I speak to my mom about twice a month – maybe less. When we discuss my Chronic Migraine, she is keen to tell me she prays for me every night – she and my dad together. She’s said: “I storm Heaven for your healing! I pray so hard, and I don’t understand how you can suffer so much.”
Even though I’ve heard this many times, it still catches me off-guard. I imagine her stumbling up to a Divine gate on a sunset cloud, banging her hands bloody and screaming to be heard.
Of course the idea that anyone, anywhere actually pray for me and my healing, is overwhelming. It staggers me; the sheer selflessness, kindness, charity, and generosity. Moves me to tears of humbling and gratitude.
But I can’t wrap my head around demanding anything from God. I can’t see it that way. My struggle is minute compared to struggles, my pain and suffering are infinitesimal. And I would never, could never demand anything from a benevolent, loving and merciful God.
I once heard a minister describe people of my faith and persuasion as “not religious, but very spiritual” and it was as if a light went off: Yes! That’s me! Wholly spiritual, completely trusting in our loving father God, but woefully remiss in scripture knowledge and almost always absent from Sunday church service. But my Faith is steely and complete. When I close my eyes and fall backwards, I know with all my heart that God will catch me.
I’ve been alive 46 years, have faced hardships, betrayals by my body, betrayals by friends and family. I’ve suffered loss and watched my loved ones, soul mate and my greatest treasures – my children – face difficult and painful trials. And I have prayed, I do pray …to my God and our angels …but I have never once felt the need to storm Heaven for anything.
Storming Heaven? What does that say about our trust and Faith in God? Why would I ever demand that I know better than God? I know the right path, I know what trials should be eradicated?
I believe in a plan. I believe in suffering. I believe in something bigger than myself. I want my children to have fret-free and long and happy lives, but only a fool thinks that’s a right (because of a parent’s prayers). My children are God’s gift to me …precious and perfect Gifts. I do not get to keep them forever …I only have the enormous privilege to help raise them for a finite time. A privilege to watch the magnificence as they grow into their own people. I don’t want them to suffer or hurt. But if that should be in their path, I will do all I can to help them …but I can’t fathom that includes storming Heaven. Never. God is merciful, God is a comfort. When I’ve been in the throes of my worst pain, I could feel Him nearest. If I could give that gift to my children, it would be the greatest treasure.
When I was 25, Marc and I suffered a devastating loss of our first baby. As I miscarried at 11 weeks, I watched helplessly in horror as my body betrayed my heart and purged our baby. I mourned and grieved and even screamed in my heart’s pain. I think I might have asked why. In the weeks to follow when I grieved and recovered, I began to understand: the next couple of years, I would have 13 friends miscarry pregnancies. And I knew with every fiber why I had had my loss. I was there for every woman, every couple who would lose their baby …I could reach out and hold them with more than understanding, with unspoken union and presence.
And I know without a shadow of doubt the why I struggle with Chronic Migraine. If not me, then who? I will be there for others. Nothing can stop me from advocating and educating and supporting. I will have a silent understanding and an unspoken bond.
I would not question why I struggle; I’m only grateful I keep struggling. I’m grateful I’m alive. I’m grateful I can feel such pain, because it makes the happiness and joy more blissful and beautiful than I could ever imagine. I’m sorry for my family …that they have to be burdened with my illness too, but I don’t demand God take it away. Part of me is quite embarrassed anyone should be storming Heaven with my little plight. Indisputably, I am on the right path and God is with me.