For about 19 years now I have been suffering from regular migraines. They first started when I was a teenager in secondary school, often affecting my time at school but I would say on the whole they were fairly manageable. Unfortunately, the older I have become, the more regular they have become too and alongside regular migraines, I also developed chronic daily headaches; this means that most days I will have some form of headache varying in severity.
A typical untreated migraine for me looks like severe pain on one side of my head as well as experiencing nausea and vomiting and the only thing I can do is lie down in a dark room and ride it out. Chronic daily headaches can range in severity, but most days I live with some form of pain and tension in my head and neck. To have a headache-free day is a blessing.
I have seen many different GPs, specialists etc over the years to try and get help and treatment, none have been able to pinpoint the cause of my migraines and headaches yet. A few years ago, I was prescribed medication for the first time to take when I feel a migraine attack coming on and I am so grateful for the blessing that medication is to me. On the whole it helps stop the migraine attack before it gets too bad allowing me to carry on with my day but I have to heavily rely on these, needing to take them on average 3 times a week along with additional painkillers. Living with regular migraines and headaches is tiring, constantly battling with pain and the effects of medications and as well as the physical struggle there is the emotional struggle too…
I’ll be honest, I’m struggling. Struggling with the questions why haven’t I experienced healing yet? Why am I still suffering? Why are my prayers for healing and the prayers of others not being answered? It hurts and it’s hard battling with disappointments and not letting this affect my faith and relationship with God.
My walk with God is probably like most peoples, if we are honest, we have seasons where we feel like we are flourishing and feel full of faith and connected to God and then we have seasons where we feel like we are walking through a desert. Life is a struggle, faith can be a struggle and God can seem far away, this is the season I feel I am in now.
Throughout the years of living with migraines and headaches I have gone through different seasons, seasons of being full of faith to see them healed and reminding myself not to settle and that they are not something I need to accept and just learn to live with. However, there are also seasons where I have been afraid to pray again, afraid to be prayed for again for fear of disappointment. In the times where my feelings and thoughts of disappointment and doubts seem loud in my head, that’s when I have to make the promises of God and his truth louder…which is often much easier said than done!
About 11 years ago I attended the school of supernatural ministry and one of the things they taught, which has stuck with me, is the following quote from Bill Johnson )Pastor of Bethel Church in Redding California) “I will not lower the standard of the Bible to my level of experience.”
I cannot let my experiences and disappointments take away and cloud my view of who God is and His truth and promises. This is something I really had to fight for a few years ago when a lie that I had been believing became so overwhelming and true to me, someone said to me “you need to fight for the truth”, so that’s what I did. I looked through the Bible, highlighted certain truths and promises from God. One in particular means a lot to me; Jeremiah 29v11 – For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” I would say this verse out loud over and over and over again, with worship music playing loudly whilst marching around my living room, doing battle with the lie and allowing the truth of God to bring freedom and a renewing of my mind. It’s important to remind ourselves of the goodness of God, He is too good to not believe!
These are a few lyrics from a song by Bethel called Too good to not believe –
“I’ve lived stories that have proved Your faithfulness
And I’ve seen miracles my mind can’t comprehend
And there is beauty in what I can’t understand
Jesus, it’s You, Jesus, it’s You”
I have lived stories that have proved God’s faithfulness, love and goodness in my life. I can forget these so quickly sometimes but reminding ourselves of all the times He has been faithful, He has been provider, He has been healer and we have seen and experienced His goodness in our lives is powerful and key.
We sang a song at church recently which really spoke to me, encouraging us to worship and raise a hallelujah when we are struggling and times are tough, making our praise louder than the fears, doubts, lies and unbelief we have so that just like I did when I was marching around my living room, our praise and worship, the truth of who God is becomes louder and louder, bringing hope.
Raise a Hallelujah – Bethel music
I raise a hallelujah, in the presence of my enemies
I raise a hallelujah, louder than the unbelief
I raise a hallelujah, my weapon is a melody
I raise a hallelujah, Heaven comes to fight for me
I’m gonna sing, in the middle of the storm
Louder and louder, you’re gonna hear my praises roar
Up from the ashes, hope will arise
Death is defeated, the King is alive!
I can’t answer those questions that I said I struggle with; I don’t know why I haven’t seen healing for my headaches and migraines and why I’m battling with this but I have to choose to focus on what I do know about who God is and trust Him when I don’t understand.
Being honest, as I write this, I would say I am going through a low season at the moment and I’m struggling to hold on to His promises and truth while living with my migraines and headaches and working through disappointments. I am blessed to be surrounded by family, friends and a wonderful church family who can help carry me when I’m weary and remind me of God’s truth and love for me. Church is a family, one where we can be free to be honest and vulnerable in our times of struggle and suffering and be blessed and surrounded by love.
Thank you for taking the time to read a bit of my story, writing this blog has come at a good time for me and helped remind me of what I need to do to hold on to God’s promises. I pray it helps equip, encourage and bless you too.
Psalm 71:14 – As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more.