While my chronic illness journey started as a little kid, my healing journey started with my daughter's unexplainable symptoms and the shattering of my health that happened postpartum.
My daughter had chronic stomach pain and issues from birth. My motherly instincts were always sounding alarm bells, but I couldn’t find a doctor to listen to me. I got her numerous referrals. We took her to several different specialists, and no one listened to me, despite how symptomatic she was.
I've never been one to just take someone's word for something. As a former English teacher, I am a researcher at heart. When I couldn't find the answers I was looking for from doctors, I began to tear apart medical journal after medical journal to help my daughter.
While I’m digging into research on behalf of my daughter (if you're a mother, you know that there is nothing that is going to stop you from fighting for your child), I’m also experiencing significant health issues that doctors cannot explain.
My health issues began to reach their zenith in 2019 when I was rushed to the hospital for what appeared to be a stroke. I was 27 years old at the time, and the ER doctors could not explain why I was having stroke-like episodes. Shortly after that, I began experiencing severe stomach issues. IBS and IBD were some of the diagnoses I had racked up as a teen, so doctors just attributed my severe symptoms to stress or an IBD flare. While searching for answers for my illness, I ended up getting pregnant. And it was during my pregnancy and postpartum that my health completely crashed.
I was diagnosed with Hyperemesis Gravidarum during my pregnancy. I was throwing up multiple times a day. There were several days where I couldn't keep anything down, and I had to receive an IV to replenish electrolytes. I was absolutely miserable and worried about the health of my baby. I tried every medication under the sun to help reduce my HG symptoms, but nothing helped. Doctors told me that I would feel better once I had my baby. So when I finally had my daughter and I was postpartum, I kept wondering why I didn't feel any better.
After having my daughter, I lost 40 pounds in 3 months. I was significantly underweight. I was having frequent vomiting episodes. I was experiencing such intense stomach pain I was convinced I was dying. I started having stroke-like episodes again. There were times when I would actually lose the ability to speak. I couldn’t remember simple things or even do basic math. I would faint and black out. My hair was falling out. I would have episodes of convulsions and shake for hours. I was also having intense panic attacks, and my depression got to the point that I was suicidal. While I had many other symptoms, those were the most debilitating.
I bounced around from specialist to specialist and never received any answers. I had numerous scans and tests done. They all came back “normal.” We even had the top doctor in the state review my MRI, and he said it looked perfect.
Between my health and my daughter's health, I was utterly devastated. No one was giving us answers. I was barely functioning and withdrew from family and friends because I was so sick. I even had a few people tell me that it was all in my head or that it was just stress. We spent so much of our money trying to figure out what was going on.
I felt like the Lord had turned his back on me and my precious little baby. I could understand that He would allow me to suffer, but I was broken over His allowing my daughter to suffer.
I contended endlessly for our healing. I felt like Jacob wrestling God. I wasn’t giving up. I was determined to win—to not give in for my daughter's sake. As I was contending one day, He brought Job 13:15 to mind: “Though He slay me, I will hope in Him.”
I know this sounds crazy, but I felt like I needed to let Him slay me. So that’s what I did. I surrendered to the slaying.
I let Him slay my prized teaching career.
I let Him slay my coveted cognitive abilities.
I let Him slay my relationships.
I let Him slay my body.
In the midst of the slaying, I started to find healing. He brought resources and research to me. He opened up a door to a root-cause approach to healing, and I ran through it.
I started treating my daughter and myself based off of the research I had done and the research the Lord brought to me. I started to see improvements in our symptoms within a few days. I couldn’t believe it. I kept down this path and saw that we were healing.
I kept asking the Lord, “What are you doing? What are you teaching me? Where are you leading me?”
It became abundantly clear where He was leading me—to become a root-cause practitioner.
Oh, the doors He opened. Oh, the seas He parted.
I had someone pay for my tuition. This person had no idea the direction the Lord was leading me or the cost of the tuition, but he wrote me a check and said, “I don’t know what you’re up to, but I feel called to give you this exact amount of money and tell you that I believe in you and whatever the Lord is doing in your life.”
My husband and I were speechless. He continued to work and move and make ways. Looking back on all the doors He opened, I am in awe of His goodness and faithfulness.
I had to walk through so much to get here. I let Him slay me to get here. But as is typical when Jesus is involved, He restored me to life. He slayed my old life and brought forth new life, a new calling. It’s because of the crushing of the olives that new oil flows. New oil is flowing.