When Healing Never Comes
Wendy Blight

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart..." Proverbs 3:5 (NIV)

Today she is 16. A newly licensed driver, varsity cheerleader, confident, strong, funny, and beautiful, inside and out.

Then she was 13. Sitting in a doctor's office, between tears and trembling, we heard these words: "scoliosis," "a curvature of the spine," "back brace," " 23 out of 24 hours a day," " two years."

Words cannot explain life those next weeks and months as she faithfully wore her brace ... a brace that deformed her body, caused sleepless nights filled with pain and sorrow, and required her to quit something she loved: competitive cheerleading.

Questions plagued her heart. Why me, God? What did I do, God?

Questions plagued my mind. Why her, God? What did I fail to do? Please take this from her and give it to me, Lord...PLEASE!!

I cried out for healing. We obeyed Scripture. Elders of the church prayed over her. I laid hands on her and anointed her with oil. Hundreds of women prayed for her healing.

Healing never came.

Many nights she lay in my bed, locked in her brace, sobbing, asking, "Why me, Mom?" I lay next to her, tears rolling down my cheeks, exhausted, feeling helpless, wondering how we would make it to the other side of this.

Healing never came.

Her back worsened despite the brace, so we tried alternative methods.

Healing never came.

Oh, for a time, they kept her curve at bay—until six months ago. Her curve and the pain resulting from it had increased with astounding speed since then, until it reached the point that we had to face the reality of surgery. A surgery that requires this precious child of mine to put her life on hold. A surgery that means rods and screws will line her spine from top to bottom. A surgery that requires months and months of rehabilitation. A surgery that prevents her from ever tumbling again.

Healing never came ... or has it?

At first glance I'd say "no" because the Lord did not heal in the way I so specifically and faithfully prayed.

But, when I look at the promised result - it will straighten her spine and allow her to live pain free - I must say, "yes" healing is coming, just not in the way I hoped and prayed.

The passion of my heart, the call on my life, is to point others to find answers to their struggles, great and small, in the Word of God. So what do I say to myself as I kneel before the Lord? I allow the tears to come. I shake my fist, asking why has it had to come to this? I ask why did He not choose MY way?

And then, I surrender.

I take my own advice.

I go to His Word. His Word that speaks sweetly to me:

"Wendy, trust Me with all your heart. Do not lean on the knowledge of chiropractors, physical therapists, and others. Do not lean on your fears. Acknowledge Me, Wendy. My Name. My Power. My Strength. My Love. I promised to direct your path, and I have. This is the path I have led you to follow. Trust Me." (Proverbs 3:5-6)

"Wendy, I do not give you a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind." (2 Timothy 1:7)

"Wendy, remember My ways are higher than your ways, My thoughts higher than yours...TRUST ME with her because I have a plan and I love her more than you will ever know." (Isaiah 55:8)

I wish I could tell you today that I am not afraid. But I would be lying. I am afraid. I am afraid of the day they will roll her away to cut into her spine and insert foreign objects into her body. But I can tell you that I trust my God, and I ask Him daily to help me with my unbelief.

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Word. Thank You that it is TRUTH. Father, for every woman whose heart aligns with mine today, direct us to Your Word. Speak truth into our circumstances. Help us with our unbelief. Help us take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. Fill our hearts and minds with whatever is lovely, true, pure, excellent, and praiseworthy. Father cover us with Your wings. Help us to fully trust in You. I ask this in Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
For more on this topic, listen to today’s Radio show, Valley of Grief

Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner: The Transforming Power of God’s Story by Wendy Blight

i am not but i know I AM by Louie Giglio

Visit Wendy’s blog - Living Truth

Application Steps:
If you have a struggle, take a few minutes today, go to God's Word, and ask Him to speak into your circumstances. Note the verses to which He draws you and personalize them as I did above. Pray them every day this week and watch what God will do.

Reflections:
Read the following verses and reflect on what they speak to your heart: Hebrews 4:16, Romans 10:17, and Hebrews 12:2.

