Slideshow image

As I sat in the front row of my church singing, “Healing is here and I receive it,” I wasn’t so sure I believed the words coming out of my mouth. For months, I had been to doctor visit after doctor visit trying to get a diagnosis for what was happening to my body.


It started on my 40th birthday. As my family and I sat in a restaurant for my birthday dinner, I felt sick, a different kind of sick. I tried to be joyful, and in fact was pretty good at this, even as I avoided the food on my plate, which my family was not used to seeing me do. There were physical symptoms like abdominal pain and a headache, but there was also dizziness that I had not experienced before. Nonetheless, I had made it to 40 years, and I was determined to celebrate, even though it felt as if my body decided everything would go downhill from this point on.

It was true. Everything got worse – fatigue, tingling and numbness in my extremities, joint pain, dizziness, high blood pressure, and periodic breakouts on my forehead. Not only was I physically sick, but I felt like I was losing my mind – confusion, brain fog, and anxiety like I’d never experienced.

I stopped eating because I didn't know what was making me sick. I don’t know how many times I received the compliment, “Have you lost weight? You look great!” I didn’t know how to respond because it wasn’t purposeful, I just couldn’t eat.

Twice, I went into hysteria. One time, in the middle of the night, the tingling and numbness sent me straight to the emergency room where they essentially said, in so many words, that I was crazy and needed to calm down so that my blood pressure would decrease. We all know what happens when someone tells someone else to calm down. Another time I was on my way to work when my anxiety was so out of control that I called the office from my car to tell them I needed emergency care. I was so overwhelmed when I went to the emergency room that I couldn't stay there either. I left and went home with my wheels turning upside down and inside out until I was able to gather my wits and move forward with my day.

Meanwhile, I was in and out of the doctor's office, trying to get some idea about what was going on. I had a great doctor, and together we went on a wild goose chase that often ended with me in tears because, after so many referrals and blood tests, there still wasn't a diagnosis. 


So, I raised my hands high at church singing for my life, “Healing is here and I receive it,” willing myself to believe after months of havoc on my body. But I wasn’t so sure. I was becoming so tired it was wearing on me. It was hard to be grateful and hopeful when I was running out of steam and hitting roadblocks with every turn. But I had a little mustard seed of faith. I was angry and tired, but I wasn’t without hope. And that was enough to keep me moving, praying, and seeking. I sang the song louder with everything in me. I broke down and a hallelujah that sounded more like a scream of agony came from deep inside. My husband sat next to me, rubbing my back and comforting me. We stayed there with the Holy Spirit, as I sat doubled over in my seat, until I was able to focus on God’s goodness. Until I could see His hand in my life again. Until I remembered His faithfulness to me. I stayed there with Him, and He strengthened me and gave me peace. I was reminded that I was not alone in this, He understood. But although I cried for healing, it didn’t happen, not on that day. 


Just like Paul, I had spent nights on my knees asking God to just remove this thing, whatever it was. Remember that thorn in the flesh that Paul pleaded with God about in 2 Corinthians 12? Paul writes, “Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Let’s consider this word “conceited,” which means “excessively proud of oneself.”  If we are really honest with ourselves, we can see how it is really easy to mix up self-pride and conceit in our “pull yourself up by your bootstraps, social media attention-seeking, climbing the success ladder” culture that we live in. Okay, I’ll admit it, if you won’t! I’ve been called “incredibly talented,” a “jack of all trades,” a “renaissance woman,” and a “triple threat.”  People have literally said, “What can’t you do?” (For the record, the answer is dance. I have no business dancing). But the real answer is I’m not doing anything. It’s all God. And when I lose sight of the fact it’s not me but Christ living in me, then humility is in order. 

Now I am not saying that God always uses affliction to humble us. But affliction certainly brings us to a place where we have to trust Him more, seek Him more, pray more, read the Word more, wrestle more, ask for help more, need more of HIM more! So when some of us say to the Lord, “Help me to draw nearer to you,” He may allow us to face a trial or suffer an affliction because some of God’s kids think, “I got dis! I’m winnin’!” (It’s me. I’m that kid, sometimes). And we need to humble ourselves. Sometimes humility comes through a trial or affliction or weakness. Then God’s power is revealed, not just to us, but to everyone around us who sees God walking with us through it. The Lord said to Paul that His “power is made in weakness.” This means that God’s power is accomplished, completed, and done in our weakness! And we get to see Him at work!


Not long after that moment in church, I sat in my cubicle at work one day trying to pull myself together when I said out loud, “I cannot seem to focus, and I keep forgetting things. I wish I knew what was wrong with me.” I started to share this experience with my officemates. One of them prayed for me, not only on that day, but my place of employment! God was in my cubicle. Then my other officemate said, “In the book I am reading with my book club, the author discusses her gluten intolerance, and it sounds just like what you are dealing with!” I thought, “Maybe this is my problem!” Yes, God was in my cubicle, and these women would be a part of my healing.

I went about my own research, and as I continued digging and researching for myself, I realized that this might be my problem. I went to the doctor and explained what I had discovered. And you know what she said, “Oh yes, gluten!” Gluten intolerance was not as well known then. At the time, the label “gluten-free” was often seen as a term “health nuts” used, and people, even doctors, didn’t really take it seriously. But at this point, my doctor and I would try anything. My doctor printed out a list of foods I needed to avoid because the only way to see if this thing was real was to first eliminate gluten from my diet. God was in this decision because when I tell you that it changed my life, Sis, I was a new woman! Although I was hungry often through this process of elimination, I felt so much better physically and mentally after only a few days of excluding gluten. Who would have thought being a bread lover would cause so much havoc!


So here is my healing story. Even though my doctor, who has had many years of study, ran every test based on my enormous array of symptoms, she wasn’t able to determine my diagnosis. Nope. It was my office friend who called on the Name of Jesus and my other friend who “just happened” to be reading a book entitled, Jennifer’s Way: My Journey with Celiac Disease – What Doctors Don’t Tell You and How You Can Learn to Live Again. I have never read this book, but I have read the Good Book. And in it, Paul reminds me that God’s grace is sufficient for me and that His power is revealed in my weakness. My healing was God’s perfect plan, and I believe His purpose in it all was to draw people to Himself. Himself, my Himself, my doctor…to Himself, my family…to Himself. You, my Himself. Amen.

Yvonne Marie, M.Ed.

Yvonne Marie, M.Ed. is the author of Kill the Busy Save the Bee: What It Really Means to Be Still and Know and Write For Christ Sake: A Guide to Kick-Start Your Book Journey for Jesus. She is the owner of Your Book Journey Consulting, LLC, a thriving business on a mission to help writers, speakers, ministry leaders, and business owners write and publish books. With a master’s degree in education and over two decades of teaching and ministry experience, she has developed the ability to effectively educate, motivate, and inspire others through her gifts of writing, speaking, and teaching. Yvonne Marie is married to Jonathan, owner of I-Witness Photography, LLC, and they have two sons. You can find her at and

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We reserve the right to remove any comments deemed inappropriate.