After 15 years of praying for something we were told would never happen, God answered. Honestly, I never thought he would. Over and over, that subtle lie – “This is your life! This is the way it will always be!” – would creep into my thoughts. I accepted it without question. It was my reality, the only reality I had ever known, the only reality I would ever know.
Or so I thought.
Living Without a Future
When I was four years old, I was diagnosed with a rare, incurable kidney disorder called Bartter Syndrome. At the time, I didn’t know what was going on. By God’s grace, I don’t remember much from that time, but I know it changed my life. Suddenly I had to start taking this nasty medication and go to the doctor a lot. I had to have needles stuck into me, while my siblings got to go to my grandparents house and play croquet with my cousins. It wasn’t fair. I didn’t understand.
When I was four, I was diagnosed with a rare, incurable kidney disorder.
But after a short time, I adjusted, and medicine and doctor’s visits became the norm. Yes, it was still unpleasant, and I didn’t like it, but it was my life. The doctors visits lessened as the medication increased; I took it three times a day, every day. If I missed even one dose, I could get away with it, but I felt it. Missing doses regularly would have repercussions.
It went on for years like this. I was grateful I had medication to keep me alive. But I hated being different from everyone else. From the outside I looked normal. Most people didn’t even know I had a rare disease that would one day lead to my death. The oldest living person with Bartter Syndrome was 25 at the time of my diagnosis. No one knew how long I would live – maybe until I was 14, maybe until I was 40 – but as long as I was on my medication, I appeared stable. I didn’t think a lot about my future. Why bother? When it killed me, it killed me.
I didn’t think a lot about my future. When it killed me, it killed me.
People had been praying for my healing ever since I was diagnosed. For a while, I prayed for my own healing, too, but as time passed, I stopped praying and stopped hoping. It wasn’t that I thought my disease was greater than God; I simply didn’t think He would want to heal me. I mean, if he did, then why hadn’t I been healed yet?
In all this, I left Someone out. I tried to put a box around the only one who could set me free from the life I had been living. I was afraid of asking, afraid of hoping. In that safe place of not knowing, at least I wouldn’t be disappointed.
Don’t you just love the sound of that? But God wasn’t content with me staying in that place. Fear and unbelief were not his plan for me. When I called on his name and decided to follow his voice, taking hold of his outstretched hand, he led me on an adventure.
This adventure brought me to YWAM Louisville where I attended a Discipleship Training School. On this adventure, God showed me his incredible love for me, and I learned to trust him. As part of my YWAM DTS he took me to South Africa, where I was able to share his love and truth with others. My life was changed forever.
While I was on my YWAM DTS outreach in South Africa, my sister wrote me that she had been praying and felt that God was showing her that he wanted to heal me. Wow! I wasn’t sure what to do, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I needed to go to my friends and ask them to pray – dare I even say it – to be healed.
Daring to Hope for Healing
Finally I decided to hope. I decided to push past the fear that kept holding me back, both the fear of being disappointed and the fear of having that prayer for healing answered. It sounds funny, but having Bartter Syndrome was the only reality I could ever remember. My disease had been my crutch. I was afraid of it being taken away.
My disease had been my crutch. I was afraid of it being taken away.
But it wasn’t worth it to live in fear. I wanted to believe that not only could God do this, but that he wanted to. I decided to trust him, taking him at his word and waiting to see his deed. So I did. I went to my friends and on the South African beach we prayed for God to do the impossible: to heal me.
During that time, I sensed him saying to me, “Trust me and walk in faith.”
Two and a half weeks later, I was home once again. That’s when God put my faith to the test: I clearly felt him telling me to stop taking my medication. (Just to be clear, I’m not recommending that you do this! In my case, I knew I would be disobeying God if I didn’t.)
March 5th, 2014: After eating dinner, I took my medication one final time.
March 6th, 2014: I ate breakfast like any other day. But then I didn’t take my medication. I didn’t forget, like I occasionally had in the past. I chose not to take it at all, because I knew I didn’t need it anymore.
And I haven’t taken a single pill since. God healed me!
God took what everyone said was impossible and made it a reality. He has given me a new life! Earlier this month, I celebrated a year of going without my medication.
This was my life before:
- 2 missed doses = hospitalization
- 6 missed doses = death
- 365 days without medication + Jesus = a new reality
Are you afraid to trust God with something? Are you hesitant to ask God for something? Don’t wait. Take it to him today!
One of our newest staff members, April is full of life, joy, and fried potatoes. We’re glad God healed her and made her a part of our family! You can read more of her stories at her blog.