Monday, October 26, 2009

The end of the valley

Your Father knows what you need before you ask him. – Matthew 6:8 (NIV)

I’ve reached the end of the valley of wait. Well, this valley, anyway.

Three weeks ago I wrote about a growing fatigue that was slowing me down big time and interfering with every aspect of my life. Yet my lab reports were “normal,” so my doctors told me. But I knew my body—after all, I’ve lived with it for almost 58 years now—and I knew something was wrong, something the lab reports weren’t showing.

As the fatigue and the frustration grew and no answers were on the horizon, I launched an all-out prayer attack. I asked everyone I knew who prayed to pray that the cause would be found, and sooner rather than later. For months my prayer friends interceded for me, asked for updates, and persevered.

While they prayed, I searched for answers: Was I reacting to something I ate or drank? Too much coffee, chocolate, or carbs? I stopped taking the iron supplements when I read that too much iron could be the problem. No matter what I tried, though, nothing worked.

One day while shopping, I picked up a bottle of Vitamin B-12. Ah, the energy vitamin. What would it hurt? I bought the highest potency available. But, not wanting to interfere with the test results, I didn’t start taking the high potency formula until all my lab work was completed.

I noticed a difference the first week. I was afraid to believe this could be the answer, but each day I felt a little better than the day before. A walk to the mailbox and back—a distance of four-tenths of a mile—didn’t wipe me out for the rest of the day. By the time I returned to the doctor for my follow-up appointment to discuss the results of my tests, I had more energy than I’d had in months. Gone were the constant crappy-draggy feeling, the brain fog, the food cravings, the insomnia, and continuous low-grade headache.

The answer turned out to be simple and, by this time, not surprising: a Vitamin B deficiency. Which is why the B-12 made such a difference.

“Continue taking the B-12,” the doctor told me, “as well as B-6, folic acid, and a good B-complex supplement.”

That’s it. No prescription. No scheduling a next appointment. “Call me if you need to,” he said.

When I got home, I researched the B vitamins and their function. I hadn’t realized the vital role they play in the proper functioning of the thyroid gland. I’d believed all along the problem was metabolic, with my underactive thyroid.

I hadn’t known—but God did. After all, He designed these bodies we live in. He created me and knows every intricate detail about me (Psalm 139).

What made me notice that bottle of Vitamin B-12 on the grocery store shelf? What made me decide to spend the money when money is tight and nothing I tried had worked?

You can chalk it up to coincidence, luck, even desperation.

But I chalk it up to the One who knows me better than I know myself.

Why didn’t He drop down His answer from Heaven right away? I don’t know. But I trust Him. His reasons are not for me to understand. He is, after all, God, not me.

The Valley of Wait, I wrote three weeks ago, is where I learn faith, hope, and trust. Where doubts are dealt with, and patience is strengthened. And where I grow closer to God through prayer because I pray more when there’s trouble than when everything’s hunky-dory. I realize my helplessness to help myself and my utter dependence on Him.

That alone is worth the wait.

Dear God, how can I say thanks for the things You have done for me? Things so undeserved, yet You give to prove Your love for me. The voices of a million angels could not express my gratitude. All that I am and ever hope to be, I owe it all to Thee. To You be the glory!* Amen.

* From “My Tribute” by Andrae Crouch, copyright 1971, Lexicon Music, Inc.

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