One of my biggest struggles when it comes to faith is believing truly that I’m saved. While intellectually, I understand that I am saved by grace and not by works, I often wrestle with the fear that I have not done enough to earn God’s love or favor. I was told once that our understanding of God is directly related to our relationship with our fathers. My father is not a gracious man. It has taken years for me to even begin to understand what grace is or does.
Going through my recent mental health crisis impacted how I viewed myself in God’s eyes. I questioned whether or not I was truly saved for months. I doubted I loved God or even believed He existed.
For twelve years, I walked around with an undiagnosed mental illness. I saw several doctors and counselors. I took medication I didn’t need because it fit diagnoses I didn’t have. By Spring 2014, I was off all medication. It was determined that I didn’t need it.
My condition got worse. I isolated myself from others, pushed friends away, did things out of character and lacked an ability to self-care. And while some people have continued to run this race with me, most people gave up. I was yelled at, disciplined and accused of the very thing I feared the most: I must obviously not be saved.
And a woman was there who had been afflicted for twelve years by an issue of bleeding. She had suffered greatly under the care of many physicians and had spent all she had, but to no avail. Instead, her condition had only grown worse.
When the woman heard about Jesus, she came up through the crowd behind Him and touched His cloak. For she kept saying, “If I only touch His clothes, I will be healed.” At that instant, her bleeding stopped, and she sensed in her body that she was healed of her affliction.
At once Jesus was aware that power had gone out from Him. Turning to the crowd, He asked, “Who touched My clothes?”
His disciples answered, “You can see the crowd pressing in on You, and yet You ask, ‘Who touched Me?’”
But He kept looking around to see who had done this. Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him trembling in fear, and she told Him the whole truth.
“Daughter,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you; go in peace and be free of your affliction.” – Mark 5:25-34
I understand this woman’s struggle intimately. To continue to get sicker and not know what to do is a nightmare. I felt like I was a burden, a problem. People were better off without me. I read this story recently in a bible study I joined and started sobbing.
Because I get her. I understand the desperation.
That moment when you have exhausted everything you have within you and you cannot go any further. When you are down on your knees and the last thing you can grasp onto is the bottom of Jesus’ cloak.
Her faith made her well. Believing that not only could Jesus heal her but that He would is what healed her.
I don’t think she earned the healing she received but I do believe that it is impossible to please God without faith. I’m learning that the Christian life is not simply a decision you make once but a lifelong journey of daily choices to walk in faith. Sometimes they’re big choices. Where you live, who you marry. Mostly, they’re daily decisions to take one step at a time towards the bigger story. Send that email, pay that bill.
Everything we do takes faith. When we choose faith over what is known, we trust our futures to the God that knows us best.
I am understanding that I am a daughter of God as I continue to walk in faith with the God that rescues me daily.