My apologies for those who tried to read this post on Sunday but found that it was no longer available (I don't know what happened, but thanks for reaching out to me to let me know).
There once was a little girl who was diagnosed with asthma. She couldn’t play as much as other children could, and she went in to be nebulized so often that she intimately knew all the crevices in her pediatrician’s office.
As she got older, she learned how to manage asthma. But one day, through prayer, God healed her and she didn’t have to use an inhaler for almost a decade. In fact, the proper use of inhaler was lost to her memory. In her twenty-third year, she had a severe asthma attack and her father had to place her in his lap, instruct her how to breath and administer the drugs. (Can you imagine me, 23 years old, in my Daddy's lap, like a baby?)
Following that attack, she went back to using inhalers. She had an inhaler for prevention and one for relief, and used them multiple times a day. Most nights she would even wake up unable to breathe and need her inhaler to get back to sleep. After the ‘reversal’ of her healing she lost all hope in this area; even though she would still periodically ask God for healing. But, truthfully, she didn’t believe that she would get it.
That was my story until this year-long sabbatical. In preparing for it I stocked up on inhalers, but I knew that they wouldn’t be enough to get me through the year. My plan was very simple - since this entire trip was a giant faith step for me, why not push my faith a little more and actively pray for healing again?
So I started to earnestly pray. Every time I felt the symptoms coming on I would use my inhaler and then put my hand on my chest and ask God for healing.
At the beginning of last week, an aunt who has been counselling me during this season called me and we chatted about things unrelated to health. She prayed with me and then asked my sister to hug me; as she hugged me, she serenaded me with a song completely inspired by God (so I don’t even have the words!). After that my aunt prayed that I would be healed from the various illnesses that have dogged my steps. She didn’t even pray for asthma specifically.
On Wednesday, my sister, her children and I went to the park to take advantage of the only sunny day of the past week. I raced my sister in a 40-yard dash, then my nieces and my sister in a second 40-yard dash, and then raced my nieces in a third 40-yard dash. I conquered some obstacles in a “Ninja Warrior” style course, swung on a swing and even pretended to be a pretend Darth Vader, fighting my nieces and nephews with pretend light sabers.
And guess what? I haven’t had to use my inhaler since that conversation with my aunt! I have had some tightness in my chest, but instead of using my inhaler and praying I’ve only asked God for healing.
I can’t say that I’m completely unconcerned about whether I will ever have to use an inhaler again, but like He’s been doing with the other areas of my life, He’s carefully rebuilding my hope and trust in Him.
So have you been reflecting on good thingsthat have happened to you? If you haven’t started, I encourage you to start now. I promise that when you've reread these things that have happened over the period, it will only serve to encourage you and give you hope.