Almost exactly one year ago, my skin condition had its worst flare up. I’m going to leave the before and after images at the end of this post, so I’ve warned you. I’ve been meaning to post this for kind of a while but I figured now was the perfect time as we are beginning a new year and I want to go into this year praying for a lot more miracles. This was by far a huge highlight of 2017 for me. You can read more about me wrestling with the whys and hows of supernatural healing here.
Long story short, I was injected with a potent steroid. It cleared my skin, and then a month later my eczema came back with a vengeance. I was afraid of trying any of the other steroids my doctors wanted to give me after that. So, I tried every diet on the internet. I read every article about eczema. It seemed like everything that seemed to work for other people, like coconut oil and going vegan didn’t work for me. We could go on and on talking about the treatments for eczema and debating the pros and cons of steroid creams and everything I tried that didn’t work.
But underneath it all lied the real disease: I didn’t believe I could get better. I believed that God wished eczema on me to teach me something or keep me humble for whatever reason. This isn’t a story about magically finding a cure for eczema, but realizing that I was worth it. That God loved me enough to want to heal me.
Tuesday, July 25th
Sunday. Sunday was an insane day. It was insane, and long, and powerful.
The leaders were sharing testimonies about supernatural healing. They were crazy. But Brittany’s really struck me. She used to have lupus. She was in and out of Bethel prayer rooms until one day her dad had a dream that someone stole 50 bucks from him at an airport. He was able to get 30 dollars back. When he woke up, he heard God tell him, “It is finished. Take her back to the doctor’s to run the tests.” So they did, and lupus was gone from her system.
But what about the other 20 dollars? Brit was saying that she still struggles with autoimmune diseases every day. She said she gets so frustrated with them sometimes that she will bang her fists on her steering wheel. However, she believes that God healed her before, and will heal her again.
Afterwards, I went up to her and was like, “Hey, I have an autoimmune disease too!”
“Really? Which one?”
“I used to have that one too!”
“Yeah, God healed me.” I nodded, slowly.
“Where do you have it?” She asked me.
“Like everywhere.” She couldn’t see it, until I pointed it out.
“Oh yeah, that’s eczema. Does it make you insecure?”
“No, I get it.” She looked at me straight in the eye, and I could feel her empathy.
“Well, can I pray for you?” She asked.
In the next instant, she had her arms around me. She prayed in a way I’d never thought to pray before. She approached God with such confidence, saying things like, “A thousand years ago you paid the price so we wouldn’t have to live with sickness anymore,” and commanded God to heal me.
At this point, I was crying.
“We are going to keep praying for you until the eczema is gone.”
“I just, I just don’t know if I believe it.”
“Well, you have my number. So whenever you’re having a hard time believing it, just text me.”
“That’s why I asked about Paul’s thorn. I’ve always believed it was something I needed to accept and learn to deal with.”
“No, I guarantee you, God doesn’t want you to have eczema.”
And I wanted to ask her how she knew, but I knew the answer. Because atonement. Because God doesn’t intentionally inflict pain on us. Because people who told me he did for a greater good were wrong. No, it pains Him deeply to watch me suffer. And I wanted to ask her why it hadn’t happened yet, but I knew the answer to that too. I never in my life prayed expecting God to heal me. I always prayed for the strength to live with something I was never supposed to live with.
I had only scratched the surface. I left youth group that day with so many questions. I tried to believe that God healed Brit of lupus and would definitely heal me. Except Lisa Bevere said, “You will never know God’s will for your life by looking at someone else’s.”
After church, we went to a pool party at my friend’s grandparents’ house. I wasn’t supposed to swim because of my skin condition, but I did anyways.
My friend’s grandma, Leslie, made me a smoothie because I was the “gluten free, dairy free” girl. We ended up talking a little bit.
“How long have you been going to Jesus Culture?” She asked me.
“Like a month.”
And we talked about churches and leading worship and how JC challenges us. Leslie went to a church close to where I live. Small world.
It was time to go back for the Healing Night of Worship. I saw Leslie walking down the hill.
