A couple months leading up to our wedding [and after our wedding], my rheumatoid arthritis was a hot mess to say the least. My joints were swollen and I was in constant pain. I remember waking up in the middle of night crying because I was in so much pain. It hurt to sit at work, to walk, to just do “normal” everyday things. I felt like my five year old self all over again- questioning God. Why am I still hurting. Why haven’t you healed me yet of my arthritis? God, just take this away from me.
One of our closest friends invited us over to their apartment for a prayer night. There was probably twenty or so people smooshed in their apartment and eager to pray for one another. She asked if anyone needed prayer. Ashamed and not wanting to put my pain or burden on anyone else, I stayed silent. But John, being the kind and caring husband, spoke up and said “Julia does. She’s been in a bad flare up for the past six months with her arthritis.” A part of me felt embarrassed and the other part felt a weight lifted off because I knew in my heart of hearts had John not brought it up, I wouldn’t have said anything. #BaeComingInClutch
The next thing I knew, everyone began to gather around me and laid hands on me. They started praying over me and in confidence knowing that God would heal me. Now, growing up with RA since I was three, I’ve had sooo many people tell me that they were praying for me. Heck, I even prayed a million gajillion times that I wouldn’t have this pain anymore. But if I’m being 100% honest, I only said that prayer out of selfishness. I only said it because I was exhausted. I was over it and just wanted life to be easier. I didn’t really believe that God could move or heal me. I doubted God.
While they were praying over me, all I could say was “God, I believe” and kept on repeating that over and over again, repenting of the times where I didn’t believe He could heal me. I was weeping because- one I was in awe of having people pray over me, especially complete strangers, and two this time I was tired of doubting God’s power and ability to heal. The same Jesus that healed and performed miracles back then is the SAME Jesus that I believe in TODAY!
That night I woke up in NO PAIN y’all. It was about 4am and I remember waking up John in the middle of his slumber to tell Him the good news. “BABE. BABE. BABE. I don’t hurt anymore. It’s gone, it’s gone!”
I think in a lot of situations, good or bad, I let my faith be based on my circumstances. Often times, it’s easier to doubt that God is going to show up and move. I’m guilty in not having faith because I can’t “see” it. Maybe you’re like me too. Maybe you’re quick to doubt God’s power to move. Maybe it’s just hard to believe in the “unknown.”
As I was reading about Jesus Feeding the Five Thousand the other morning (which I’ve heard and read SO many times) it just clicked.
“When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.” (verse 5 & 6)
See, Jesus already had a game plan. He KNEW what was going to happen. He KNEW he would be able to feed the five thousand even though their circumstances weren’t looking too hot (aka they didn’t have enough money or food). Jesus just knew.
I don’t know what your circumstances are right now. Maybe you’re going through a tough break up, maybe stuff at home isn’t looking too good, maybe you’re struggling with friends or at work. But whatever your circumstances are in this very moment, I do know this: Jesus is on the move. He’s working and is capable of anything and everything. He’s got a game plan for you and will give you the confidence to trust in His game plan. All you have to do is ask.
“But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” // James 1:6
“Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” // John 6:35
“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” // Mark 11:24