Select Page

In the last two months I have made a large shift in my belief system. I am no longer going to pray for God to heal me of my chronic illness.

You may have noticed I’ve been very quiet lately. Almost immediately after my marriage in March, my health took another drastic turn. I’ve suffered from a severe chronic illness for the past 16 years and the last two years have been especially difficult. Even though I live in daily physical pain, I have discovered this year that that is not the most difficult part of this illness for me to bear.

Though I practically lived in hospitals as a teenager, the suffering was almost easier. I had a fierce mother who was extremely diligent and committed in her constant care for me. She handled all the paperwork and doctor appointments and cooking healing food and researching countless natural therapies to support my body. All I had to do was lay in bed and be sick. I sometimes thought of the future but for some reason I honestly believed that by the time I was married and having my own children I would be well again. I never once pictured having to fight a chronic illness during my adult/married life.

Fast forward to the present day. I have married my best friend. He selflessly cares for me and cherishes me and is an example of Christ to me. I am beyond blessed through him. Now I have something to live for. I want to build a life with him.

But yet, we are consumed 24/7 with my illness.

I have been angry this past year. This doesn’t feel “fair”. I have officially “had it” with this disease and want it gone NOW. My anger toward this disease has turned toward God for not healing me despite my diligent prayers for several years now.

I’m so glad Jesus doesn’t turn away from us in our anger but instead prompts us to ask Him the hard questions.

Two months ago I watched a documentary on Netflix called American Gospel: Christ Alone. It touched me so deeply I watched it three times in a week. The focus on the documentary was on the false teaching in a lot of churches now days that when Jesus promised an “abundant life” He was talking about being enjoying good health, financial wealth, and fairly happy, pain-free lives (truth bomb for you: our abundance is found in JESUS, not in anything material).

Many pastors claim that since Jesus says that “by His stripes we are healed” then we should never have to experience physical illness in this world. With enough faith and prayer, we will be healed of any illness because “Healing is always God’s will.”

Friends, this is not Biblical and this is where my belief system has changed recently.

I believe God ALWAYS accomplishes His will. Which means, if after years of praying for healing I find myself still sick, then I honestly believe it is His will that I am sick for the time being.

Of course sickness and death are a consequence of this fallen world and not of God’s nature, but God promised us He would use the consequences of this fallen world for our good! Do we honesty believe that God is holding out on His true will for our physical healing due to us not praying with “enough” faith? Another true bomb: we’re not that powerful!

After much, much wrestling and quite a bit of prayer and reflection these past few months I can say that right now I have more peace about my illness than I ever have in the last 16 years since I first became sick. I’m no longer asking God “why?!”. I’m no longer accusing Him of withholding healing unfairly. I’m no longer wondering if my prayers for healing are ineffective or if I just did “this one thing” then God would miraculously heal me.

Instead, I have real peace. I have confidence that God’s perfect and good will IS being fulfilled in my life right now, and I believe that my illness is a part of that. He promises us that all things work together for our good — and includes our pain and suffering. Right now, the daily pain I find myself in forces me to NEED Jesus every single hour of the day. I wake up needing Jesus. I toss and turn at night needing Jesus. And that’s a pretty good thing if you ask me.

So if I no longer pray for God to completely heal me, what do I pray for? I pray for God to show me His grace. I pray for strength to endure the pain. I say prayers of thanksgiving for His gifts and I wait expectantly for that glorious day when standing next to Jesus where there will be no more pain and no more tears shed.

If you are dealing with chronic illness I want you to know that you are NOT at fault. This is not a judgement from God. He did not inflict you with this and He is not waiting for you to pray the perfect prayer before He finally heals you. His will is always accomplished — even in the middle of suffering.

So take courage, dear heart. You are not forgotten and your suffering is not in vain. Look for His grace, I promise you you’ll find it. ?

~Em

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

About the Author

Emily Elizabeth Anderson is a Christian blogger and rising activist for people who have experienced abuse within a Christian environment.

After growing up in a fundamentalist cult for 23 years and experiencing childhood domestic violence, Emily began her journey to recovery in 2015 and eventually found Jesus to be her ultimate healer. She soon turned her passion for writing into a blog and her story has since been featured on several media outlets including NPR.

She married her best friend, Joshua, in 2020 and together they are passionate about educating on the realities of trauma survival and recovery, as well as supporting survivors they meet through their online community.

More by Emily

Let’s Talk About Purity Culture

Can we talk about the negative effects of Purity Culture for a bit? As a recently married woman who grew up in the height of the modern Purity Movement and choose to remain a virgin until marriage, I am beginning to see even more reasons why this culture and its...

Why Am I Still a Christian?

A commenter told me yesterday, “It’s amazing you still have faith.” My answer to her? “Jesus. It’s allllllll Jesus.” In the recent years that I have been studying the dangers of Legalistic Christianity, I have seen the many, many heartbreaking consequences. Most...

My Story of Sexual Assault

Today I’d like to share a highly vulnerable story with you in the hopes of getting one very important message across: You are NEVER at fault for your sexual assault. EVER. Shortly before I met my husband, I met another man through online dating. He was from out of...

An Apology to Fellow Survivors

Today I want to share an excerpt from a new memoir I happened upon last week written by cult survivor Charity Rissler titled “Where the Willow Weeps: The Inside Story of Growing Up in a Cult, and how I Found Freedom in Christ.” I’d never heard of this cult called “The...

One Year Ago Today…

This picture popped up on my FB memories today with the caption: Off to Chicago to see some of the most dear people in the world to me. A two hour flight means plenty of time to churn out a new chapter or two. #scandalousgrace #kiakaha #fiercewomen Wow. What a memory....

2021: The Year of Nourishment

For the past few years I’ve picked a word for the year. It’s a way of laying out a focus for the entire year — something I can reflect on each day as I do life. I always pray about it and God always brings the word to my mind. This week He brought me my word:...