When Healing Doesn’t Come

I have asked many questions in my life, but this one – Why doesn’t God heal me? – has been hands-down the most painful.

I ask this question a lot – for myself, and for others. Why doesn’t God just pour some of His power down and heal all the sick in the world? He has the power, and I know in theory that He really loves us… so it doesn’t add up that He would leave us to wallow in our pain and misery.

In fact, this question has pulled me too many times into a vortex – dark, cold, away from the warmth of God’s love. I found it difficult to believe that God loved me, much less cared about me, when He wouldn’t give me the thing I needed most at that moment – healing.

It is easy to believe in a God of goodness and love when the sun is shining and the world has taken on a rosy hue. That’s when I know that God loves me. Life is good.

But when sickness rears its ugly head, those warm and fuzzy feelings dissipate into fear, confusion, frustration. At those times, it is not so easy to believe that God is as good as He says He is. Harder still to trust that He loves me.

I have wrestled with this question for most of my life. I have received prophecies about healing- but it does not come. I have received countless prayers for healing – yet still it does not happen. I have gone the “word of faith” way, claiming and declaring healing – but healing tarries.

I tried all ways until, like the woman with the issue of blood, I ended up exhausted and dead-ended. No more resources within me to keep trying.

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But like that woman, as I lay on the ground, I see the feet of Jesus before me. And I realize some things that I had missed out in my single-minded focus to get healed.

  1. People. Those who were there in my time of need. They embraced me, encouraged me, and accepted me at my worst moments. Had I not gone through infirmity, I would not have known such sweet blessings of God’s love poured out by the people He placed around me.
  2. Compassion. Through pain, my heart was enlarged. The wells of compassion were being dug deeper and deeper, silently but surely. And when I look at others who are suffering, I understand their pain. And God sometimes uses this compassion to heal them.
  3. Confidence. As I grow in trust that God loves me even whilst healing tarries, I grow to love myself. And this confidence in God’s love for me, since it has grown in the toughest of seasons, will reveal a strong and unshakable faith when winter passes and spring time comes around.

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I am still waiting for my healing. And I still do not have the definitive answer to why God doesn’t heal me.

But I know that He heals. I have seen Him do it many times for others. And I know that my time will come.

In the mean time, there are so many lessons to learn and beautiful blessings to encounter. And so I wait, as the watchmen wait for the dawn. For the sun rises with healing in His wings (Malachi 4:2).

Is there a miracle that you are still waiting for? How do you strengthen your faith in times when your miracles seem so far away?

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Give Yourself Permission to Fall

I am not a good faller.

I’ve never been good at falling down, and neither am I a big fan of the mess, dirt, and plain discomfort that falling entails.

Ice skating, roller-coasters, running down slopes, walking in the rain… these are just a few things that I’ve kept away from because they tend to involve some slipping/falling down. I like my life, and everything in it, to be clean, neat, predictable, and non-painful.

But I am coming to realize how much I have been missing out on… just because I never gave myself permission to fall.

I never gave myself any room to fall in relationships, work, ministry, life, with God. I didn’t want to make a mess, hurt myself, or become “the girl who dropped the ball”. That is why I always approached life with the same cautious carefulness as a little girl who fell down once and determined never to go down again.

I saw no redeeming quality in falling, so I set a standard for myself that I should do things a certain way, behave a certain way, and be known as a certain kind of person – the kind who doesn’t fall. This meant that I was careful (very), perfectionistic (pardon the bad english), right (so I thought)… which are pretty good things, in the right context. But this attitude also made me wary, afraid, and detached. I was afraid to try new things and venture out – What if they didn’t work out? What if those weren’t good decisions? I had to always make good decisions. I had my world set in order, and I knew my part and how to play that role… but there were times when, inevitably, I would slip up. I loathed myself each time I fell. Thus the self-sustaining cycle of self-loathing and striving continued.

Falling down is terrifying because it is something that I cannot control or plan. Letting myself fall is to let the fall take me where it will – downwards, sideways, into a dirty puddle, or into a painful scrape. But the problem with NOT falling is this – we cease to live. I mean, truly live.

And this is what I am starting to realize: Falling is human. And being human is holy. It is beautiful.

The awesome God who is all-sufficient felt the need to create something special that He could love – human beings. He left His glorious throne and came to earth – imperfect, dirty, messy earth – for us, human beings. He descended to the depths of hell to fight for this one thing – human beings.

He could have created us like the angels, but He didn’t. Instead, He fashioned man in His image and likeness. Man, whose hearts are so easily seduced by sin, prone to wander, and often reject God. And to us all the fullness of His love and adoration are poured out.

God loves us. He loves me.

Not in spite of my humanness, but because of it.

