It has now been three and a half years since I walked down to that church coffee morning. If I share everything that has happened since then, I now have another boy who is soon to turn 2, and my oldest is starting school in September. He is still friends with the boy mentioned in my devotional, and I still am part of the community that I talked about. Plus I now go to church on Sunday, which is something I have prayed for often.
Before I knew Jesus I was housebound. I sat in my home all day with the curtains shut and dark glasses on. When my husband came home he would watch TV with subtitles as I couldn't stand the noise. Even just a simple human touch was too much for my senses to take, and the thought of going out while feeling so unwell caused my anxiety to get so high that I would shake violently.
I had migraines that lasted for months, and the effects lasted years. I was constantly dizzy, and I had vertigo attacks that lasted several hours, leaving me bedbound for days. When I stood, my vision would go black and I would fall. But the hardest thing was the loneliness—it was crippling. I had two breakdowns, and it took the second one for me to call out to the Lord and admit that I needed a savior. I had no where left to go. I had been laughed at by doctors, cruelly used by a therapist for her own gains, and I trusted no one. I had decided I was going to heal myself using mindfulness techniques, diet, and positive thinking, but it didn't work.
So, going to the coffee morning was huge and changed my life forever. It was three years after coming to know the Lord, and I had spent those three years with just Jesus as he gently got me to trust him and go back to doctors. He knew I was ready for the next step of meeting people and fellowship. (Even though I didn't know it!)
Learning to socialize and be around people have been my biggest learning curve, as it was just me and my poor husband for so long. But I have found so many loving brothers and sisters in Christ who have walked with me through my difficulties and lifted me to the Lord when I couldn't do it myself. The Lord has taught me much, and I often get things wrong, but he is ever faithful and forgiving of my mistakes.
As I look back now I can see how the Lord has so gently led me to where I am today, and I know there is more to come. If full healing never comes for me, I am okay with that as my life is so much better than it ever was before. I still can't go anywhere new by myself, but I have so much support and help that I still get to do things I never dreamed I would. And I am no longer lonely, as I have my savior there with me every step of the way.
If you wish to know more of how the Lord continues helps me, my blog is over at www.spansstudio.co.uk.
"Thank you for the creative teams [of The Upper Room] who are working together to share the power of prayer around the world. You have collaborated with everyone working from our homes to share the gifts of hope, love, grace, and peace." (Written in response to The Upper Room COVID-19 response efforts). View Jaqui's video contribution to the initiative, helping us create space and time for God in these anxious times.