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Your Faith Has Healed You
I remember the first time I prayed to have faith.
I was ten years old, and a friend of a friend’s tripped me on the school playground. Falling to the ground in a loud thud, immense pain shot through my left wrist. I was not sure it was broken, but I thought for sure it was sprained.
In a quick trip to the Doctor, X-rays showed I needed a cast, but the Doctor who could do that wouldn’t be back until Monday. It was Friday.
Over the weekend, I prayed that God would heal me. I also prayed that I would not have to get a cast.
My faith was simple.
I believed God would heal me. I prayed to Him. And I had confidence that He would deliver me.
While my memory often tries to convince me otherwise, or distort the truth of healing that occurred, the Doctor was shocked when I arrived that Monday morning, my wrist free of injury and certainly not needing a cast or surgery.
I was not surprised. My God heard my prayer and He answered me.
I prayed. I believed. I received the healing God had for me.
It was that simple.
But if only we as adults could maintain the faith I had as a little girl once we grew up. I wish it were that simple. Yet not all prayers get answered, and not all faith feels that easy.
Faith Over Fear
If I am honest with you, recalling memories like the one above is hard for me. It is hard for me to see the strong faith I had as a child and compare it to the often faithless one I feel now.
Because as a child, you are taught that if you pray to Jesus, He will heal and deliver you, and you believe and receive it. But what you do not realize, is that not all prayers get answered the way we want them to, when we want them to, and how we want them to. And more than that, faith sometimes feels more like fear when it is about anxiety, cancer, and job loss rather than broken wrists or mean kids on the playground.
For as much as I believe that God can and will still heal to this day, I have learned the hard realization faith must precede fear despite what circumstance I am facing. And realizing this concept includes understanding that things happen how and when God wants, and that does not always align with my perspective.
If I had it my way, I would blink my eyes and my anxiety would be gone forever.
If I had it my way, I would erase the struggles of my past, and eliminate any form of self-harm ever known to man.
If I had it my way, I would remove suffering from my life and so many others.
But if I didn’t have struggles, suffering, and mental health battles, I would never know the beauty, need, and salvation of the one who truly sets me free.
And if I lived a life dedicated to how, when, and where I wanted things, and not God’s, I would be living for myself and not His glory. If I lived for myself, I would live in ruin.
As Matthew 16:25 remarks, “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it” (Matthew 16:25, King James Version).
Because as much as we think we know best, God sees beyond all time and space parameters. His ways are not only not our ways but His thoughts and actions are above our ideas and movements. And not that He wishes for us to suffer, but that because we live in a fallen world, this place is not our home.
As Isaiah 55:8-9, of the New International Version pens: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9, New International Version).
Choosing faith over fear means boldly praying the prayers you prayed as a child even if it scares you, and even if you feel like you have to say, “Lord, help my unbelief.”
Faith Over Feelings
Beyond fear, however, many of us struggle with faith because of how we feel. And on a daily basis, I will be vulnerable with you in saying that I feel an average of around 10 different feelings every single day.
One minute I am happy, the next minute I am sad. I might be anxious for three hours, or some days it might only be three minutes. Most days I cry. On fewer days I get angry.
But God created us with emotions and we are emotional beings! It is not a sin to feel! He crafted our innermost being in our mother’s womb and surely knew we came with over 27+ categories of emotions.
As Christians, it is our responsibility to feel the world around us and respond empathetically to others. For this reason, Scripture tells us in Ecclesiastes that there is a time for every activity under the Heavens, and that includes weeping and rejoicing! But we must not let our emotions and circumstances dictate our faith.
Faith foregoes feelings every time.
Because despite what I feel, God is still good. And despite the prayers I think are answered or not, He hears me. Psalm 68:19 reminds me that He bears my burdens daily, and continually carries me in His arms. “Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens” (Psalm 68:19, New International Version).
We may not feel it, and we may certainly not understand, but God did not call us to know all, He called us to trust Him among the places misunderstood and the paths not known to man.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take” (Proverbs 3:5-6, New Living Translation).
We do not depend on our fickle feelings and own understanding that change with the wind. We depend on the solid rock our faith is based on, and trust that as we pray to Him, He will lead us.
Faith Will Heal
Beyond fear and feelings, though, sometimes that hardest thing about faith can be believing it will ever come true in the face of doubt. And as someone who has been gravely discouraged in her fight with anxiety and depression, I know what it feels like to believe that things will never get better. I, too, have believed those lies.
Yet amid my suffering. Amid the constant gnawing of mental health struggles, God led me to Mark 5:34 in my prayer time with Him, and I pray that it may encourage you today:
“And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over” (Mark 5:34, New Living Translation).
In red penned ink (Jesus’ words), I felt the Spirit say, “Amber, you keep praying that if you just pray enough, read your Bible more, or get it together you will be healed, but here’s the thing: You can’t. You are doing all you can do. Don’t believe the lies. Believe the truth. With man it is impossible, but with God everything is possible. I can make you well through faith.”
Today, I am still learning to understand the path Christ wants me to take regarding mental health. I am doing my best to understand that medication for my struggles may be on my path and that it is okay.
I am not a failure for needing help.
Going to counseling and exploring a Christian psychiatrist and gynecologist are not reflections of how weak or strong I am as a person.
I am not defined by my struggles or periods of suffering.
But this I know is true: Whether my healing comes now in the form of counseling, medication, and Christian-rooted self-help or God’s divine and miraculously healing hand, or later in eternity when I get to spend forever with Him, He is still a good God of healing, peace, and wellness.
I am believing Mark 5:34 today, and I will believe it until it is true. Even amid my fear, feelings, and state of healing, His word remains a fact, and He has healed you.