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Stress and Peace

When my dad left our family in 2005, I was devastated. Angry with my parents and also with God, I cursed them both. I began blaming them for everything bad going on in my life.

Easily influenced, I started hanging out with the wrong people, doing things I knew to be sin, and living a most unrighteous life in the flesh. As ignorant as I was, I still turned to the Bible and asked God to allow me to KNOW Him. I read Philippians 3:10–11 (GNB) over and over: “All I want is to know Christ and to experience the power of his resurrection, to share in his sufferings and become like him in his death, in the hope that I myself will be raised from death to life.”

In 2008, I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, a chronic, inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation in the digestive tract. The doctors kept telling me that my body was attacking itself and didn’t know how to turn off—and there was no cure! I was on a lot of medication, afraid to eat, and unable to go to school. Every day I lived in pain and in fear of what tomorrow would bring. I was very sick, isolated, and depressed.

One day, as I lay on my bed, I got out my Bible and it opened to the same verses I had highlighted years before: Philippians 3:10–11. Facing a severe health crisis, I began praying to God. I told Him I wanted His will to be done, and that I would follow His plan for me. I read the Bible seriously, especially the Psalms and Proverbs.

Over many months of seeking a cure for my condition, the doctors tried everything from blood transfusions, chemotherapy drugs, and enemas. Later, surgery was performed to remove six inches of my rectum, with the possibility of reconnecting my intestines when my colon healed. During the long months of treatment, I suffered from depression and PTSD. My parents’ divorce had come through in 2010, and I felt crushed all over again. I felt what had happened to our family was my fault, and I blamed myself. I cried out to God, “Why is this happening to me?” Negative thoughts flooded my mind to the point that I felt I couldn’t take life anymore. I was hurting and lost. Under tremendous physical and emotional stress, my body relapsed. Instead of healing, in 2011, I was rushed to the ER for an emergency second surgery—the last six inches of my rectum had to be removed.

A few years ago, my brother-in-law was admitted to the hospital. Seeing him there reminded me of when I had been in the hospital. He was in a coma. We kept praying, continued to visit, and waited for God's plan. Several weeks passed. One night, I prayed that God would help me learn from this situation and have peace in my heart. Whatever plan God had for our family, I was ready to accept it. If this was God's will, let it be done. That Friday, we witnessed my brother-in-law get baptized. We felt the Holy Spirit that day. On Monday, he passed away. We all went home sad, trying to go back to our normal lives.

At this point, I was heartbroken and confused. I needed to re-evaluate my life. God had saved me when I was young, but now I was half in and half out—a lukewarm Christian. But I didn’t want to live this way anymore. I was tired of doing what the world asked of me, and I truly wanted to change. Seeking God earnestly, I asked Him to help me let go of my flesh and let Him take over my life. I confessed my sins and invited Jesus to come into my life once again. I also asked for healing.

Today, I am loving and trusting Jesus for everything. I may not have an earthly father, but I definitely have a Heavenly Father who loves me. He has redeemed and cleansed me. His faithfulness and mercy endure forever. Because of God’s mercy, I am a miracle. He has given me a second chance to live—and to live life well. This time, I am not doing it alone! Jesus Christ is my healing Savior. In my deepest stress, He never gave up on me or left my side.

Thank you, Dear Jesus, for blessing me with ten years of abundant life and health. I am truly grateful.

At the time of this writing, Melissa is on maternity leave. She said: “I am blessed to be a mother because the surgeons said that due to too much scar tissue, I had only a 50/50 chance of ever having a baby, but little did they know God had another plan for my life.”

Article Link: http://ccmusa.org/read/read.aspx?id=chg20190405
To reuse online, please credit Challenger, Oct-Dec 2019. CCMUSA.