My life has completely changed since that surgery in Dec. 2006, but God has been with me every step of the way. Through the trials and the intense pain (physical, mental, and emotional) that I’ve endured, He’s taught me that sometimes the largest blessings come wrapped in the most excruciating pain.
Ever since I was a child, I’ve enjoyed writing, and in middle school, I even had several teachers tell me that I should consider writing professionally as a career. I never thought about that seriously, because I already knew that God was calling me to teach. I have kept a journal periodically since I was a teenager.
Several months after the infection started, I began to journal seriously again as an outlet for all my anger, frustration, and pain. The pain was the worst, it was constant, and some days it took every ounce of my strength just to get out of the bed. One day a close friend was visiting, and he happened to see my journal that I’d accidentally left open on the coffee table. He picked it up and began to read it, and I tried to grab it away because I was embarrassed about leaving my private thoughts exposed, even to a close friend. He told me that what he’d seen was very good and he thought that I had a real gift and talent for writing. He told me that if I added a chorus and changed a few words here and there, I’d have a Southern Gospel song, and a really good one at that! He would know, because he was songwriter and had written several songs himself. To say that I was stunned would be an understatement! I actually told him he was crazy.
I told him I’d think about it, but the next day, I started playing around with the journal entry and made the changed he’d suggested. Then I showed it to him, and was surprised when he loved it! He then told me that he absolutely couldn’t believe that I’d never written professionally or published anything before; that what I’d written was just too good to come from an amateur. He said that God had given me a real gift for writing, and he just knew that my writing would one day help others just as it would help me get through the battle I was fighting.
That night, in my prayer time, I thanked God for giving me that gift and told Him that I was open to anything else that He wanted to give me. I never suspected that God would answer that in a BIG way! It wasn’t long until He was giving me many songs, and at totally random times throughout the day and night. Most of them would come at night, usually between the hours of 2 and 4 am, and sometimes I’d have not only lyrics but also music running through my head when He woke would wake me up. I began keeping a notebook and pen by my bed. The more I wrote, the more God gave me, and soon it wasn’t just songs, but devotionals and poems as well. My friend was very surprised and impressed one afternoon when we were sitting at the lake. A summer storm blew in, and I watched it for a few minutes, then grabbed my notebook and began to write. It wasn’t long until I had a song that he titled “The Storm”. He told me there was NO way, short of a gift straight from God, that anyone could create a complete song so fast and have it be so good. I knew it was a gift from God, and the more I opened myself up to accept it and allow God to use me, the more songs He began to give me. Soon, it wasn’t just songs, but also poems, devotionals, and later, even Sunday school lessons. I soon realized that the songs that others liked the best, and told me were my best, had come in the times of the worst and most excruciating pain. I think that was to remind me that sometimes the best things do come out of the worst pain.
No matter how bad things seemed to get for me, I had solid evidence that God WAS in control, and He did have a plan to use this. I didn’t think anything good could possibly come from fighting recurring infection for years, but God has used these past 7 years to change my life and draw me closer to Him. I had thought that nothing good could possibly come from that, but as Romans 8:28 reminds us, God can work ALL things for good for those who love Him. God showed me that something good could come from my painful experiences.
If you’re struggling with anything, take it to God in prayer and then TRUST Him to work the results out according to His plan for you. The result may not be what YOU wanted, but it will be what God has planned for you. If you’ve been waiting for a while, don’t get discouraged, God has NOT forgotten you! Joseph thought God had forgotten him, but remember how God used him years later. While answers may take longer than we want, for the Christian, everything happens in God’s time, and HIS timing is always perfect!
No matter what you’re facing or struggling with, be encouraged that God knows and He has a plan to help you with it. Just trust Him and let Him work.