Healed by faith
For the past few months, I have been reading a book called “Women of the Bible: A One-Year Devotional Study of Women in Scripture” by Ann Spangler and Jean E. Syswerda. Through the stories of the Bible’s women – both good and evil – I have been learning about being a better wife, mother, friend and woman of faith in general. It has also been interesting and surprising to see how many of the Bible’s women struggled with infertility.
An entry about the woman who suffered from abnormal bleeding for 12 years – detailed most fully in Mark 5:25-34 – recently spoke to me in a new way. It is one of those passages that I have read many times before, and I always marveled at the power of Jesus to heal someone just through his mere presence. After all, the woman touched Jesus’ cloak, not even his body, and was freed from her suffering. Another interesting point I love about this story is that Jesus instantly “realized that power had gone out from him.” He was all-knowing and amazing.
Over the past 14 months, I have had lots of what I have been calling “issues.” Who doesn’t have them? My problems have been similar to the woman with abnormal bleeding. I too have faced menstrual irregularities and hormonal imbalances – both of which have resulted in emotional distress that is difficult for me to put into words. My desire to conceive and carry another baby to term has gone unfulfilled for more than a year, with my hormones being completely out of whack.
There have been weeks and months when I have experienced constant, irregular bleeding, and, again, like the woman in Mark 5, medical personnel have not helped as much as I would like. I’m thankful, however, that my “issues” are not severe and are most likely manageable without extreme medications or treatments.
My midwife and I have formulated a short-term plan to get me back to “normal.” I’m trying my hardest to believe it will work, but, man, it is hard. These past few months have been some of the most emotionally trying times of my life. I have let my mind go to sad, depressing, irrational, unhealthy places. At times I have let myself forget what a miraculous blessing my Elliot is. Granted, I’m biased, but he is healthy and wonderful and funny and loving. And, even if he is the only child I have in life, I am infinitely blessed.
So, back to the story of the woman with abnormal bleeding. She suffered for 12 years. Twelve years! I have been enduring what I believe is a similar condition – minus the social stigma of being “unclean” – for a little more than 12 months. I cannot imagine 12 years of this!
The woman’s plan was simple, though not without great risk. She sneaked into a crowd, probably filled with people who knew of her unclean condition, thinking, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” She believed in the power of Jesus. The scripture says she was healed immediately and “felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.” It is difficult to imagine what liberation she felt. After 12 years of uncertainty, misery, depression and banishment, she was cured!
Jesus knew someone’s life had just been changed. There were probably many people nudging him, bumping into him and crowding around him, but he knew someone had received healing from him. The woman bravely approached Jesus, bowed before him and told him about her “issues.” His response is one of my new favorite verses: “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
Not only did he call her “daughter,” welcoming her into his family despite her societal uncleanness, he told her that it was her faith that cured her. Her faith.
You’ve heard the saying, “It wouldn’t be faith if it wasn’t tested,” right? Well, I don’t know if the Lord is testing me by placing lots of pregnant people in my life, but it sure feels like it sometimes. (See my June 23 blog for more on this topic.) Sometimes seeing other pregnant women brings about deep sadness. I believe the majority of this pain stems from lingering grief caused by the miscarriage I suffered in December.
After my recent re-reading of the story of the woman with abnormal bleeding, though, I have a new perspective. No good will come from my worrying or sadness. What my issues need is faith – faith in the Lord’s timing, goodness and healing power. If the woman in Mark 5 had the faith to believe she would be cured after 12 long years of suffering, then I can surely muster enough to get me through my one year of issues. I’m praying for the faith to believe in the healing power of Jesus.
Originally published on ovparent.com.