James 5:14-15 reads, “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if He has committed sins, He will be forgiven.”
In February, my husband and I decided to ask the elders of our church for pray for my continuing adrenal fatigue issues that could not be resolved through rest, diet, and lifestyle changes. We figured we had nothing to lose as God could choose to heal me, or if He chose not to, I’d be no worse off than before. But either way it would be a step of faith of putting my health into God’s hands. They very kindly agreed to pray, and I remember that they prayed that God would give the doctor’s wisdom about what was causing my fatigue.
At first, I felt a little better – I had a little more energy and stamina and could do more in a day. But then in early March, a very stressful series of events with a bad upper respiratory virus to boot, landed me completely bedridden. (When you have adrenal insufficiency, your cortisol is low and stress can deplete what little you have – even to the point of being bedridden!) Every time I tried to resume normal life, I ended up back in bed so sick that I couldn’t even get my own food and Pete had to leave me food in a cooler by my bed! I remember thinking, “God, this is NOT the answer to prayer that I was looking for!”
Because I was so sick, my amazing doctor, Dr. Adema, ran a bunch of tests, including one for, ahem, intestinal critters. (I can’t believe I am writing this – it is incredibly embarrassing – but if even one person suffering from unexplained fatigue can benefit, it is worth the embarrassment). I did have them – lots of them, plus a lot of damage they had done to my innards (something called “leaky gut symdrome” and severe candida). He figured out that I have most likely had this problem for 14 YEARS since I came back from a mission trip in Albania. (We had hiked into a remote with very poor sanitation and ate undercooked chicken for the sake of the gospel! The woman who gave us the chicken prayed to receive Christ, so it was worth it.) I was severely ill after that trip, and my lovely HMO doctors diagnosed me with a virus and depression.
Since that trip, I have struggled with ever- worsening fatigue , intermittent nausea, and even occasional unexplained vomiting. I have been diagnosed over the years with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and told to “stress less” and “eat more fiber”, and endometriosis (with NO tests ran to confirm this!) . All along, I was being misdiagnosed! Who but a Sovereign and Merciful God could lead me to a doctor who would give me the right diagnosis after 14 years! He truly is a God who answers pray!
Unfortunately, this won’t be a quick fix – the buggers did some damage which will take some time to heal. It will take a lot of time, patience, reliance on God, determination, and discipline for my body to be able to heal. But I am so thankful to have a God who hears!
Morals of the Story – Pray!
*Don’t give up –there are good doctors out there.
*If you have unexplained fatigue and have been overseas on a mission’s trip, please consider intestinal critters as a possible cause of your fatigue!
*Don’t not go on mission’s trips if God calls you. But before and after you go on a mission’s trip (or especially if you are on the mission field!), take proper precautions to protect your digestive health, starting with a strong probiotic to increase your immunity.
*Children in third world countries such as Albania often lack basic essentials to good health, such as clean water, sanitation, etc. Let’s do what we can to help these children be able to grow up healthy!