Waiting to be Called Daughter
One sheep, two sheep, three sheep…
If only the monotonous exercise of counting fluffy, white barn animals always lulled us into a deep sleep. I once counted 12,559 sheep without as much as a blink. Several years ago, I suffered from insomnia. It was a debilitating side effect of medicine intended to treat a recent mental illness diagnosis.
I would daydream of sleep, yawning as the sunlit hours went by, only to spend another night in a restless state. Anxiety gripped my chest as I laid my head on the pillow, fearing, what else? But the inability to go to sleep. And here’s the kicker, if I didn’t sleep, it could trigger the very condition the medicine tried to remedy.
Talk about a double-edged sword!
My preacher once said, “I like to pray with desperate people the most because they need God more than anything else.” He would have loved my company as I spent many hours on my knees, head pressed against the side of the bed with no words – only tears bouncing off the tile. But, it was the hopelessness and despair that became the ultimate gateway to my Father.
Exhausted – I frantically turned to more doctors, therapy, and acupuncture. Any attempt to find a cure, but I was left empty-handed and hanging by a thread – like the woman we see in Mark 5:25-34.
The scene jumps out of the pages like a slow-motion touchdown replay. I can only imagine the thoughts of the hemorrhaging woman as she pushed her way through the crowd, reaching for the fringe of His garment. Twelve years of uncleanliness and isolation – years and money spent seeing doctors and only growing worse – led to the rash, last-ditch attempt born out of a combination of fear and faith.
She scores, and the crowd cheers! The umpire holds up his arms, as Jesus proclaims in Mark 5:34, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
Not only is there a strong parallel between my journey and the unnamed woman’s story of healing, but we both needed something more than physical restoration. We needed to be called Daughter. With that word, shame was shed, the loneliness turned into belonging, stigma was broke, and doubt turned into conviction.
In an ironic twist, the disease that I inherited from my earthly dad, with who I had little connection, brought to light the hidden longing to have a relationship with a Father. A desire I didn’t know existed until I couldn’t sleep.
Sister, I don’t know how long you have battled your illness or cared for a sick loved one, but I understand the agony of the waiting, the constant worry, and the desperation for a miracle. Recovery doesn’t always look like we wish, and sometimes we have to let go of this notion to make ourselves whole. Beyond physical healing – intimacy, acceptance, and the touch of Jesus can mend our suffering hearts and give us peace.
Dear Heavenly Father, Help me rely on more than just sheep and worldly remedies to heal my physical and spiritual weaknesses. Remind me that you are the only One who can take away my suffering, grant me freedom, and fill me with the strength to endure. Gently lead me to trust in you, especially when my doubt is significant. Let me turn my worry into worship and take comfort in knowing there is nothing in my life that you don’t already have in your care. Lay your hands on me as you grant me rest tonight. Amen.