I’m sitting here right now, at 1:32 AM, still trying to talk myself out of writing this. Most of you may be wondering why in the world I’ve disappeared off of the face of the earth for the past five months. Some of you already know. Here it is…For the past three years, I have been fighting sickness. It started on the day that I delivered Marli Claire. After delivery, I broke out with a crazy rash. I wasn’t overly concerned with it, probably because I had just birthed a child, you know? When we got home, it was gone. I didn’t have any more trouble until I started back to work. The rash began slowly, just a tiny spot under my wedding band, then quickly spread to my entire body. I started going to doctor after doctor, trying to figure out what was going on. These doctors would come in, spend maybe five seconds with me, tell me I had eczema, prescribe me Prednisone, then send me on my way. The problem was, that the minute I stopped taking the steroid, the rash came back…and worse. We won’t even mention the 40 pounds that I have gained while on the steroid. Yep, you read that right, 4-0! Months went by, then years, and no diagnosis. You may be thinking to yourself, where is she going with this or why is she being so dramatic as to say that she didn’t want to write about this. Your answer is coming up, right about now, so pay close attention. This is where the WARNING comes in, if you have a weak stomach, stop reading now! One night, in October (2010), I came home after working a 13 hour day, and this is what I looked like:
I have been embarrassed to let myself be seen like this, and that is why I have selfishly put off writing about what has been going on. Until this night, I had not allowed myself to break down about what we were going through. I say “we,” because Matthew has been right beside me through every second of this. Honestly, working harder at trying to figure it out than I. …but I broke down! I mean, the kind of break down, where my nose spread, I was dry heaving, you know, the “ugly” cry. My husband, who DOES NOT show emotion, broke down right there with me. He pulled me to my knees and said, “Delecta, we are going to pray and beg God to take this away, and we aren’t going to stop begging!” So we are in our living room floor for hours, into the night, begging God to hear our cry, and heal me. Now, I would just like to say here, that this isn’t an every day occurrence in our household. You might get on your knees on the living room floor, in the middle of the night, weeping, and begging God to heal you, but not us. But, let me tell you, I felt like a new person when I got up. I believe this was the first time that I asked God for something, believing with expectancy that He would hear me. What I mean is, I’ve always known that God can and does do great things for others, but just not for me. I’ve never felt “good-enough” that He would want to communicate with me. That is harder to write than any horrible photo I could ever put on here. BUT, I know some of you may feel that way too, and that is why I realized that this post was so important to write. Ok, you may be wondering what happened after we got up from the floor. God didn’t instantly heal me as we prayed (which is what Matthew thought would happen J), but this story does have a happy ending in case you were about to click the big, red X to exit out right now. The next day, Matthew told me that he felt led to fast for three days. (Yes, I do have his permission to write this.) I know that I may be getting a little side tracked here, but it is important to point out that I am writing this for the glory of my God to be shown, and for that reason alone. It may be easy for someone to get caught up in the act of a person, instead of God’s power! While I am so thankful for a spouse that will get on his knees, beg God for healing, then fast for three days on my behalf, that is not the point here, and I can assure you that Matthew would want me to make that perfectly clear as well. I didn’t really understand, fasting, until this. Matthew said that he had been reading God’s word, and came across something that he had never paid attention to before. It was Matthew, chapter 6, that stood out. In the beginning of the chapter, we read about: when we give to the needy, and when we pray. We have all been taught in church or Sunday school about how we are to give and pray, but how many times have you heard it preached from the pulpit to fast. Now, this isn’t a jab at our pastors, this is a jab at myself. I don’t want to hear about fasting. I don’t want to fast! In Matthew 6:16, it doesn’t say: “Delecta, if you want to fast, this is how you should go about it.” Nope, it says, “WHEN you fast…” Ok, ya’ll know how I feel about food. How can I not eat? I might die! These are all thoughts that ran through my head when learning about fasting, and you probably have been thinking those very same thoughts as you’ve read the few sentences before this one. The point is, we are taught to fast through God’s word…enough said. I didn’t fast with Matthew for those three days, because I didn’t understand. We did fast together later, and