Power Verse:
1 Corinthians 2:16, "For who has known the mind of the Lord that He may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ." (NIV)

Isaiah 44:2, 21b, "Thus says the LORD who made you, who formed you from the womb and will help you: Fear not….I formed you; you are my servant; O Israel, you will not be forgotten by me." (ESV)

© 2009 by Wendy Blight. All rights reserved.

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19 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Wendy,
Your devotion this morning reminds me of what my mother went through with me when I was a child. Born with multiple birth defects, I spent most of my childhood in and out of hospitals and I went through multiple surgeries. I feel confident that my mother prayed the same prayers you did and she wondered why God put me through such turmoil. We cried what seemed endless tears together and I often asked her why. I couldn't understand it as a child, but as an adult I see that those turmoils became a powerful testimony for me in trusting God and his plan. God made me a stronger person because of what I went through and he led me to become a nurse and care for others like he cares for me. He turned my turmoil into a testimony and I thank him for my tribulations.

Blogger Adeola said...

Dear Wendy,
Thank you for sharing your experience. Recently, I was battling with God over a decision I had to make. At a point I felt I was exalting my desires over His will. I had to remind my self that if He chose to remove me from His plan, nobody can question it. I won't say I'm totally submitted, that I don't have fears about it all, but I sense daily that He keeps reassuring me of His love and grace. I have called it my "faith process" and I know at the end of it, it'll bring all the glory to God alone.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for your words. Today's devotion is truly an encouragement to this discouraged mom of a special needs child. Some days it is harder to bear the pressure of raising children without the added difficulty of multiple disabilities. Again, thanks for reminding me that it is God's burden to bear.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am thankful to see your blog this morning as that has been an issue of great importance in my life lately. Is God still the same God if he does not heal my child? Is my faith strong enough? Do the promises of the bible really apply to me if God allows my kids to stay as they are? We have prayed for years for the physical healing of my precious children that in the eyes of the world did not come.

Although they are not the physically changed children I prayed for, I can say without a doubt that the Lord has healed my heart and theirs. He healed our family of the hurt and loss and uses it for His glory. He reminds me daily that he is with me and holding me in his arms. He tells me when I am discouraged that all believers have the promise of eternal healing. He is who he says he is. His promises are as true for me as they are for everyone else. He answers every prayer, just not always the way I hoped he would.

Thanks for writing this and reminding us all that the one who sees the beginning from the end has us in his hands and in the grace of his healing even when we can not see.
Andrea

Blogger Kathy said...

Wendy, WOW. Thanks for baring your soul like that. Your story will touch and bless so many today.

Anonymous Angela S said...

I am 26 and living with a 37 degree curve. I hoped that I could have surgery to eliminate the pain I deal with daily. I went to two doctors and they both said my pain will never go away with surgery.

I hope and pray your daughter feels good and will be happy about the decision made.

All things work together for good, to those called to His purpose.

Have a great day!

You spoke to the heart of every mother today. Beautiful message of hope, even when things seem hopeless.

Anonymous Maria said...

Dear Wendy,
14 years ago my little daughter (she was 7 then) went through the operation you're writing about. Her case was different because she was born with spina bifida which was the cause of the curve that began to increase as she was growing. For her this was a lifesaving operation. I know how you're feeling. If you wish to know more about my daughter's operation and what happened next send me an e-mail: csimaria@gmail.com

Blogger Kelsie said...

What's the Scripture passage about "Consider what the Lord has made: Who can straighten what He has made crooked?"...May God continue to bless you as you trust in Him!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so thankful that we have such an Almighty and Wonderful Lord and Savior Jesus Christ we can turn to with all of our cares and concerns...Although we may not get the answer we hope for we can always remind ourselves he knows the big picture and everything he does is for a reason...He is NEVER wrong!!! Thank you for the devotion today you & your daughter are in my thoughts and prayers!!!

Anonymous Jerry said...

Wendy,

Thanks for being transparent in your faith. Real faith experiences doubt, and your willing to share the good with the bad. That's encouraging to many ordinary people, just like me. We all appreciate you and your witness.

I said a prayer for you, your daughter and the rest of your family a moment ago.

Blessings!

