Unanswered Prayers

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart…”
Proverbs 3:5 (NIV)

My sweet friend, author and P31 speaker, Wendy Blight, has a devotion featured through Encouragement for Today that I wanted to share with you. Many of you receive our devotions via email each day. But as I read it again this morning, I sensed the Lord wanted me to share it here as well:

When Healing Never Comes
I remember when she was 13. Sitting in a doctor’s office, between tears and trembling, we heard these words: “scoliosis,” “a curvature of the spine,” “back brace,” “23 out of 24 hours a day,” “two years.”

Words cannot explain life those next weeks and months as she faithfully wore her brace…a brace that deformed her body, caused sleepless nights filled with pain and sorrow, and required her to quit something she loved: competitive cheerleading.

Questions plagued her heart. Why me, God? What did I do, God?

Questions plagued my mind. Why her, God? What did I fail to do? Please take this from her and give it to me, Lord…PLEASE!!

I cried out for healing. We obeyed Scripture. Elders of the church prayed over her. I laid hands on her and anointed her with oil. Hundreds of women prayed for her healing.

Healing never came.

Many nights she lay in my bed, locked in her brace, sobbing, asking, “Why me, Mom?” I lay next to her, tears rolling down my cheeks, exhausted, feeling helpless, wondering how we would make it to the other side of this.

Healing never came.

Her back worsened despite the brace, so we tried alternative methods.

Healing never came.

Oh, for a time, the brace kept her curve at bay — until she was 16. A newly licensed driver, varsity cheerleader, confident, strong, funny, and beautiful, inside and out.

A beautiful teenager with a curve in her spine and pain that had increased with astounding speed over three years, until it reached the point that we had to face the reality of surgery. A surgery that required this precious child of mine to put her life on hold. A surgery that meant rods and screws would line her spine from top to bottom. A surgery that required months and months of rehabilitation. A surgery that prevented her from ever tumbling again.

Healing never came…or has it?

At first glance I’d say “no” because the Lord did not heal in the way I so specifically and faithfully prayed.

But, when I look at the promised result — it will straighten her spine and allow her to live pain free — I must say, “yes” healing is coming, just not in the way I hoped and prayed.

The passion of my heart, the call on my life, is to point others to find answers to their struggles, great and small, in the Word of God. So what do I say to myself as I kneel before the Lord? I allow the tears to come. I shake my fist, asking why has it had to come to this? I ask why did He not choose MY way?

And then, I surrender.

I take my own advice.

I go to His Word. His Word that speaks sweetly to me:

“Wendy, trust Me with all your heart. Do not lean on the knowledge of chiropractors, physical therapists, and others. Do not lean on your fears. Acknowledge Me, Wendy. My Name. My Power. My Strength. My Love. I promised to direct your path, and I have. This is the path I have led you to follow. Trust Me.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

“Wendy, I do not give you a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)

“Wendy, remember My ways are higher than your ways, My thoughts higher than yours…TRUST ME with her because I have a plan and I love her more than you will ever know.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)

I wish I could tell you I wasn’t afraid the day of her surgery. But I would be lying. I was afraid. I was very afraid the day they rolled her away to cut into her spine and insert foreign objects into her body. But I can tell you that I trusted my God, and I asked Him daily to help me with my unbelief. And He did.

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Word. Thank You that it is TRUTH. Father, for every woman whose heart aligns with mine today, direct us to Your Word. Speak truth into our circumstances. Help us with our unbelief. Help us take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. Fill our hearts and minds with whatever is lovely, true, pure, excellent, and praiseworthy. Father cover us with Your wings. Help us to fully trust in You. I ask this in Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Click on the word “comments” below to share your thoughts and/or stories on how Wendy’s devotion spoke to you personally today. I’ll be drawing one of your names from today’s comments to receive a copy of Wendy’s Book Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner: The Transforming Power of God’s Story.

Afterwards, be sure to visit Wendy’s blog to find out what happened with Lauren’s surgery. She shares a special video interview with Lauren, too.

About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.

Comments

  1. Hi Renee,
    I just got done reading the devotional from Proverbs 31 ministries and then clicked on yours so I decided the Lord wanted to get my attention. I have an awesome 18 year old daughter, Ashley, who is handicapped. I needed the encouragement from the devotional today to remind me to continue to trust in the Lord and that the Lords ways are higher than my ways. Also, that I need to trust the Lord with Ashley because he loves her and has a plan. Thank you for posting it. Just what I needed today! Blessings, Debbie

  2. Cynthia says:

    What an encouragment to know that others struggle with faith, especially when dealing with our children. Helps to see that we are all in this together. So thankful for Wendy being open about her and Lauren's fear, conversation with God and how their faith was strenghtened.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I was remembering a friend who went through the rod surgery and how delicate the surgery was and the pain the individual still had to live with. God is bigger than all our fears. mheard11@frontier.com

  4. Anonymous says:

    With our children, especially, it's so hard to have the faith. We want to control the outcome. I struggle with this, too.

    I am sorry she had the pain. The sermon at our church Sunday was about how we are special because of our scars. And that our "brokenness" is what makes us able to help others in the same (or similar situation).

