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Hurting . . . Alone?

God's silence doesn't mean God is absent.

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Finally Finding Answers

After two years of seeking an answer from optometrists, dentists, specialists, and numerous family doctors, I was finally diagnosed for one part of my mysterious health problems. Instructed by my new family doctor to chart my daily food intake, hormonal changes, and local weather, I diligently complied. In that process I gave up my daily morning mocha habit … and found relief! I believe God took away my craving for my sweet morning wake-up fix in order to show me that it was triggering migraines. To this day, I am migraine-free.

Six years later I discovered the answer to the second part of my health mystery. I'd reached a point at which I was tired of seeing doctors and sick of having my hopes for an answer repeatedly dashed. Then one day, as I was flipping through a magazine and waiting for my son to finish his dental appointment, an answer found me. A diagram in the magazine of red circles down the back of a person's neck, shoulders, and upper back grabbed my attention. The caption explained it was a depiction of the tender points on the body related to a chronic illness called fibromyalgia. Soon afterward I went to another new family doctor who, after examining me, concluded that I did indeed suffer from fibromyalgia.

Strangely, I was thrilled to hear the diagnosis—it wasn't a mystery anymore! Though I still suffer from chronic pain, I'm now free of the worry and fear that gripped me when I didn't know its cause.

God desires to free us from the grip of stress and anxiety. But God also allows us the freedom to choose whether we'll remain bound to worry and fear or if we'll choose to remain free. We may not come out of a tough circumstance unscathed, but when we choose trust and freedom, our attitude and joy won't be harmed by life's difficulties. We can remain free in God as we remember Paul's words: "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he does. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6-7).

Cindy Pocapalia lives with her husband and two children in California.

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Hurting . . . Alone?