Dear Wendy,

It is difficult at times to understand why God chooses certain paths for us and for those that we love. My heart goes out to your daughter and to you her momma , for the sacrifices in her young life that she has had to make because of the problems with her back. The mercy of a mother's heart is sooooo tender when her babies are affected.

When I was young, I watched my mother struggle with a mental illness. Back then, they didn't look at mental illness as they do today. It was looked upon in a much more negative light. They didn't have the medications and therapy etc... nor treat it like we do any other disease of the body. I saw my mother in the worst state of mind that you could imagine and I never understood why God would allow her to suffer like that. She wasn't able to raise me and my siblings, so my grandparent's raised us. My heart hurt so much for her as I grew into a teenager because her heart was hurting too. That was many years ago and my mother has since passed away with cancer.

After she passed away, I realized that God did use her life to build character traits inside of me that I would not have learned otherwise. I know her life has made me a much more merciful and compassionate person, and I can say the same for my siblings. I don't understand God's ways always, but I have seen blessings even from pain, as I know you have. ( I am reading your book) He has given me a testimony that I can use to glorify Him and help others in a specific way.

Thank you Wendy for being so real and sharing your heart and life with us. You are a huge blessing.

Lee Ann

Blogger LisaR said...

Wendy,
I can relate to your daughter's story. I am now 44 years old, and I had surgery for my scoliosis 30 years ago, after a year of wearing a Milwaukee brace. I have a Harrington rod that fuses all of my thoracic spine. I had a severe curve before surgery (60 degrees or so), and now it is about 30 degrees. I have not had any pain in my back all these years until just recently, which has probably come from a compensatory curve that has developed in my lower spine. My doctor says it's best to leave the lower part alone, and some pain is part of the normal aging process.
It was a traumatic time in my life to go through my surgery and rehab, but one where I grew closer to my God and learned to put my trust in Him. I was certainly afraid, but mostly because of childlike concerns (like I didn't want a scar). In 1979, my parents were not allowed to stay overnight in the room with me, and I was on a Stryker frame for 2 weeks after surgery, which is much different from today's techniques.
This year I celebrated 22 years of marriage, and I have 2 wonderful boys. My oldest just turned 16 and also just learned to drive. And yes, I was able to deliver my children naturally, without C-sections. My life is as "normal" as it can be, although my body will never be "perfect." I do have great posture, and I have learned compassion and humility through my experience, as well as to use my sense of humor. Laughter is good medicine.
I encourage you to trust the doctors and to proceed with the surgery. The techniques available today are astounding, compared to the 30-day hospital stay I endured for my surgery years ago. Healing can come through God guiding a physician's hands. I would be more afraid to have a curve that is not corrected, as at one point, my curve was collapsing one of my lungs and shifting my internal organs.
Today I accept myself for who I am and how I look, scars and all, so life does go on.
I know my mother went through the same pain and agony you're experiencing, but I trust God will see you through this. I went through my "why me" moments many years ago, and now I can say, "thank you God" for allowing me to experience this trial that forced me to turn to you at this young age and learn to give you my fears. I has given me a compassionate and caring heart toward others who are facing times of suffering. I now work in the medical field, doing medical transcription from my home. Every day I get to participate in someone's care, as I type all those medical reports, and I surely get to count my blessings. Surgery changed my life, and you have to cope with those changes, but I know now that it was a blessing that I received treatment.
May God bless you as you entrust your child to His care, even when it is difficult to let her go through those doors into surgery. You'll be afraid, as will she, but courage is not the absence of fear. Be strong and of good courage, for God will never leave your side! He will grow your faith through this.
With love from a sister in Sioux Falls, SD

Blogger LisaR said...

