Imagine strolling along, minding your own business or obediently going about The Father's and BLAM! you're knocked off your feet. Well, that's exactly what happened to me in 2005.
One moment I was an extremely busy office manager with no serious medical problems and seemingly the next, my primary care physician was telling me that I had connective tissue disease.
Not so! I told myself, and true to my conviction, a visit to a rheumatologist and additional testing revealed that I didn't have connective tissue disease, but something considered to be worse, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease that can affect various parts of the body, especially the skin, joints, blood, and kidneys.
I had absolutely no idea that my diagnosis would be the most profound, life-changing experience of my life. I spent nearly every holiday of 2006 in a hospital bed, but my changes were not only about pain and suffering, but also about grace, mercy, and a renewed spiritual awakening.
I won't lie to you, going through was hard, but thankfully God is good. I trust the Great Physician more than any other doctor. After my diagnosis, my condition quickly began to deteriorate. At one point, my joints were so swollen and sore that I couldn't dress myself. My constant prayer was that God would guide the doctors and give them wisdom.
I was weary, worn, and sad. But I thank God for the faith of a few when my faith began to wane. The Bible says that "two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up."
One day, after so many hospitalizations that I'd lost count, I woke up frail, frightened, and feelings as though I couldn't go on. I couldn't take another day in a body that was dwindling away. My face was emaciated; I was so weak and fragile that I walked as slowly as a turtle. I couldn't even bring myself to look at myself in the mirror anymore because when I did, all that I saw was death.
In a moment that I can only justify as a split second of insanity, I silently asked God, "Why? Why won't you just let me die?" I thank God for my husband, who seemed to be in tune with my feelings through it all. He sat down beside me and said, "I need you to promise me something." "What?" I managed to say. By this time, I had mouth sores and a constant sore throat. He went on to say, "Promise me that you will fight. No matter what happens, I need you to fight."
Like Tina Turner, I didn't wanna fight anymore. I felt like the enemy had worn my behind out! But as discombobulated as I was, I'd made the promise so I refused to throw in the towel. Instead I flip-flopped between eager anticipation of healing and gloom over impending doom. I avoided contact with my church family and friends. I was living in a pitiful state. Population 1. See, the enemy likes to keep us isolated. Quiet time with God, makes you stronger spiritually, but total isolation is dangerous!
I did have a dear friend and co-worker, Linda Paige, who would call just about every day to give me words of encouragement. 99% of the time I was too sick or down to talk to her, but one particular day, when I didn't know how to continue to fight, I called her at work. When she picked up, I whimpered, "I'm tired."
My friend knew exactly what that meant. I didn't feel like I could go on living like this. Though the Bible clearly tells us that even when things get rough we shouldn't lose heart, I was sick and tired of being so sick and so very tired. My friend sweetly replied, "I already know. I was just about to call you." She explained to me that she had been in prayer for me that morning and the Lord let her know that I was at the point of giving up. She prayed for me and then said something that was so simple yet brought such comfort: "God's got it."
I hung up the phone feeling encouraged for the first time in a very long time. I was excited that God loved me enough to have her there to pray my strength. From that point I knew that if I could just hold to Jesus, my Rock, my Fortress, and my Deliverer, I could get back on my feet and continue to fight. Afterall, God had it! If He was for me, who could be against me?
I took hold of one of the most important weapons of warfare - the Word of God. Through the Word, I realized just how blessed I actually was to go on trial. Romans 8:28 became the very legs I stood on. "And we know that all things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose."
For me, this meant that God is a God of purpose and even adversities are meant to strengthen His children. It was a light bulb moment. This trial wasn't about me, it was about Jesus. His plan and purpose. It let me know that God has purpose behind, presence during, and preservation after every storm that threatens to overtake His own.
I began speaking healing over my body, and guess what? I began to look and feel better. I also began seeing a new rheumatologist who retested me and called me early one morning to tell me that all of my tests were normal. Hallelujah! The next week I met with her. After reviewing my diagnosis from two years ago, she said, "Okay, this is definitely Lupus."
Confused, I said, "But you said that 'all of the tests are normal.'" She explained that my test results didn't support my diagnosis of Lupus, but that if I had it two years ago, those initial tests had to be accurate. To this very day, my doctor will not out and out say that a miracle occurred or that I am disease free. She believes that a spontaneous remission occurred, but I know a miracle when I see one. The Great Physician has done it again!
I won't lie and say that the enemy hasn't tried to raise his ugly head since that particular doctor's visit. What I will say is that God is able and I am willing. Willing to continue to trust God and continue to proclaim healing. Afterall, as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he, right?
You may not know or understand why you are going through something, but trust me when I say that if you are a child of God, He will turn your mourning into joy.if you allow Him to use you for His glory in spite of your circumstance.
Peace and Blessings!
Korika L. Johnson
Note from the Campaign Director:
Many thanks to Korika for sending her story all the way from America, it's nice to hear from patients all over the World. If you are living outside the UK and would like to share your story, we'd love to hear from you (and don't forget to send us a photo!!).