Affliction and Healing
Open Your Bible
Mark 2:17, Mark 1:40-42, 2 Corinthians 12:5-10, Psalm 34:19, Psalm 147:3, Matthew 14:14, 1 Peter 2:24, 2 Corinthians 4:7-18
BY Guest Writer
Lifting the hammer up with both hands, I knocked the shelf loose from its fixed position. My screams had become muffled by the sobs caught in my throat, but through shallow breaths and clenched teeth, I made my complaints known and laid into Him.
I want my babies! Where are they? Why do You give them to me if You’re only going to take them away?
After our first miscarriage, I wept as I painted our bedroom walls, covering up the sunny yellow and replacing it with a controlled, subdued neutral. The linen closet received a welcome facelift and my wardrobe was purged, streamlined to a more manageable system for daily use. After years of unexplained infertility, I was told to be happy I’d gotten pregnant in the first place. Chin up, Buttercup. Let’s soldier on.
But this second miscarriage, four months later, was different. I felt utterly unhinged, untethered to anything. Forgotten. And so I drifted violently across the kitchen floor, from cabinet to cabinet and shelf to shelf, re-organizing and reordering, wielding a hammer and railing on my Maker.
Years passed, and I grew numb. Empty. And very sick, it turns out. I found myself in a neurologist’s office with a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. What’s more, my doctor discovered an anomaly in my blood work. An autoimmune disease and now an antibody—the doctor believed that together, they’d caused me to miscarry.
He may have been right. Three months into being on my MS meds, and without trying, I became pregnant with identical twin girls. I laughed out loud as my obstetrician pointed out two fluttering heartbeats on the ultrasound. I laughed, and I promise you, I heard Him laugh too.
Pain, loss, and affliction—I know them well. We all do because they’re a promised byproduct of life here in a fallen world (John 16:33). They come tangled up with joy and abundance and blessing. I’ve tried to extricate the good from the seemingly bad, but to no avail. They’re a packaged deal.
So while my dream of having children has been realized, and then some, I still have multiple sclerosis. Now, being well enough to keep up with our girls the way I’d always imagined is a struggle, a deep shame I do battle with daily.
This is my Ebenezer: my affliction, healing, and blessing bound together in a monument to Him and for His glory (Genesis 35:14; 1 Samuel 7:3–12). It’s here that I’ve wrestled with my God and have come to know Him face to face. I cannot praise Him and thank Him for our girls without praising and thanking Him for my diagnosis of MS. Learning to do so will no doubt take a lifetime.
He’s chosen to weave great joy into deep sorrow. This forces me to wonder if my affliction and physical limitations are somehow God’s kindness to me (2 Corinthians 12:5–10)—constant reminders that my body, this temporal world, and everything in it are fading away. Meanwhile, the eternal wages on, refreshed and renewed, out in the open air and light of His presence. “Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16).
Kara Gause is a content editor for She Reads Truth, happily residing with her family in Nashville, Tennessee.