain, drifting off into unconsciousness.  

I awake with a start to two people asking me questions I cannot answer. It’s too painful to try and form a thought. I am completely helpless. I cannot open my eyes. My sense of smell is strong – I smell my vomit in my hair. I smell the heparin they put in my line at some point. I smell alcohol – and I catch a faint whiff of my husband’s cologne. Everything sounds very far away like I’m in a tunnel or I’m under water or perhaps floating farther away from those I love.  Suddenly, I feel the strength of my Pop’s hand. It’s rough. It’s strong. It’s comforting. I feel grounded again. His voice follows saying “Remember, Cheryl, God loves you.” Suddenly, my Pops words transport my mind to heaven and I experience my heavenly Father’s hand holding me, His arms carrying me as emergency transport lifts me out of my Pop’s recliner and into a special chair to carry me out of my father’s house. I wonder, will this be the night Jesus’ brings me to His Father’s home. Let it be so.

Three hours later, with steroids flowing through my veins, family takes me home. We survived another medical storm. I’m trying hard not to be mad. It’s not working. Then, I recall that moment of holding my Pops’ hand. My body relaxes and I realize, that I will get through this. I will continue to hold God’s hand. As we are driving home, I make the same declaration over and over again – Even though in this moment, I want to give up, I will not give up, I will never give up.  My life is hidden in Jesus. I cling to Him. I will wait on Him. I will trust Him.  

This is just a day in the life of Cheryl and her family. And somehow, in spite of it all, He is permitting me to minister His gospel. Maybe it’s not in spite of it – maybe it’s really because of it. I’m not sure as I cannot distinguish those two ideas. I am confident of this, however – that nothing can separate me from His love.

I want you to know that I know you suffer, too. It’s the way of this world. Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up. Hold God’s nailed pierced hand, knowing that He loves you and He will be with you. Trust that He will make your suffering work for good. Don’t wait for Him to make it good. Walk in His goodness in this moment of suffering and in the next moment of suffering. I pray you discover that which I am discovering, that truly nothing can separate me from His love as I continue to hold His hand through life’s storms.  

For further reading on this subject click here.  

My love to you in Jesus,