Posts Tagged ‘hope’

headacheblogcarnivallogoI am late (as usual) with this month’s Blog Carnival post. I have been pondering the original title, What Keeps You Going and came up with many answers: ice, dark room, good drugs, knowing someone else understands, but all of these seemed to fall short. And then it hit me; there is no “what” that keeps me going, but a “who” (not the Horton kind).

God keeps me going, even when I want to throw in the towel. He was there when I lost my job, when I wished I had cancer instead because that would kill me, and when I had given up hope of ever feeling good again. For years I prayed that the Migraines would go away forever, but because that has not happened, I thought He wasn’t listening. So I prayed LOUDER: ARE YOU THERE? DO YOU CARE? 

Years passed without a miracle and without even an effective preventative. I was resigned to a life of pain. Where was God? I don’t know. Absent? Distant? Then I heard these words from How Firm a Foundation

Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen and help thee, and cause thee to stand
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.

Then I realized that He was there and cared very much about my pain. So in the middle of the night with my ice pack on my head, I sing or think those words. I know He is there and will get me through the night.

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This post was supposed to be finished in time for the Blog Carnival, but God had other plans and sent me on an impromptu trip to Pittsburgh, PA. That is another discussion.

My faith in Jesus Christ as my savior is the only way I deal with migraine disease. He did what no one else could do. He died for my sins. He died in my place! I am eternally grateful for the cross (This is the first line of a song we sing in church).

There are five factors that carry me through migraine disease: faith, trust, acceptance, and prayer. The first two are so connected that I really can’t separate them.

Faith: I have the faith in the character of God. He is perfectly good. He is perfectly loving, He is just. He is eternally merciful. He is in control. God never changes. Not only does the Bible teach that God’s character is like this, but I have seen His hand in my life.
My faith was not always like this. There are times that I thought God was capricious. I thought that had abandoned me. I was angry. That didn’t last long, though. Somehow, sometime I was drawn back to the truth about God.

Trust: Trust follows faith. I trust God because He cannot do anything that is contrary to His nature. So then I can trust Him in all aspects of my life. He will not give me anything that has not first passed through His loving hands. Even when I have a bad migraine and I am in so much pain I can say that God is still good and loving.
Because my faith was frail and weak, in the beginning I couldn’t trust in God very well. But I knew He was there. He loved me when I couldn’t love Him.

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1

Acceptance: Acceptance follows faith and trust. Early in my disease I could not accept it; I wondered how long it was going last. I said, “When will this be over?” I wasted a lot of time and energy working to that end. However, just recently, I realized that chronic migraine is just chronic. I have a primarily headache disease. Migraine can be controlled, but not cured. Once I stopped fighting the disease, and I stopped hoping for an end, I could spend that time and energy learning about migraine disease. I can teach others what I have learned. I can have peace with my disease.

Hope: Acceptance leads to hope. This is not a hope based on circumstance, but a hope in God who doesn’t change. This is not a false hope of healing, although that may happen. I have the eternal hope that is in heaven. This present life is not all there is. I know that I will be in heaven with Jesus; there is no more pain or sorrow in heaven. I have a longing for my home in heaven that I didn’t have before.

“because of the hope laid up for you in heaven, of which you previously heard in the word of truth, the gospel” Colossians 1:5.

Prayer: Prayer is talking to God. It is not always asking for circumstances to change. In the beginning, my only prayers were demanding that God would end my pain. When He didn’t end my pain I was angry, hopeless, frustrated, and depressed.
I believe that sometimes God answers prayers for healing, but I think they are rare. Acceptance has changed how I pray and what I pray for. Instead of healing from migraine, I pray for strength to persevere through the migraine. I pray that I can know Him better. I pray for peace when I am anxious or fearful. I pray that He doesn’t leave my side. He never does.

Migraine has changed me and it has changed the way I see God, my struggle here on earth, and heaven. I am grateful for this.

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