Late in my teenage years I was hit by several traumas over the period of about one and a half years. I got to the point where I was so sick of being sad that I just went numb. I couldn’t feel anything, no joy, no sorrow, no pain, no anger. I was unable to maintain the few friendships I had and I barely saw my own family members. I couldn’t cry or scream, it was like I was living in a monochromatic world and everything was just grey.

It is a period of my life that stands out in such sharp clarity for me because I never want to experience such numbness ever again. Today though, it helps me weather the storms and traumas that I experience because feeling anything, even pain and sorrow, is better than feeling nothing. I look back at those teenage traumas and honestly, they seemed world shattering at the time. Looking back at them though, I see how God has used them in the lives of myself and the others affected by them. Great things have grown from the brokenness of my teenage world shattering. I thank God that He set in my young mind the resolve to wait and see the good that can come from brokenness. When it seems like my world is shattering, I remember that God can use this; and I feel the desire to see what the future holds.

Because of my past I have adopted a certain amount of thoughtfulness about difficulties; I often find myself not only looking for the positivity in them but also the lessons. What is God teaching me in my pain? What lessons does God want me to learn and keep so that I might help someone later? What is this adding to my testimony so I can speak about how good God has been to me? How is God loving me through my hardest times?

Recently I have been reflecting on praying for healing for my MS, such as full healing so that I feel normal and never experience complications, not to mention the degeneration that MS can bring. I am hesitant to pray for this healing because already my diagnosis and the physical limitations have already brought me closer to God as I lean on Him and acknowledge just how much I need Him. I feel that if I didn’t have this daily reminder I would start to drift away again. Sometimes, I thank God for the pain and sorrow because as sure as a bit in a horse’s mouth it turns my face back to Him. It breaks down the walls that I build to protect myself from God when God is the only protection I need.

I’m a great wall builder, just as surely as Adam and Eve made clothes to protect themselves from God, I regularly build walls. Even when I don’t realise I am doing it, I build walls to compartmentalize my life, to hide away parts of my life that I don’t want God working in. I then try to distract Him by pointing at other parts of my life that I am okay with Him working in. All the while trying to protect the most sensitive parts of my life behind the walls I’ve built. In times of pain though, when I am physically and/or mentally brought to my knees, those walls don’t exist, they crumble in an instant. In an instant God becomes “El Roi”, the God who sees me, because all of me is laid bare before Him.

Until I learn how to not build walls to guard myself against God’s plan for me, rather than healing, I pray that He keeps using my MS and my human physical limitations to bring me to my knees and pull my face back to Him.

By: Brenna Meade

She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me (El Roi),” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” – Genesis 16:13

Song Recommendation: I Am They – Scars