“Unrelenting disappointment leaves you heartsick, but a sudden good break can turn life around.” – Proverbs 13:12 (MSG)
A few years ago, I was not comfortable with the passage recorded in the Bible about the woman who had a gynecological condition that afflicted her for 12 years (Mark 5:25-34). This is because dysmenorrhea had fed me the bitter side of life. One day, when I was in pain, some lady commented sarcastically that I should “just touch the hem of His garment.”
Her comment didn’t go down well with me because I had prayed that God would take away the pain. I adjusted to a healthier lifestyle and sought medical assistance, but the pain didn’t seem to go away.
My attitude towards this special passage changed when someone in church preached it in a way that made me desire to study it for myself. First, this woman’s faith intimidated me. How did she imagine that the Messiah’s garment would have power to heal?
I wanted to have her faith, and that desire challenged me to learn from her. I admired her courage; she cared more about her healing and wasn’t bothered about culture and what people would say about her. I also love the reality that God cares about the painful experiences we go through that appear to be shameful to others.
This woman had suffered many things, but I’ll mention a few:
- Continuous bleeding for 12 years. (Physical pain)
- Was pronounced unclean. (Judged. Shamed)
- Called an outcast. (Rejected. Abandoned)
- Spent all she had on her medical care. (Bankrupt)
- The condition kept getting worse. (Hopeless)
And this is how she pressed on:
- Despite getting worse after spending much on treatment, she still wanted to heal. – Healing takes time, effort, resources, determination, and patience.
- Despite being rejected due to her condition, she still stayed connected with people and heard about the Messiah and His healing power. – Don’t allow culture to keep you from receiving healing. God will never reject you for what happened to you.
- She had a plan: to join the crowd and find her way to the Messiah’s garment. – Maintain a plan that will keep you focused on your healing journey.
- Though the crowd was dense, she persevered and persisted on her goal to find healing. – Don’t let the crowd distract you from maintaining your purpose to receive healing.
- She saw other people being attended to and finding healing. She was tempted to despair but didn’t give up. – Don’t give up when others are prospering and you’re not. Your time and turn will come.
- The Messiah honoured her faith and came closer to her when she got discouraged by the crowd. – God has noticed your efforts. He will come near you.
- She saw the opportunity and touched the hem of His garment and found healing immediately. – When the time is ripe, God will give you wisdom, energy, courage, hope and strength to make that transformational step.
- The Messiah was proud of her and even called her ‘daughter’ meaning she belonged. – You belong.
- She was grateful in her heart. – Remember to acknowledge and celebrate each progress you make, and give thanks to God.
- He honoured her faith publicly by giving her an opportunity to confess that she’s the one who had touched his cloth and was healed. – We are not to be ashamed of our stories. Share that testimony!
If God cares about our monthly cycle, what about our emotional wounds? This matters to Him so much. The Bible says, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” – Psalm 147:3 (NIV).
God knows our needs; He sees our pain and He meets us where we are. He does not stigmatize. He does not shame. He honours our little child-like faith.
Will you take the healthy risk of playing an active part in your recovery?
Faith is a daughter, a sister, an aunt and a friend. She is a children’s content creator at Learn & Grow enterprises, an artist and a public speaker. She tells her story to offer hope, help and healing to survivors of sexual abuse.