He created me human, and He wants me to live as fully human. Jesus never came to earth to immortalize us – He came to show us how to be fully human. He was the perfect human, the full representation of man to God. The fullness of what it meant to be human, the way God created, had been stolen from Adam in the Garden. Jesus came to restore that, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10)

And He came to make a way for us to be fully human again. That is why He said, “I have come so that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)

In trying so hard to be holy and good on my own strength, I had been denying my humanness. I never gave myself permission to fall, and in the process I missed out on true life.

I am still learning, and much healing is still needed in my heart. But we all begin one step at a time and this is my first step: I am going to give myself permission to fall. And I am going to enjoy the ride.

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The Beauty of the Soul

Sensitive. I have always despised that word with all of my bruise-like-a-peach heart.

I hated that the little nuances of life, and the people it brought with it, had the ability to pierce my heart to its core while leaving others relatively unscathed. To be sensitive was vulnerable, painful, hard work. I was ashamed of my feelings, my sensitivity, and I saw nothing good in them.

As a child, I told myself that feeling too much was too much work – for myself, and for the people around me. I quickly learnt that it was easier and more comfortable for others when I was less emotional, less sensitive, less… me. I tried to emulate others who were blithe and carefree, but failed terribly. So I settled for building a solid shield around my mushy insides that would keep my overflowing heart from making others uncomfortable, and would protect my heart from feeling too much.

There have been days innumerable where I ended up in my room, crying and praying that God would forgive me for feeling too much. Having too many feelings was bad. I was under such a terrible weight of guilt for being too “soul-ish”.

But God has recently showed me that my soul is beautiful. It is not something to be ashamed of, to be pressed down or contained, or to be cured by growing in spirituality. My soul was created by God. It IS spiritual. It is beautiful.

It used to be that my heart would move and sway to almost anything – be it something I witnessed in others, or was experiencing for myself – love, dreams, beauty, the bad, the good, the small and the big stuff. I felt deeply for others, and dreamed deeply for myself.

But I was in a perpetual state of shame that my soul, the core of who I was, was sinful and displeasing to God and therefore had to be shut down. But in doing so, I have found that it is impossible to “feel less”. We either keep our hearts open, or shut it down entirely. A hardened heart will keep getting harder, unless it decides to start allowing life to breath upon it again.

I can choose to let my heart soar and my soul be free to be who I was created to be, even if that may mean some messy/painful/difficult days. Or I can choose to close my heart tightly and wear it like a locket around my neck – a pretty display to be sure, but heavy, inanimate, dead. Either way, there is no sitting on the fence.

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But sometimes, we just need a little help to see the light. Alex has played a big part in helping me to see, and accept, the beauty of my soul.

Parts of my soul which I have always kept off-limits because of the shame that they are weak, ugly, and a burden to others, he gently and lovingly coaxes out into the open. And as I stand there trembling, deathly afraid that he will pull back in disdain and smash those vulnerable parts of my heart to pieces, he engulfs me with his arms. There, he just holds me and whispers “I love you” over and over again, until my heart flickers with the hope that maybe he really does.

Every time I allow a little more of my soul to escape, I find it wrapped in Alex’s unconditional love. And those moments of pain and fear lead to a deeper conviction that I am truly loved by him.

And if my earthly husband (to-be) could love me thus, how much more my God who is perfect Love incarnate?

I am starting to accept the realization – not just a knowing, but a deep knowing – that God takes pleasure in my soul. He created my soul to:

  • Love Him fully. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Matthew 22:37
  • Experience His goodness. Psalm 103
  • Hope in Him fully. “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” Psalm 43:5
  • Thirst for Him deeply. “I stretch out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.” Psalm 143:6
  • Trust Him Wholly. “For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation.” Psalm 62:1
  • Bless Him. “Bless the Lord, O my soul…” Psalm 103:1

I am tired of feeling numb. I miss the way my heart soars with every celebration and laughter with friends, with beauty, with dreams, with glimpses of eternity. My soul, when I dare peek into the cage where I’ve got it chained, is crying out for a breath of fresh air. For freedom.

For He came to set the captives free. And I was made for freedom.

This song is a beautiful allegory of Jesus asking His beloved to trust Him, let Him open our eyes and hearts, and let our spirit & soul soar with Him.

Are there parts of your soul that you’ve not embraced? What would happen if you did embrace those parts of who you are? How can you be a part of someone else’s journey to discovering the beauty of their soul?

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Idream of Eden. We were made for the Garden and the full pleasure of paradise. We got separated at Eden and we spend our whole lives searching for a way back into that secret paradise. All of life's pursuit + pain + questioning can be traced back to man's search for home. Our deepest instincts tell us that we are not home outside of this reality, and our souls will never stop searching until we return. Only there will we find rest and our true being. There, we begin to dream again the dreams that have laid asleep in our hearts all along.

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