By Rebecca Vickery
After decades of chasing symptoms and putting out fires, I received the diagnoses that I fought so hard to achieve and started the treatment. All the things I pushed through to keep the family running, all the tasks I was so hard on myself for not completing, scraping through the last bits of my energy with a prayer to DO. But now, medications, supplements and the nitty gritty not so pretty grind of treatment aggressively demanding my attention right now, my body has finally gotten the memo to rest.
As unpleasant and awful as things are, God has prepared me my whole life for this battle. I am well acquainted with long suffering. He has trained me in endurance. Physical pain is my marathon. But whatever I have learned along the way, nothing is as valuable as this; I know that my redeemer lives. More than that, I know that He is always with me. I have spent countless hours speaking to God. He has been with me in the greatest moments of my life.
He was with me through all my speech robbing migraines. He was with me when the doctor told me I might never carry a child. He was with me when I was bent over crippled from pain at 20. He sat with me in my grief when I had miscarriage after miscarriage, never saying the wrong thing as He ministered to my sorrow wrecked heart. He has helped me recover through heartaches and victories untold, true to His word, never leaving me, nor abandoning me. Along the journey I have come to know that He is faithful, and His Word is true. I have had the privilege of knowing without a doubt, that He is always there. Anything else might come into question, but my access to the the Father was paid for by the Son.
Since my treatment began, pain can be so severe, the fight so brutal that my body will entirely shut down. I could be frozen, locked in by migraine-like symptoms. No speech. Little to no motor skills. Sometimes locked there until the pain would subside. I cried out to the Lord in my distress.
“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
In my mind, I pictured a cave at the mouth of a waterfall. A shelter amidst the torrent. I had no one else capable of climbing up into that pain with me. No one else could manufacture the rest that I needed. But God did. He stayed with me in the middle of the dark places. He continues to stay with me.
Sometimes, I need to remind myself to go to Him. I am easily distracted and set off course. Pain is a VERY good (bad?) distractor. But He reminds me of His faithfulness. And sometimes I testify to my own heart. I am an extrovert living forced introversion to the point of not even being able to type, write or speak. It is a great temptation to despair at my forced solitude. I cannot even always sing His praise out loud in this season. No energy for instruments.
So I rest in Him. And I sing deep in my soul when my heart wants to praise but my lips cannot.
He never doesn’t understand me. My external words may be unintelligible, but He knows what I mean to say. With Him I do not have to worry about my frizzy hair that stands on its own, my swollen puffiness, my metal breath, my complete inability to do or be anything resembling productive. He isn’t undone by my telling Him I’m not alright. He knows exactly what I’m going through. He has faithfully fought for me to get this far.
Even if treatment doesn’t fix everything that is wrong with me, I have this hope. He is there with us in our fiercest battles. He is our Champion. He provides us a resting place where we can go and hide in Him. He renews our strength. In the meantime, even minute by minute when necessary, I can seek Him for refuge. I can let me heart be still and know that He is God.