Wendy,
I can relate to your daughter's story. I am now 44 years old, and I had surgery for my scoliosis 30 years ago, after a year of wearing a Milwaukee brace. I have a Harrington rod that fuses all of my thoracic spine. I had a severe curve before surgery (60 degrees or so), and now it is about 30 degrees. I have not had any pain in my back all these years until just recently, which has probably come from a compensatory curve that has developed in my lower spine. My doctor says it's best to leave the lower part alone, and some pain is part of the normal aging process.
It was a traumatic time in my life to go through my surgery and rehab, but one where I grew closer to my God and learned to put my trust in Him. I was certainly afraid, but mostly because of childlike concerns (like I didn't want a scar). In 1979, my parents were not allowed to stay overnight in the room with me, and I was on a Stryker frame for 2 weeks after surgery, which is much different from today's techniques.
This year I celebrated 22 years of marriage, and I have 2 wonderful boys. My oldest just turned 16 and also just learned to drive. And yes, I was able to deliver my children naturally, without C-sections. My life is as "normal" as it can be, although my body will never be "perfect." I do have great posture, and I have learned compassion and humility through my experience, as well as to use my sense of humor. Laughter is good medicine.
I encourage you to trust the doctors and to proceed with the surgery. The techniques available today are astounding, compared to the 30-day hospital stay I endured for my surgery years ago. Healing can come through God guiding a physician's hands. I would be more afraid to have a curve that is not corrected, as at one point, my curve was collapsing one of my lungs and shifting my internal organs.
Today I accept myself for who I am and how I look, scars and all, so life does go on.
I know my mother went through the same pain and agony you're experiencing, but I trust God will see you through this. I went through my "why me" moments many years ago, and now I can say, "thank you God" for allowing me to experience this trial that forced me to turn to you at this young age and learn to give you my fears, and to compassionate and caring toward others who are facing times of suffering.
I now work in the medical field, doing medical transcription from my home. Every day I get to participate in someone's care, as I type all those medical reports, and I surely get to count my blessings.
May God bless you as you entrust your child to His care, even when it is difficult to let her go through those doors into surgery. You'll be afraid, as will she, but courage is not the absence of fear. Be strong and of good courage, for God will never leave your side! He will grow your faith through this.
With love from a sister in Sioux Falls, SD

Blogger Jilly said...

Hi Wendy, thank you for sharing. Your willingness to share has blessed me so much and filled me with hope for my precious son. I pray God will bless you and keep you in His care.
Love Jilly oxoxo

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wendy,

I too have scoliosis. I am an adult now, but still have to deal with the pain & inconveniences that come with it. When the talk of surgery came up, my mother did not have the faith you do. She did not trust our Great & Powerful God with her baby girl. So, I continued to wear the brace as long as needed to just keep it from getting worse. If I had had the surgery, I would be a full 3 inches taller today. Now, my body is still twisted, and I have to worry about what the effects of osteoporsis will have, too.

I am so proud of you for beliving and trusting in our Father. I pray for your daughter's recovery. I pray for your strength as you put her in His hands. You ARE doing the right thing.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your story really moved me - I have a 16 year old and life is challenging enough at that age ... all we can do is lean into the Father, praise Him and trust Him... He will redeem this for His glory. We just can't see the full picture like He does.

You are in my thoughts and prayers

Anonymous Alma said...

Dear Wendy,
Everyday since September, 2009, I've been reading your daily devotions and t'was always been my daily inspiration & encouragement.

I was so blessed and on today's devotion as it reminds me of my son, Michael. Yes, I still trust God, pray and hope for that HEALING for my son Michael will come according to HIS will.

I was so glad and thankful to the Lord when my son accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his saviour last month, Praise God. Since then, we have seen changes in his everyday life, however and whatever circumstances & burdens he is facing, he really is relying in God's providence, guidance & protection though one step at a time.

Michael was trapped in financial bankruptcy, lost his job and now facing several debtor claims that's keeping him from getting his police clearance for a better job on a permanent position. Everyday seems to be eternity for him whenever he goes and to the police to get his clearance letter as they ask him to come again and again for another day.

As a mother, I always encourage him to just be patient and trust unto the Lord and the reward will be worth it...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is difficult. I am a competitive cheerleader on a college squad and I too am being told that surgery is what is next. I can't quite figure out how to make the decision to just stop what i love and who i am. I am the top girl and then tumbler, the front row jumper too. These versus are empowering and reassuring but I can't say that it's not hard to let go of everything i've known. I guess im second guessing or may be not fully trusting God which is wrong but I have no one by my side right now telling me what to do now that im the grown up in my world. So, i will remember your story as i live mine and try to listen to God's plan.

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