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My head had pulsed for 13 days straight. And it wasn’t just a regular headache like the ones I was used to. It was a 13-day migraine, and nothing seemed to be working.
On day one, two, and three, I tried over-the-counter painkillers.
On day four, I went to my family doctor. He prescribed me heavy migraine medication and sent me in for a head scan. The scan came back clear, but I had an allergic reaction to the medication.
On day five, I asked my church community to pray for me.
On day seven, I went to the hospital emergency room. They gave me morphine and heavy narcotics which knocked me out for 16 hours. I woke up the next morning and the pain had worsened.
On day nine, I cried out to God. I had been praying for days, but this was the first time I truly cried out to Him. I thought my brain was going to explode. I prayed, over and over, begging Him to heal me -- just like He had healed people before.
“I remember how You’ve healed people,” I prayed, tears coursing down my cheeks. The darkness swelled around me, and the pain in my head intensified with my tears. “You healed the woman who bled for 12 years… surely You can heal my migraine. Nothing is too hard for You.”
I fell asleep, expectant that my migraine would be healed when I woke up.
But it wasn’t.
When my eyes opened the next day -- day ten -- I waited for a few moments to see if the pain was gone. Almost immediately the pain crowded in on me. The migraine gripped me even harder.
I blinked back tears, deeply discouraged. I softly uttered, “Why didn’t you heal me, God? I believed you could -- I truly believed! Why haven’t I been healed?”
I took a deep breath and felt a few words softly make their way across my heart. In my discouragement, I almost didn’t notice them.
I thought of Romans 5:1-5.
“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
I took a deeper breath, and let out a long exhale.
Even though my migraine was still there, even though the pain had not gone away, and even though my circumstances had not changed -- I could still hope.
I believe in a God who does not change. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. And even though I did not understand why He didn’t heal me in the timing I wanted, I could hold firm to the promise that I could still hope -- and that my hope would not put me to shame.
So I started hoping. As I chose hope over discouragement -- even though the pain was still there -- I found my mindset changed.
“I know you will heal me, God,” I told Him over the next three days. “I have hope that this pain will not last forever.”
And then, three days later on day thirteen -- after a couple of chiropractic appointments, a lot of prayer, some ice packs, and essential oils -- my migraine finally left me.
But I was still left with one thing: hope.
Maybe you, too, need to hope for something. Sometimes it feels scary to hope -- because what if God doesn’t come through for us? What if this time He forgets?
Friend, you can rest in the assurance that God never has and never will forget you. You can hope in Him -- and He will never put you to shame.
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Therefore encourage one another
and build each other up as you are already doing.
1 Thess 5:11 CSB