    The post was beautiful and touching!
    Teresa

  5. How poignant…I read this why sitting in the hospital with my beautiful mom, who had surgery yesterday to hopefully keep her seizures at bay. No other medicine, no treatment has worked, which left this brain surgery as the only option. We have clung to the truth that God is in control of the entire situation, and while this surgery was our plan B, God doesn't have a plan B…this is exactly how he planned it. Now praying that her speech comes back, and she's able to articulate her thoughts.

  6. When I read this story, it reminded me of a couple of people I know that have scoliosis and the lives that they lead! Having a child with special needs now, makes it even more precious!
    I am amazed at all that I have learned with my daughter. Learning to totally depend on God and no one else is a difficult, but worthwhile road@

  7. I started writing after I lost my youngest son in a car wreck 13 years ago. God's grace and strength completely overshadowed me with such intensity that I had to write. I've wanted to get Wendy's book ever since I read one of her posts where she describes how she lived like an invalid, like the crippled man on the mat, after she was raped. She writes, "I enjoyed being the victim. I had become accustomed to my place of sorrow. Worse yet, I was comfortable there." Powerful truths that have a great impact from someone who has "been there". I really wnat to read the rest of her book!

  8. The timing of your devotion could not be more perfect. I struggle with control issues and anxiety when I am faced wit the unknown. Sometimes my faith is so strong and at other times, so weak. I am learning, slowly and because of my own stubborn self, that God does not work in fear. He comes in Peace because He is peace. I am learning to rely more on Him and less on myself. I have spent too many years paralyzed by anxiety and fear and I want to learn to live this life, the good and bad, with hope and faith that he will see me through. I want my daughter to see this faith and hope I, along with God, can plant strong seeds of faith in her. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. It is comforting to know we do not take this journey alone.

  9. We all struggle with these issues, especially regarding our children. I loved the way Wendy personalised Proverbs 3:5-6 – that is so helpful.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for this post.
    My situation is different from others here in that I am caregiver for my mother who will be 98-years old next week but I deal with some of the same struggles. We all prefer to remember our parents as they used to be but as their memory begins to fail and they change it is not easy to watch. Role reversal is not easy. I am so thankful that God is working on my "patience", but it isn't easy as mother is declining in some ways. I am thankful that He has given me the strength and health to care for her. Fannie from Kansas. fgoldsmith@cox.net

  11. Thank you so much for telling me " trust god with all my heart". When something done with a pure great heart master mind take challenges by our side.
    rhinoplasty

  12. Leigh F. says:

    I have been facing may challenges with my children lately. I read the devotion yesterday in my email and seeing it again today just proves to me that God is speaking to me! I want to understand why we have to face our challenges….I want to see how God is being glorified…but for now, I just have to be patient and pray for his peace! fantprestonl@att.net

  13. Oh how we need to trust His ways and truly lean on HIm, and not our own feeble minds and attempts to understand the future. In my mother's battle with ovarian cancer and God choosing to heal her in Heaven (March 30, 2008) rather than on this earth, I had to face that He does heal, just not always as we see it in our plans. Hallelujah He is the Great Physician. I had to let go, and let God.

  14. Last night before I went to bed I read Wendy's story. I had been laying there crying and praying for my sweet friend Shannon and her 9 yr old son who is dieing from cancer. He has been in hospice for a couple of weeks now and the last couple of days he has not been very coherent. Reading about Wendy praying for God to give it to her instead of her daughter made me think how I'm sure Shannon has done the same and how God must have felt when he gave his only Son for all of us. We hate to see our children hurting. I've gone through it with one of my own children as well. I would take her pain if I could. It's what loving parents do.

  15. I, too, read this first in the P31 daily devotional. It touched me SO much. And reading it the second time was just as emotional!

  16. Shirley says:

    Thank you for sharing. I know I was directed to this today because I've been dealing with chronic pain (that isn't terminal)for years & the last 2 days have made me so tired & discouraged. I've prayed for healing & it hasn't come yet, but I have to keep believing all this is for a reason. I do have a deep compassion for others who are suffering because of the pain I've experienced. God is good to carry me when I don't want to go on.

  17. Healing never came for Nick……..here on this planet. I always have to remember that Jesus' prayer to be spared the cross was answered with the reality that "His Father's will must be done," and Paul's prayer for the thorn to be removed from his flesh was answered with "my grace is sufficient for you." This helps me when I wonder why cancer took my sweet boy at only 13 years of age. Love you, Renee. Thanks for sharing this today.

  18. Great encouragement for me today especially after I just left the doctor with my son who is dealing with his 4th round of pneumonia! I am confident of this, greatness is in all of us and God uses these moments to prove to us that we are stronger than we thought we were!
    http://doubleportioninspiration.blogspot.com/

  19. Thank you so much for sharing.
    You have given me not only words, but scripture to share with someone in need.

    What an encouragement you are and will continue to be.

    God bless you and your ministry. Carol

  20. Anonymous says:

    Hey renee I have preordered my book when it was first offered. I read the 7 day doubt reading you had and cannot wait to read the devotions. I put your devotions and book on my face book along with your link to face book. Miranda White

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