How God Got my Attention Through Pain
A few weeks ago, my life was extra busy. I was working seven days a week including late into the nights. I didn’t have any spare time for God. Do you know how God got my attention? I’m going to share my story about a painful tooth infection that changed the direction of my life.
Have you ever had an unbearable tooth infection? It’s a pain that can only be described as torture. The pain started off mildly. But after a couple of days it kicked in like a bull charging into my jaw. It rushed in with full force. Ouch…
I believe in the power of healing (Isaiah 53: 4-5 and 1 Peter 2:24). In fact, when I feel sick and pray for healing – in faith – healing usually takes place. Three years ago I woke up with a swollen jaw and mild toothache. I knew it was the beginning of a tooth infection. I firmly took authority over the pain, spoke to it, told it to leave, thanked God for healing me and carried on as normal. Within a few minutes the pain left and the swelling went down.
However, this time around, it was different. The agonising pain that kicked in would not budge. None of the healing prayers or declarations from myself or others worked for me. The more I prayed for healing, the more aggressive the pain became. It was ruthless. As well as a throbbing toothache, my head and neck was in torment. My head felt like it was going to explode. Actually, the pain was worse than being in labour. If you’ve given birth, you’ll understand where I’m coming from.
After a few days of non-stop pain, I cried out… “God, why is this pain not going away? You said in your word ‘By the stripes of Jesus, we are healed’ so why is my healing not taking place?” God was silent.
I didn’t understand what was going on. Until He opened my eyes to show me where I was going wrong…
Seeking my will over God’s will
God told me in 2013 to write books. Also, write to inspire and encourage women and share my testimonies. He saved me from death on three different occasions. He wanted me to write about my experiences.
Before I became a Christian, domestic abuse controlled my life. I had many nasty experiences. Nevertheless, God healed and restored me. I know my story will inspire other women or even save someone who is going through what I suffered.
Anyway, towards the end of 2014, I began writing one of my stories. Excited and focused, the book was my main goal.
After writing a few chapters, an amazing opportunity came my way. The founder of a new bridal magazine asked me to be the editor-in-chief. It was a privilege to be chosen for such a prominent position.
I didn’t pray before accepting the offer. I jumped at the chance to run a bridal magazine. I loved the magazine’s vision and was determined to treat it like my project. I took on the roll – full of excitement – and put every spare minute into it. I was ultra busy. My relationship with God suffered. I didn’t have much time for Him anymore. My prayer time decreased as well. But I was happy doing what I was doing. I gave it my best shot for five months.
Then one day, the pain in my tooth started…
God disciplines those He loves
I spoke to a friend about the tormenting tooth infection. He told me to read Hebrews 12: 5. After reading that passage, I knew straight away what was happening to me. God wanted my attention. And do you know what? God got my attention. The only way He was able to do that was by allowing the pain to get worse.
I knew I wasn’t doing what God told me to do. He was calling me, but busyness drowned out His voice. He was prompting me, but I refused to acknowledge Him.
My book was left. I had no time to write it. I felt guilty. And I would tell God sorry for not writing and asked Him to forgive me. I did that most nights and carried on with my agenda the next day.
But the pain forced me to stop everything. I couldn’t write. I couldn’t think properly. It was so intense I couldn’t even sit down at the computer or focus. Then my mind started drifting back to God. I picked up the bible again. I knew in my heart that God had been waiting patiently for my attention. I repented for being disobedient and spent quality time with Him.
Prayed and fasted for guidance
I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to stay with the magazine or not. For clarification, I decided to fast and pray for guidance to make the right decision. I also asked a friend to fast and pray with me. On the morning of the fast, God laid this scripture on my heart. “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6: 33. He also confirmed the same scripture with my friend. On top of that, He revealed my calling. I wrote it down to stop me from getting distracted in the future.
The pain suddenly disappeared
I knew what I had to do before the end of the day. I told the team on the magazine that I was leaving. I also told them why. It was sad leaving, but I had to put God first.
I felt peace about my decision. Also, do you know how I knew it was the right decision? As soon as I told them I was leaving, the pain suddenly stopped. And the swelling in my jaw went down.
What you can take away from this
What are you doing that’s outside of God’s will? Are you living to please yourself, family and friends instead of God? If God has told you to do something, do it. No matter what it is, you should do it. This passage in 1 Samuel 15:22, “Obedience is better than sacrifice” means a lot to me. It’s better to obey God than sacrifice your relationship with Him by pushing Him to the side. I learnt my lesson. Just to let you know, I’m continuing to write my first book, which includes a testimony. It’s titled, Deep Within my Soul: How Abuse Powered my Passion for Writing”.
Image credit Flickr: Phoney Nickle
Over to you…
Have you allowed your career, family, education or relationship to take the place of God? Why do you think it’s important to do what God tells you to do?