By His Stripes

When I was 18, I was in a car accident, flipping my car across an interstate. I walked away unhurt, but I began to suffer from frequent, debilitating migraines. In the years since, I’ve tried everything I could find to help them, but I always ended up in tears and in bed. Sleep was the only way to get rid of them, even though it often interfered with work and my social life. Sometimes they would last for days rather than hours. I would cry and pray and lay in bed with my fists pressed into my eyes trying to stop the pain.

Recently, my team at work went to a conference in Dallas put on for our volunteers. As soon as we landed, the vision in my right eye started to go black – an early sign of an incoming migraine. I somehow made it to the hotel room, but spent the whole afternoon and evening only able to see out of one eye with unbearable spasms behind my right eye every time I moved. I tried everything. I climbed up on the counter next to the sink to dunk my hands and feet in freezing water, I doused myself in peppermint oil, I tried random face massages and pressure points and then I sat with my head in my hands wondering how I was supposed to breathe life and encouragement into volunteers when I couldn’t even stand up.

A few hours later, a friend knocked on my door and brought me some food. She took a look at the warzone that was my bedroom after multiple “home remedies” and asked if she could pray with me. While she was praying, I tried to concentrate on something I had heard at church: focus on the cross and not the pain. I tried to imagine Jesus on the cross with my migraine, taking my pain away – for “by His stripes we are healed”.

When we finished praying, my friend told me a story of a pastor who had been in excruciating pain after injuring his arm. He had lain in bed, unable to even sit up, and heard God tell him, “Sing praise for your other arm.” He immediately began thanking God for his other healthy arm, and then he was sitting up. He began praising God for his legs and then suddenly he was standing. When she left, I realized that praying was not always the same as praising.

I started small.

I put on Hillsong’s ‘Mighty to Save’ for some background music and I thanked God for my feet and my working legs. I thanked Him for my arms so that I could hug my family and hold my nieces and nephew. I thanked Him for my hands so that I could hold my husband’s hand. I thanked Him for the opportunity to even be in Dallas.

Savior, He can move the mountains
My God is mighty to save
He is mighty to save

I put my hands up in the air.

Forever, author of salvation
He rose and conquered the grave
Jesus conquered the grave

I will never, ever forget the feeling of the pain leaving my head. No more black spots, no more pulsing, no more nausea… Everything was crystal clear. I started cry-laughing while still singing and waiting on someone to knock on the hotel door and tell me to “keep it down in there”.

If you have accepted Jesus Christ in your life, chances are you have had multiple moments where you were completely overcome by who Jesus is and how great His love is. One of my moments was March 9th at 9:00pm in a small hotel room in Dallas.

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