I would not be surprised if anyone believes I wrote my book (Endure Everything with Patience) to share the story of the miraculous healing in my back. That is understandable, but not actually the point. I started writing the book months before I was healed, and though I believe God intended it to be a part of the story the entire time, I certainly had no idea. The healing brought fulfillment to the message I was hoping to encourage in people, but it did not change it. The book is about endurance—seeing God in the midst of your sufferings, and receiving from Him the strength to persevere.
God blessed me with many healings before I was ready to receive one in my back, and He has continued to offer healing in so many areas of my life. I have become more and more convicted that healing is a process. There are so many layers to our pains.
Friday (May 25) will mark five years since my back was miraculously healed upon receiving Jesus in the Eucharist while on pilgrimage in Rome, Italy. WOW! Part of me had expected that everything would be fixed and back to normal once the pain was gone. I had already been writing the book about having patience with sufferings, but I had no idea how much patience I would need to endure the healing. The removal of pain from my back was not the end, but really the beginning of countless more healings.
It was a restart for most physical activity, and I was afraid. Attempts to work out in the past had always ended really badly—debilitating pain and setbacks. It was scary to start again—to trust the mysterious thing that happened to me beyond my awareness and without any instruction. I was afraid of again not being successful, but I was perhaps more afraid of the alternative.
Prior to the six years of chronic pain, I had a somewhat obsessive mindset when it came to physical activity. I had an incredibly skewed perception of my body, and I crammed in sports, trainings, and activities in hopes to fix my image. It was never good enough. I was never good enough. The crash in 2007 really messed up my plans, and it was not immediate that I allowed God in and learned my identity and worth is only in Him. This Truth changed everything for me, and I was afraid that the ability to exercise would distract me from it.
It took a lot of effort to persevere through my weaknesses and fears as I attempted to work out again. I continuously had to look to the Lord in prayer for help—to keep me focused on glorifying Him and not myself. It has been an incredible journey of rediscovering my love for being active in a way that is not twisted—and so freeing to have found true confidence.
It is so beautiful that this miracle continues to unfold. Five years later, I am still growing in courage to overcome my fears, still growing in patience to endure. I wrote a post last fall about wanting to try riding a bike again. I finally did it today. I cried. As I sit in the coffee shop writing this, I am crying again. I am overwhelmed by how Beautiful it is that God is allowing me to become more and more myself.
God never leaves us. He never stops working in our lives. Do not give up if you feel your life does not match your expectations. Endure everything with patience. He is with you.