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  • Writer's pictureMarnie Hammar

On Wanting to Hear Him in the Wait for Healing

By Jen Roland



Hear Him Louder Essay Series: Jen’s Story


I sat across the booth from my friend, Karen, as we met to discuss book ideas. For years, she’d felt God’s call to tell her story of healing. I too had sensed God’s call to write, but my story of how He was growing and sustaining me through chronic pain was still in progress.


“You know what’s coming next, right?” Karen asked. 


I shrugged and leaned forward, eager to listen.


“It’s your healing.”


Her declarative statement landed on my heart as a prophecy that increased my faith and would eventually bear fruit. Over the next few months, two other mature believers in my life shared that God gave them the same message about my story. One told me my healing would be a process, and that God would use me in that space. The other encouraged me to “double my dose” of reading scripture, praying, and practicing discernment by asking the Lord what to do as I wait.


We hear God in different ways, don’t we? God regularly speaks to me through scripture and other people.


Recently I was reading Isaiah 38 about King Hezekiah’s illness and how he turned to God in his distress. Hezekiah prayed, “Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes,” (Isaiah 38:3). Then he wept bitterly. The Lord responded to Hezekiah’s fervent prayer by adding fifteen years to his life. 


God assured Hezekiah He would heal him, but first Isaiah instructed him to prepare a poultice of figs and apply it to his body (Isaiah 38:21), reminding us that sometimes the Lord uses other people and treatments to help us recover.


Afterwards, Hezekiah asked Isaiah, “What will be the sign that the Lord will heal me?” (2 Kings 20:8). He wanted confirmation that the Lord would do what He said. While God was under no obligation to give him a sign, He showed mercy to Hezekiah, agreeing to move the shadow on the sundial of Ahaz back ten steps (Isaiah 38:8).


Just as God spoke to Hezekiah through the prophet Isaiah, telling him He would extend his life, God spoke to me through His Word and other believers, but I had yet to hear from Him directly.


While reading, I felt prompted to pray for confirmation. Like Hezekiah, my illness began at age thirty-nine. I too felt hopeless at times but cried out to the Lord. Like Hezekiah, I recognize God has a purpose in our suffering, and that the Lord’s plan is ultimately for our good. God has drawn me closer to Him. He has highlighted my need to trust Him, surrender, and rest. He has also given me a compassionate heart to serve the hurting, and to comfort others in affliction with the same comfort I received from God (2 Corinthians 1:4).


So, just as Hezekiah requested a sign, I asked God for a sign if healing this side of heaven was His will for me. Instantly, “red cardinal” came to mind, accompanied by a tingling sensation.


I didn’t want to jump to conclusions, so I said, “God, I’m going to trust this was from You. I’ll go for a walk and, if Your will is my healing, let me see a red cardinal.”


On my walk, I prayed for God to open my eyes and increase my awareness. I thought about Hezekiah’s response after he recovered, where he praised the Lord for His faithfulness. I decided that if I saw a red cardinal, I would fall to my knees in worship.


It didn’t take long for doubt to creep in and the enemy to whisper I was crazy. Like drifting clouds, I let those thoughts pass and took hold of God’s truth. Jesus was and is the Great Physician who speaks to us personally, keeps His promises, and heals.


As I turned the corner on this cold, gloomy December morning, the bare tree branches stood out against the backlit sky. Amidst a dull palette of browns, blacks, and grays, a glimpse of red caught my eye. As I moved closer to focus, I witnessed a beautiful, red cardinal fly away.


On the side of the road, I fell to my knees in awe and worshiped the Lord. I’m sure it was a scene to witness, but in that moment, I didn’t care what passersby thoughtI could not stop telling God how much I loved Him! When I stood up, I started laughing, overcome with joy. I knew the cardinal was for me. Upon returning home, I looked up its meaning and found that the cardinal is a symbol of hope and joy. 


Since Karen spoke over me that day at breakfast, I can sit, stand, and drive for longer periods of time. My once elevated white blood cell count is normal. My symptoms are improving, and I continue to believe that my full healing is coming.


This January at a prayer gathering, the leader, who did not know me or my situation, said there was someone in the group struggling with chronic pain. As she prayed, she mentioned things from my past I had not expressed, as well as how God would bring beauty from ashes. She shared how God would use my story to set others free and prophesied that this would be the year I’d experience complete healing. 


While I wait for the fulfillment of God’s promise, He has called me to write—to share my story as my healing comes to pass.


This is my faith walk. This is my journey with Jesus as He continues to reveal more of Himself to me and show me wondrous things I could never figure out on my own (Jeremiah 33:3). Jesus is our treasure. He is faithful to grow us and shape us in seasons of waiting and He is faithful to keep His promises.


 

The Hear Him Louder Essay Series is a guest essay 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. 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 each new essay in your inbox, posted every other Thursday. When you subscribe, you'll receive a FREE download of a Prayer Planning Worksheet, a resource to help you prepare your heart to listen for His voice in prayer.


New to this series? Check out the rest of the series!


 

About Jen


Jen Roland is a writer, speaker, board-certified Christian mental health coach, and women’s ministry leader with a passion for walking alongside others toward healing and wholeness. She helps others implement positive lifestyle practices for their mind, body, and soul while developing a deeper relationship with God.


Since her neuropathy diagnosis, Jen has focused her ministry on serving those with chronic pain and illness.


Jen lives in Woodbine, MD with her husband and three children. You can find resources to restore hope, reduce pain, overcome fear and anxiety, and strengthen your faith on her website. You can also find Jen on Instagram and Facebook.


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