I can still remember vividly how a few short months ago my boy was sick. Not just kind of sick; a debilitating, missing school, constant sleeping kind of sick. He was suffering from severe headaches on a daily basis and the worst part was we had no clue why. Test after test was done on my precious boy. We watched him suffer when no medication brought him relief. I cried out to God on a daily basis, begging Him to heal my boy or shift the pain and suffering to me. I read, studied and prayed more than I ever had in my entire life. One Sunday morning, right in the middle of worship, I came unglued. I stood before the congregation and wept in the presence of God. Feelings of brokenness and defeat overpowered me. I was fighting a battle within myself that can only be described as spiritual warfare. I could feel the Lord trying to speak to me in my spirit but the voices in my head were drowning Him out. “This is your fault. Your son is sick because of all your past mistakes. The sins of the mother have been passed down to the son.” Then out of nowhere, my Pastor was standing before me. Through my tears, I could see the seriousness that marked his expression. He leaned in close and whispered these words, “I want you to hear me, Valerie. God has spoken to me and wants me to tell you, this is not about Peyton. Now hear me out. God did not cause this sickness, but He is using it to transform you. God is changing you and causing you to grow through this. He is building a ministry in you.” That very moment was a turning point in my life.
Although my son continued to be sick for another five weeks after this message was given to me, my mindset had been totally transformed. I no longer asked God why but instead what? As in what do you want me to learn from this? How can I turn this suffering into something meaningful? I started keeping a journal of the conflicting emotions that tore through my heart and mind. Every time the enemy came at me, I’d find a Scripture to ward him off. Then one faithful day, just as suddenly as the sickness had pounced, it left his body. I’m talking a one-hundred percent, complete healing! He was back to his normal football-playing, 5K running, prank playing self! There were no remaining indicators of whatever sickness had plagued him for a solid two months.
I could have let his healing allow me to slack off in my devotion to God. After all, I no longer had a desperate need to call out to Him on a daily basis. But I chose to press further into Him. I continued to read & pray and I began to ask God to use me. What started with personal writings in my journal soon became short devotions. Feeling compelled to share with others, I started using my facebook page as my own little podium for teaching and sharing God’s goodness. Initially, I was only posting sporadically, but I found that each day, God was giving me a word. I thought, “If it’s speaking to me, Lord, maybe someone else needs to hear it too.” With that mindset, I was posting everyday during the week, allowing myself time to be refreshed on the weekends.
I may never have reached this point in my walk with God had I not had a need so desperate that it pushed me into a closer relationship with Him. I’m not saying I would want to go back there again and watch any of my children suffer but I’m thankful for the change that it brought about in me. My faith & reliance on God was multiplied during that season and has continued to flourish in the days since. He started a fire in me that I pray will never be put out. I am thankful that God softened my spirit so that I would be receptive to His word that was spoken through man. And I am thankful for the man, Pastor Chad Dunford, who was obedient when the Lord gave him that message for me.
Never assume that trials in your life are a direct result of sin. It could be that the troubles you are facing are just what you need to get your attention turned to God so that He can develop a ministry in you.