So yesterday someone asked me how I was doing health-wise, how all my sinus stuff is and how I've been feeling.
I told them and their response was, "Wow, what a great testimony."
I hadn't thought of it that way, as a testimony before, but I guess it is. I'm always a little wary of using the word "testimony." For some reason it just has weird connotations to me. It brings back feelings of terror from church camp and Bible College when someone would ask you to "share your testimony" in front of dozens of people. I never had a "good one." My story was always pretty average and boring. My dad's a minister, my mom works at a church, I don't like the taste of alcohol and I'm bad at smoking things. My path was fairly inevitable.
It also reminds me of the time a girl asked me to "build a tent and share our testimonies while we eat lunch together" and how much I didn't want to do that. It's a word that's always made me feel less spiritual than other people, like I'm not a great Christian because I'd rather eat lunch alone while listening to a podcast and reading Buzzfeed articles than tell someone my "testimony" and have to listen to theirs (unless they were good at smoking things and had a fascinating tale of prison and rehab, then I'd probably be into it).
Also, the word testimony just sounds weird to me (but then again so do the words moist, lover, and casserole. Eugh.). And it's one of those Church words that normal people don't always understand, it comes with a lot of baggage about what it's supposed to be and how spiritual it's supposed to make you.
But I realized yesterday that your testimony doesn't have to be an incredible story of salvation, where God speaks to you from a burning bush or through the haze of drug addiction. Your God Story (which is what I'm going to call it from now on because it sounds better and more accurate) can be (and is for me) just a story of the thousands and thousands of time God has shown up in your life, no matter how big or small those times are. Like the time God protected me from getting rear ended at 70 mph by a huge tow truck. Or the time God kept me from marrying someone that would've made my life miserable. Or the time he helped make a flight I couldn't miss. Or the time he sent me Ben.
Big or small, God has been active and faithful through my entire life. And this is one of those times.
So on to the actual story...
A few months ago I went to the allergy doctor because I'd been sick for 4 months straight with one sinus infection after another. I've had sinus problems all my life, but they've gotten worse over the last couple years. I've had 2 surgeries, hundreds of allergy shots, and taken thousands of pills but nothing seemed to really take care of it.
The allergist suggested we do a number of blood tests to see if there's something at the root of all these problems. He said words like "leukemia" and "autoimmune disease" and other terrifying things.
I'm already a hypochondriac, so you can imagine the affect this had on me.
But when I got home that day I realized something. Throughout all of these issues, years of sinus problems and allergy attacks and misery, I realized I'd never genuinely prayed about it. I'd never prayed for God to heal me. I'd been so focused on what medicine to take next and what procedures we should do that I hadn't even factored God into the equation.
So I did. I spent that night praying, hard, for God to heal all my sinus issues. I repented for the years of not giving this over to him, for not even bringing it to him, and I prayed that he would take away all the problems I was having now. I prayed that it would be healed in such a way that the doctors wouldn't even understand how and wouldn't even be able to find a cause for my problems, that they'd all just be gone.
And guys, they were.
The doctor still did test after test. And they all came back clear. Leukemia, autoimmune diseases, thyroid issues, all clear. At one point he thought I had something called Selective Antibody Deficiency. My antibody numbers were insanely low (you're supposed to have at least 20, I had 11). I asked the doctor if there was any chance I DIDN'T have SAD (aptly named haha) and he pretty much said no, the chances of my numbers being a fluke were highly unlikely. He said that almost never happens. We were even working out treatment plans for when the results came back saying I did have SAD.
But those tests came back clear, too.
Now don't get me wrong, I believe God often works through medicine and I believe he even did in this case. There were a number of things the doctors did that I think helped. And I also don't think God heals every medical issue even if you pray about it, but that's a whole different subject.
The point is, since that day I haven't had close the amount of issues I had before. That's not to say I am 100% healed forever of all my problems. In fact, I even have a minor sinus infection now. But it's the first issue I've had in 4 months (which is a record for me) and it's nowhere close to the level of awfulness as before.
So I guess my goal in sharing this is just, partially, to share it. God answers prayers daily in my life. Some of the small ones I don't always share (though I should) but I'm trying to get better at sharing the big ones.
It's so easy for us to move on and forget after God answers a prayer, even in a big way like this. You're so thankful and happy for a day or so, then something else happens, there's a new problem to worry about, and you move on, taking for granted what he's done. But I want to get better at recognizing what God does, not only to glorify him, but to show others how good he is.
I want to remember. I need to share what he does if for nothing else, to help me remember how amazing he is. I often forget, but I don't want to fall into that trap. Psalm 106:7 even talks about how easy it is to forget. "Our ancestors in Egypt were not impressed by the LORD's miraculous deeds. They soon forgot his many acts of kindness to them. Instead, they rebelled against him at the Red Sea." If they so quickly forgot something as huge as that, how often will I forgot what he's done for me?
But it's hard to share this stuff publicly. I'm always so worried I'm going to sound crazy, or theologically inaccurate (yes, I know I could've made that flight just by chance), or that I'm going to be offensive or hurtful to someone. I know dozens of people who have prayed their hearts out for someone to be healed, but they weren't. Why was I? Why didn't they get the same answer?
I don't know. I don't claim to have all the answers for how or when God works. But I realized all I can do is share how he works in my life and hope that it's helpful to someone else.
And I can remember.
You have multiplied, O LORD my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you! I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told. Psalm 40:5