This isn’t a blog post I thought I would write. I was convinced that it would never happen. I planned my life around it never happening.
But then, 238 days ago, I was healed. And I wish I could tell you that I, like people in the Bible who encounter Jesus, ran to tell the others. That I sounded the alarm. That I was walking and leaping and praising God. But I wasn’t. Rather, I was sitting in silence, trying to figure out what just happened. It was a gift to be healed, but it’s a story bigger than me, and I wasn’t giving Glory to the One who made it happen.
Let’s back up to a post I wrote a year ago. Make that two posts. I was diagnosed with a life-changing condition in which my body stopped retaining water. I would drink a liter, I would lose it within an hour. A constant, exhausting, grief-stricken pattern of never-ending attempts at hydration.
A friend, who didn’t even know I had this condition, felt compelled to pray for me. To pray for my body to be well. For a few days, it kept floating into her head, and she obediently asked for a good thing on my behalf. She didn’t really have this kind of thing in mind, either.
Meanwhile, I noticed that I could go a few hours without losing water. And then a few more. And the next thing I knew, I didn’t need medication to help me retain water for 44 hours. And then it turned to four days. I went from needing between 9 and 11 liters a day to 2.
And you guys–I was so afraid that it wasn’t possible. That it wasn’t real. That it was a fluke. So I told no one and I waited. That was June 1. Now it’s January 25. And still–I’m waiting for it to not be real.
What is it about Good News that feels hard to swallow? Why is it that we’re holding the Word of God and not talking about it? Why is it that we live in our brokenness and never dare hope that one day we could be well? And since Jesus is renewing us daily, why are we still timid about that?
I always knew that Jesus was Hope. I always believed that God could heal. I always knew that miracles still happened. But even after one happened in my life, I shut my mouth and kept water-retention medication in my suitcase–just in case. Just in case He’s messing with me. Just in case I’m not healed.
We like to pretend that the Bible is only a little bit true–the fun bit, mostly. The parts with the baby Jesus and the parting of the Red Sea and the widow who gets provided for. But the ugly parts? The ones that remind us that sin is a thing? We stay away from those. Those are hard to look at and difficult to swallow. But those passages, they are setting the stage for Jesus show make his grand entrance. If we don’t need saving, we don’t need a Saviour. But as those who belong to Jesus and claim to have been saved? We have to open our mouths.
For weeks, we’ve been watching the news as name after name flashes across the screen. Another woman abused. Another person silenced. Another sin committed. And I haven’t known what to say, exactly.
Because suddenly, it seems that sin is EVERYWHERE. It’s in our workplaces and our homes and our hearts. It’s hurting celebrities and housekeepers and athletes and neighbors. It’s tearing things apart in front of our eyes and we can’t look away. And with every #metoo or #TimesUp we’re dragging the hard truth of sin into the light and it’s like we’re standing in rags, begging for a solution–everyone needs a solution. Everyone needs to be healed.
I think that I didn’t talk about my healing because it really felt too good to be true. And, ever the suspicious Enneagram Six, I didn’t want to accept it. Even after I felt like I needed to share it months ago, I stayed quiet until this afternoon when I had a chat with a friend and it came out of me like–oh I don’t know–a testimony.
We have to talk about the good and the bad and the Gospel. So I’ll start with this: I was broken. I’ve been healed. And it might come back tomorrow, but for MONTHS I have been well. I have gone on runs and traveled to other countries and hiked at high elevations and maybe the most miraculous thing is that I doesn’t feel insane anymore. I forgot my water bottle the other morning for the first time in YEARS.
And I could say it was a fluke or a medical mystery like my doctors. But my blood work shows that there is nothing in my brain that is telling my kidneys to hold onto water but they’re doing it. By definition? That’s a JESUS THING.
I was quiet about healing, and I was wrong.
And when I say wrong, I don’t mean shamed or worthless or counted out. I mean wrong–as in didn’t do what I felt like I needed to do. Wrong because I felt compelled to share and didn’t. Wrong because I kept it to myself. Wrong because it could have reminded someone somewhere that Jesus is real. Wrong because I’ve been carrying around a book that says, “God is a God of miracles” and I have been silent about the miraculous thing taking place for 238 days and counting.
If we’re living in a cultural moment where victims have been silenced, we cannot return their cries for healing with more silence. We have to, as people who love God and believe his Word, tell the truth. To listen to their stories and say, “Yes. Sin has been committed. And there is hope for redemption and healing and one day, this pain with lessen and you’ll stand on your own two feet and see that it was Jesus who brought you to a land of Hope.”
Sometimes, in our ordinary life, we believe the lie that unless it’s extraordinary, it doesn’t matter. But let me tell you as a woman who was healed in a way doctors can’t explain: even if it were big and miraculous, that doesn’t mean you’d change. It has to start in small ways. In fact, I believe that some of the most important things are said while loading the dishwasher or driving to work or on a walk around the neighborhood. If the Word matters, it matters in every moment–which means none of us have an excuse to ignore it.
Y’all. If we live in a place where sin isn’t real, we’re never going to get to a place where salvation is possible. If the pain of others isn’t moving us to pitch our tents and drive our tent pegs into the ground of Scripture, we are forgetting that God has spoken and his words are true. May we look at sin and how it destroys others and ourselves and say “Me too,” remembering that this life is but a vapor and Time’s Up on keeping silence when we’ve seen the goodness of God right in front of us, in the grief and in the joy.
May we soak our hearts in the Bible, anchor our souls on its content–all of its content–and may we learn to tell the stories it tells, preach the gospel it preaches, offer the hope that it offers. May we look to those who ache over abuse and injustice and ache alongside them, showing them this Word that is a lamp unto ALL of our feet and a light to ALL of our paths. May we, the healed, be beacons on the hillside, pointing the way to healing for everyone else, too.