How Do We Trust God When We're Waiting for Healing?
By Evelyn Sherwood
Hear Him Louder Essay Series: Evelyn's Story
When Steve and I got married, I knew he suffered from seizures brought on by a back injury. Before we walked the aisle, he confessed, "The doctor says I will be in a wheelchair by the time I am in my forties."
I knew God had put us together, and He would get us through whatever the future held. My faith felt unshakeable.
But ten years into our marriage, a violent episode left Steve passed out on the floor at work. For the first time, my resolve began to falter.
Spinal taps, brain scans, and MRI's brought no comforting or definitive answers. Managing the pain and seizures with medication was our only course of action. We were tired and discouraged. Was this our future? Was it ever going to get better? What if it didn't?
I remember late one evening, after tucking our kids into bed and making sure Steve was comfortable, I collapsed on the couch. As the tears came streaming down my face, I prayed, "Oh, God, please heal my husband. Take away the pain. Bring health to his body, please!" My shoulders shook with each sob.
As I wept, I sensed God's comforting presence wrap around me. And as He held me, He gently whispered.
Familiar with His Whisper
I grew up in a minister's home, hearing about Jesus' love for me and observing my parents pray to Him daily. I invited Jesus to be my forever friend at the age of five. Prayer became part of my daily routine. Not in a ritualistic way, but through casual conversation. Since He was my friend, then I felt we could talk about anything.
But as I grew older, our conversations matured as well.
Prayers became less about me just talking at Him and more about leaning in to hear what He had to say. His whispers took me back to His Word and the truths that would guide my life and shape my heart.
The sweetness of walking through the day hand in hand with Him delighted my heart.
His Whispers Transform
So, I was taken back that night on the couch when His whisper came with a tone that was more corrective and less comforting:
Why are you fighting against me? I am doing a deeper work in your husband, something greater than physical healing.
His question startled me. I never intended to fight Him. But the longevity of this trial had chipped away at my heart to the point I just wanted immediate relief.
In my pain, I had lost sight of the bigger plan.
His whisper was about to align my vision to His and equip me for the long haul. Up until now, all I could see was the pain that loomed in front of us daily.
What God wanted me to see was 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 lived out in our home:
So, no wonder we don't give up.
For even though our outer person gradually wears out, our inner being is renewed every single day.
We view our slight, short-lived troubles in the light of eternity.
We see our difficulties as the substance that produces for us an eternal,
weighty glory far beyond all comparison
because we don't focus our attention on what is see
but on what is unseen.
For what is seen is temporary, but the unseen realm is eternal.
What God did that night was pull the glasses of this temporary life away from my eyes so that I could view the world through His eyes.
I wanted comfort. He wanted my trust.
I wanted immediate results. He wanted me to see the bigger picture.
Isn't that what prayer is all about? Pouring out and trusting the cares of our heart to His, and in return, leaning in as He whispers what our hearts need to hear.
It would be another twenty years before my husband saw relief from the seizures. Our lives have changed because of the relief, but that night on the couch also changed our lives. God knew that relief would come. And with His whisper, He equipped me to trust Him in the journey.
Hearing his voice is conversational. Hearing His voice is also informational. But that night on my couch, hearing His voice was transformational.
Image: Freestocks, Unsplash.
A Post Script from Evelyn:
Five years ago, God lead us to some helpful information. A friend shared the book, Grain Brain, in which the author specifically addressed the impact gluten had on myocclonic seizures. We had nothing to lose. Steve went gluten-free and has found relief after decades of suffering.
The Hear Him Louder Essay Series is a guest writer series where God's daughters share their stories of hearing God’s whispers in their every day. It’s meant to serve as an encouragement for the times when God feels far and seems quiet. When we read each other’s stories of how He meets us, it reminds and reassures us that He is near. May this series be an invitation for us to listen for His voice together.
Don't miss any posts in this series! Subscribe to receive notifications for each new essay, posted every other Thursday. When you subscribe, you'll receive a link to a FREE five-day devotional (45 beautiful pages!) called, “Closer: Five Days to Hearing God Louder.” Each day features teaching on one posture and a guided journaling section to help us practice taking steps toward hearing God louder in our every day.
Learn more about each of these five postures:
1 | Seek: If I Seek God, Will I Really Find Him?
2 | Know: Will God Speak, Even to Me?
3 | Expect: Can I Expect to Hear God?
4 | Listen: How Do I Listen for God?
5 | Connect: Is God Really Right Here?
New to this series? Check out the rest of the series!
Interested in contributing to the Hear Him Louder Essay Series? The call for submissions opens in January and June. To submit an essay outside of those windows, contact me.
Evelyn Sherwood is a trusted soul-care guide, speaker, and blogger who has served in pastoral ministry for thirty-five years.
Through the years, she has spoken to thousands at ministry events and retreats and has hosted events with such speakers as Jefferson Bethke and Megan Marshman. Sherwood’s popular "Stories of Hope" events draw a diverse audience from her region, and they continue to grow in popularity. Sherwood serves an active and growing audience through her blog, www.evelynsherwood.com, encouraging her readers to grab hold of hope in the trials by helping them recall God’s work in their past.
Nothing puts a smile on her face more than sharing about the faithfulness of God with a friend over a steaming cup of coffee. On a summer evening, you might spot Evelyn and her husband, Steve, driving through Indiana farmlands in a canary yellow ’47 Ford pickup or enjoying an outdoor movie night in their backyard with their eight grandkids.