Constant numbness took over the left side of my face. Intense shooting pain traveled up the back of my neck and head. Overwhelming worry and fear trapped me. Was it a brain tumor? I shot up prayers for health, healing, and understanding, but God seemed strangely silent.
I made an appointment to see my doctor, but in the meantime, I desperately wanted an instant fix. I wanted the numbness to go away and life to return to normal.
Friends and family who tried to offer support or comfort seemed only to make things worse with such comments as, "Everything will be fine. God is in control!" and by tossing random Scripture verses at me. I knew they meant well, but their words hurt. What if everything didn't turn out fine?
Even after the results of an MRI confirmed the absence of a brain tumor, I continued to feel anxious. The illness was still a mystery and God was still silent. I felt as if God had abandoned me.
I was desperate for a diagnosis, but my doctor had exhausted all her resources without reaching any conclusions. I cried out to God, "Help me! Which direction do I take for answers?"
As I pleaded with God, a memory came to mind: the painful struggle I went through after my second pregnancy ended in a stillborn birth. God had seemed absent then too. Each day during that difficult time I would plead for God to help me, and yet I remained in profound anguish.
Over time, I became aware that I had a choice to make each day. I could either stay with God or I could walk away. I'd already lost so much—I didn't want to lose God too, even if he remained silent. So I determined to stay with God. It didn't matter how my emotions changed or how I felt each day; I stayed committed to him.
For Further StudyDownloadable resources to go deeper
- Carolyn Custis James: What It Means to Be a Woman in MinistryeBook Format Available! Author and speaker Carolyn Custis James offers leadership insights for women.