Blog by Liz Rooney
“Come on honey, you can do it,” my husband encouraged as he sat me up and massaged my arms and legs. He picked me up out of bed like a ragdoll and held me up until my body grew strong enough to stand on its own. Once again, he had come home on his lunch break to find me still in bed.
He helped me to the bathroom where there was already a chair waiting. After brushing my teeth, I sat in the chair and stared at the wall for 15 minutes before I realized what I was doing, then shuffled to my closet as if carrying an extra hundred pounds. Overwhelmed at the complexity of dressing myself, I just stood there staring until my legs buckled and I spent another 10 minutes or so lying on the floor. Eventually I found some jeans, put on a t-shirt and flip flops, and drove to work in a daze, 3 hours late, again.
Everyday was pure survival, I was a walking zombie. The harder I tried to push through tasks, the harder I collapsed. My husband would just put a pillow under my head and there I’d be on the floor, wondering what was happening to me.
I was an honor student and state champion athlete; the “tough girl” who would even compete with pneumonia. Yet, here I was at 25, unable to get myself out of bed, or understand and follow simple directions. I’d had a considerable amount of health challenges before and was able to push through pain, nausea, etc… But this was different. I couldn’t force my body to move when it refused.
“You have a problem”, my neurologist said as he looked over my sleep latency test results. “You have narcolepsy. You were born with it and it’s incurable. You’ll need to take these meds to cope.”
Wonderful. Another “incurable” condition I can add to the list that doctors had been giving me for years. I had been labelled with more disorders and syndromes than I could even recall, but in my spirit I knew not to accept this one either.
Another Sunday, another healing altar call, another disappointment.
I prayed for others and watched others get healed,
and I got….
But I held onto that Rhema word God spoke to me one desperate night. He said, “I am going to heal you and use science, but I get the glory.”
Often, God uses science, but people give credit to the Doctor or to science itself instead of the very One who made science and designed every intricate detail of it for us to heal.
I started researching my symptoms and even ordered my own lab testing online. Some would warn against this, and I understand why. You can Google a hangnail, and before you know it, you have 6 months to live. But, when you’re as sick as I was, you don’t fear anything. There’s no energy for fear, and what’s the big deal about death when you can’t live much of a life anyway? When every doctor you have seen has given up on you because your situation is too complicated, or worse, suggested your illness was “all in your head,” you keep searching. Even if you’re the only one who believes there is still hope.
It was around this time when Holly Wagner spoke at Devoted Conference (Wave Church) and referenced Proverbs 31:15 “She rises while it is yet night…” (ESV) I hid those words in my heart for years.
I kept educating myself about healing, spirit, soul, and body. Oddly enough, it seemed I could help others with everything I was learning, but yet, I was still sick. I was no longer able to work and medical expenses were piling up. At times, I felt like a helpless burden and I felt sorry for my husband that he ever married me. There were long periods, I would only leave the house a couple times for church, meetings, or medical appointments. I would try to attend social events, but the energy it took to appear “normal” and keep up with others would leave me in bed for days afterwards. Besides, listening to the conversations of my peers would only intensify the loneliness I felt. I would try to smile and act interested in people’s favorite TV shows, houses, or where they were going on vacation, but when you’re just fighting for the courage to keep living each day, all of that stuff seems so trivial. I had stored answers for when people asked me how I was and what was new. “Great! You know, the usual.” They didn’t have to know that “usual” meant I was throwing up all last night, and just sold my bedroom furniture to pay for another blood test.
When I look back, I call those the “dark years” but God used that time to do a work in me that I wouldn’t trade for anything.
He taught me how to love myself, and others unconditionally, and not base that love on performance.
I learned to watch my confession, to never let sickness define me, and to be careful who I told about my situation, because of the power of their spoken words.
Healing confession audios helped me speak healing over my life, and I really learned how to renew my mind on the Word of God and pray continually.
Most of all, I died to myself. I finally got to the point where I had nothing left and gave God my ashes to do with what He wanted.
In January 2014, my husband and I were asked to host a Chief Research Scientist at a conference. We knew this was not by coincidence, so I seized the opportunity to ask him questions. He took a special interest in my case and told me to send him the results for the tests I ordered, then he put me on a special diet to correct the imbalances. I saw drastic results which gave me the courage to start searching for a doctor that could help me put all of the pieces together.
[CHECK BACK WITH US NEXT WEEK FOR PART 2 OF LIZ’S BLOG]