Friday, June 7, 2013

A Testimony of God's Provision in His Perfect Timing

For months now, my husband and I have been praying and searching for a specialty wheelchair that insurance would more-than-likely not cover (even despite my doctor's prescription for the chair), and the retail value of the wheelchair I needed was around $2,000 and up.

My need arose after discussing the difficulty I had/have with handling my current "standard lightweight" wheelchair (40 lbs. and it does not fold/store easily) in and out of my vehicle.

Back up a little, and I'll explain how I came to need a wheelchair in the first place. I have major chronic pain issues that stem from back injuries. I have been diagnosed with (*big breath*) 3 bulging and 2 torn discs in the lumbar region, hypertrophic facet disease, degenerative disc disease, peripheral neuropathy/sciatica in both legs and feet, sacroiliac joint dysfunction syndrome, and fibromyalgia. These are extremely painful conditions in almost every patient (especially fibromyalgia), and back surgery is not usually a recommended endeavor from most doctors' standpoint.

(UPDATE: I now have been diagnosed with spinal stenosis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic Pain Syndrome, and Adrenal Fatigue Stage 3, which all are known to resort to the use of a wheelchair for management of symptoms.)

Before I used a wheelchair, I would have a hard time spending a half hour out at the local mall or time at the zoo with the family, as I couldn't (and can't) stand for long periods of time without drastically increasing my pain levels the same day, as well as paying for it for the rest of the week.

It took me a while before I broke down my pride and decided to openly use a wheelchair when it was needed (on rough days, trips to the aquarium, mall, places that require lots of walking or standing, or places where I sit for more than 1 hour at a time). I was afraid of the judgemental comments I would get from those who had possibly seen me elsewhere walking fairly normally (I don't limp very noticeably, considering it doesn't change the outcome of my pain), yet now using a wheelchair. Sure enough, I have gotten those judgemental comments. After some time and experience, I have learned that they are the ones that suffer for their quick judgements instead of me. People simply don't understand and are quick to think, stare, and speak without thinking of the consequences, but I have had to push that side and do what's best for me and my family. I will tell you - it's been amazingly freeing to let go of what others might think! It sounds like a simple battle, but it's actually been quite a challenge for me - with God's help, I have overcome that battle!

Once I opened up about using my chair on a more regular basis, I felt free. I was then able to begin enjoying life in a way I never imagined I could. Simple grocery trips with my husband and boys have involved less pain and more joy and fun. I have been regularly using my chair since April 2013, and it has made the biggest difference in my mood as well. I feel there is so much more hope and opportunity for me and especially my boys to live a normal life - with possibilities of Mom going to the amusement park or a carnival with them, or maybe even Disney one day.

You see now the hope that God has once again graciously given me - through a wheelchair.

As we prayed for the provision of this specialty chair, we had many on board with us in terms of prayer - our church, community, friends and family all joined in prayer for this need. And God began to rain down His Almighty provision. Two friends of ours (a couple) gave us a gracious gift of $200 to use on anything we needed. I cried as I explained how much the wheelchair cost was, and how I know God had provided for that very need in His perfect timing. The couple explained that they simply felt led by God to give that amount, so they were obedient. I thanked them over and over, and they sweetly replied, "Thank our Lord, whom it was from." What a beautiful testimony of obedience and service to our Lord, as well as God's provision.

Shortly after receiving that gift, we found the wheelchair I needed for only a fraction of the retail cost! This couple's offering of $200 paid half the cost of the wheelchair. By God's provision from my husband's job, we were able to supply the rest of the financial cost (only $100 additional cost). As always, God provided - in His perfect timing (waiting on His timing is the hardest part, isn't it?). Taste and see how good our God is!

Friends, my Lord has never let us down in any way - including financial, emotional, and physical needs. He is always on time. If you are obedient to Him, He will meet your needs. If you give back to Him with your service and finances, and with a joyful heart, He will meet your needs.

I encourage you today to trust in His timing, trust in His provision, and trust Him with your life.

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Mental Illness and the Church