Today, I’d like to share an emotional story with you about someone you may know.
My story is about a woman who, in her 40’s, had suffered with mental illness for nearly 30 years. This woman had been suicidal, had tried cutting herself to ease the pain, and had been hospitalized for depression. She would scream in her sleep, imagining people were going to hurt her. She has had many diagnoses, among them Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). She went through years of counseling and did well without medication for many years.
At age 25, this woman received Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. It was then that God began to stir feelings she hadn’t ever felt inside her. Since then, she felt the closest she has ever felt to God, reading His word daily and praying often.
Recently, something changed. Something drastically changed.
She began asking God to take her home, to heaven. The amount of pain she was feeling overwhelmed her. She didn’t tell anyone until it was almost too late. She finally opened up to a friend and to her husband.
This woman in the story…is me.
Just over a year ago, I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, a common and chronic disorder characterized by widespread pain, diffuse tenderness, and a number of other symptoms.
The pain that I feel with this disorder is something that I can’t describe, nor can I ever predict.
In the past few weeks, the pain began to get worse. I went to a doctor who prescribed an anti-depressant that would help lessen the pain. But it did the exact opposite. The mental and physical pain increased so much that I was begging God to take me several times a day, sometimes all day long. Even though I seemed okay on the outside, I was dying on the inside. Some of my friends would greet me at church and have no idea what was really happening. I hid it well.
Finally, I opened up and told my husband, my friend Brenda and my mom about what was happening. I was urged to contact my doctor immediately, which I did. I was advised to go to the hospital to have the medication drained from my system and be evaluated for inpatient mental health treatment.
Immediately, I stopped the medication, and against doctor’s orders, I declined both of these treatments. I wasn’t going to commit suicide, but I certainly didn’t want to live with the pain any longer. When my doctor was able to see me, she removed me from the anti-depressants (officially), and recommended that I see a mental health therapist to work through some of my mental pain.
What I didn’t realize is that the huge amount of stress I have been under lately due to my friend Barry’s death two months ago, a strained relationship with my son, and the increase of physical pain is taking a toll on me.
My mom said something to me that hit me hard. “Carey, I think you may be praying the wrong prayer. What if, instead of praying for death, you pray for healing in your life?” She is absolutely right.
I want to be well, physically, mentally and spiritually. Even when I am having a bad day, I want to be thankful to the One who created my body and gave me life.
Yesterday, our worship team sang a beautiful song called, “It is Well” by Bethel Music. This song is a version of a much older song of the same name. God used the words of this song to really minister to me.
“Far be it from me to not believe
Even when my eyes can’t see
And this mountain that’s in front of me
Will be thrown into the midst of the sea
Through it all, through it all
My eyes are on You
Through it all, through it all
It is well
So let go my soul and trust in Him
The waves and wind still know His name”
Today, I began counseling again with my therapist. I’m not ashamed or embarrassed. But I am very thankful! I’m thankful for my husband, my family, and my friends who all care about me and want me to continue to be there for them. I’m thankful to God for knowing what I need, over and above my thoughts or plans.
When I look back at the past weeks, I see is that I wanted to be close to God—with Him in heaven–because of my pain. I wanted Him to hold me tight. I wanted my pain to be gone. Instead, He chose to leave me here on earth to share my story with you, realizing He is holding me tight, through it all.
Ephesians 5:20 Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Psalm 118:28-29 You are my God, and I will praise you; you are my God and I will exalt you. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.
With Thanksgiving in my heart,
*Please enjoy the song that is helping me get through this time.