I never thought I would suffer a life-threatening ailment, so when I was diagnosed six years ago with Crohn’s—an autoimmune disease that attacks the gastrointestinal tract and for which there is no known drug or surgical cure—it was very hard to accept. I was 24 years old at the time and had a four-year-old son.
All the natural remedies I tried did little to stave off the deterioration. I was in terrible pain and mostly bedridden for four years. At one point I had lost 40% of my body weight, weighed only 35 kg (85 lbs), and was in danger of dying of malnutrition.
This long-term illness sucked the life out of me emotionally as well. I felt like a failure, worthless, and a terrible burden on my family. Why had God let this happen to me? What in the world could He do with such a frail, bedridden, emotionally unstable person as I had become?
When I was at my weakest physically and emotionally, my ever-supportive family and friends helped me not give up mentally and spiritually. They also encouraged me that I could still be a help to others by praying for them. So I stopped praying for my own healing, and instead prayed that God would use me in that way, just as I was—and that was the beginning of my recovery. I wasn’t healed physically overnight, but I was at peace and ready to accept whatever God had in store for me.
Several months later, a new option for medical treatment presented itself, and when I prayed about whether or not to pursue it, Jesus told me that He would use this to put me on the road to full recovery. Slowly my intestines began to repair, and over the next year I gradually returned to my normal weight. That treatment, along with a good diet and lots of prayer, has sent my Crohn’s into remission and brought me back from the brink of death, for which I’m very thankful!
Because of Jesus’ never-ending love and care, and with the help of the wonderful people in my life, I made it through those five difficult years, and I believe I have come out better for it. Best of all, it drew me closer to Jesus than I ever thought possible.
I now can say with the apostle Paul, “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”1