“Leslie!” I said. She embraced me.
“My gosh. You are such a sweetheart. Dry skin and food intolerances, Jesus paid the price all those years ago so you wouldn’t have to live with them.”
She embraced me again, and said, “God will heal you and make you whole again.”
She took my hands in hers.
“I hope so,” I breathed.
“Hope? I think he already has healed you. So I’m expecting to hear a good report when I see you again.”
Kelly, her daughter/my driver walked by.
“Kelly, I think I’m going to take this one and keep her,” she said.
“I don’t mind,” I said, laughing.
A thousand double chin snap-chats from the car ride later, we arrived at the worship night. Matt Brock from Elevation was leading it and they had reserved us seats.
Walking around these walls
I thought by now they’d fall
But you have never failed me yet.
I’ve seen you move
You move the mountains
And I believe
I’ll see you do it again
You made a way
Where there was no way
And I believe
I’ll see you do it again…
And we sang
A miracle can happen now
for the spirit of the Lord is here…
Leaders came onto the stage. They were naming conditions, asking people to stand if they had them. When they said, “auto-immune diseases,” I stood. It was interesting standing, as all of these people saw me so happy today but had no idea what I was really going through. Across the auditorium, I saw Brit standing.
As they kept listing things, more and more people stood. It was comforting in itself, as we were all believers, struggling, hoping for the same thing.
Matt Brock even listed mental illnesses. “Bi-polar disorder runs in my family,” he said, “but it doesn’t exist in the kingdom of heaven.” Cheers erupted in the audience through every illness he commanded the Holy Spirit to have power over.
Then, people around me were praying for me. Healing exploded all around the room. The girl sitting 2 seats from me did not have scoliosis anymore. People’s pain disappeared. But my skin remained the same.
So they kept praying, and praying. “Now is the time to check things. Move around and see if you are healed,” he said.
“It’s still there,” I told my friend, Anna.
“Sometimes it doesn’t happen immediately,” Anna said. And they prayed again.
“Lea I got chills all down my spine praying for you,” she said.
It was a powerful night. I was finally starting to believe the lyrics on the screen when we sang them in closing.
I almost laughed the next morning when I woke up and still had eczema. But it didn’t bother me. God would heal me. I didn’t know how, or why, or when, but I knew he would.
2 worship nights later, my eczema was under control. I am in no way completely healed, but I can say that I eat whatever I want now, and that is still a miracle.
On the far right of this screen shot is my mentor LeeAnn and her baby, and next to her is me. It was a week after this worship night that I was wondering why my skin looked so good, and then realized I probably got healed.
Some good things that have come from this: It made me really want to become a doctor. Like I said, my eczema isn’t gone, it’s just under control. It comes back when I pet something I’m allergic to or use a cream I’m sensitive to or when I get really stressed out. But because having this all over my body (and face at one point) was so difficult for me, and I know people who have had it far worse, it is my dream to cure this. I used to wonder why doctors existed if people could just get supernaturally healed, but God uses everything right?
It has stirred up questions in me that I never even knew I had. I don’t understand supernatural healing. I don’t understand God’s role in suffering. But I do know that God is good, and wondering why we aren’t healed yet is the wrong question to ask as we are called to just keep praying.
So we keep praying, and praying, and praying. Maybe you need a breakthrough in your life. We use the term breakthrough to describe anything that only God can do. So maybe step out in faith and pray for that thing that seems impossible. You don’t have to understand how it happens in order for it to happen. You don’t have to go to a worship night to get healed. You just have to pray believing that He can.
January, 2017. This was taken after starting to try diets and stuff. I didn’t take a pictures of my face or neck because I was so insecure about it, but I wish I did.
November 11th, 2017
Pray till your breakthrough breaks through the ceiling and keep on believing. Don’t you ever give up on a miracle.
Comment below any questions you have for me, or any miracles you want to happen in 2018. =)
I am still praying for complete healing from allergies in general. Like, I want to be able to pet all dogs and cats, not just hypoallergenic ones like poodles.