amazing things happened. For example, Matthew called me one day on his way home and said that we were $300 short on bills. He was so stressed! I reminded him that we were fasting and praying, and that God would provide. Fifteen minutes later, he called me back. He was standing at back door crying. When he got to the home, there was an envelope with $350 in it. Is God amazing? Yes, he is! I could go on and on about how God provided and revealed Himself to us over the last year. What we didn’t understand is why He hadn’t healed me. Matthew said that he just assumed that after fasting, I would be healed, and although, I did feel better, it wasn’t gone. In fact, it got a lot worse. The first week of December, I started getting pretty sick, you know, the usual bronchitis/cold mess that everyone else had. Well, so I thought. I never got better. December turned in to March, and I still had Bronchitis, the Flu, then Pneumonia. This is when I starting thinking, “ok, I probably have some type of cancer/terminal disease.” I wasn’t the only one either, no one could figure out why my immune system had been compromised. I was catching everything that anyone brought to the salon or that MC brought home from daycare. There were two nights in March, that I knew I wasn’t going to live through the night. Now you may be thinking that is a bit dramatic, but I can tell you one thing, I stayed up all night with my husband begging God to let me survive the night. I could not catch a breath between the wheezing and the vomiting. We couldn’t understand why I was getting worse if we were being faithful in prayer.
At this time, I allowed myself to fall deeper into a life filled with fear. I was so scared that God was going to allow me to die, and I would leave my family. (yes, I do know that Heaven is a much better place!) Fear consumed my life, invading my every thought. One night, I was getting ready to take a bath, when Matthew came in with his computer. He said that he heard a podcast earlier that day that I needed to hear. It was a cast by Craig Groeshel, speaking about fear. He said that our biggest fear is what we trust God the least with in our life. OUCH! He went on to talk about how his wife developed this mysterious sickness that the doctors couldn’t figure out, and how she began living in fear. She had the very same fear that I had. He said that one day she decided to give the fear up, and her sickness was gone. I sat there and cried until my bath water was cold. I was so ashamed that I allowed myself to lose trust in God’s plan. The challenge that I had was knowing how to give up a fear. It is easy to say a prayer and ask God to help you give up this life of fear. The hard part for me was actually knowing how to give up the fear. I didn’t know where to start. I would like to say that I sit here today, fear free. That would be far from the truth. It is a daily struggle that I am dealing with, but I am working on it.
Since that night in the tub, I found a doctor that spent time with me, shed tears with me, and figured out that I have an allergy to a chemical called PPD, that is in a ton of things, including hair color. Yep, I am allergic to my job. How many people can actually say they are truly allergic to work? It may seem that I am ok with this outcome, but you see, I have skipped the many months of balling my eyes out, and am writing about it now. I ended up having to quit doing hair. The allergy became airborne, and was literally about to kill me. I am thankful for the healing that God has done in my life, physically and spiritually. You see, healing doesn’t have to be an instant disappearance of symptoms. God chose to heal me by allowing me to find the right people to diagnose. I have heard, what seems like a million times, “God has something greater for you Delecta, so don’t get discouraged by losing the career that you loved.” I will admit, this is NOT what I wanted to hear when I found out that I had to quit my job. I will also admit, that I know that God has something great for my life to reveal His glory in a bigger way! I look forward to the big reveal.
You may be wondering (after I have written this book J), what made me decide to write about this. Well, I was reading a book called Sun Stand Still by Steven Furtick. Steven, his beautiful wife Holly, and I sang together at NGC. You need to stop reading this post right now, and go to Barnes and Noble and get this book. Ok, you can wait until you finish reading this, then go. Seriously…Go! I won’t give all of the good stuff away, but I want to share what made me realize that I had to post this. In one of the last chapters in Steven’s book, he writes, “…your crisis is your greatest opportunity to see God’s glory and goodness revealed- and to have the high honor of revealing Him to others.” Am I willing to let my embarrassment about the way I look hold me back from sharing God’s glory to others? Not any more. I pray that you’ve experienced the glory of God through this post. What is it in your life today that you are scared/ashamed to ask God for? Do you think it’s impossible? Ask God for the impossible! It will rock your world!