Friday, January 27, 2017

Get Up and Wash Off the Mud

“Then he anointed the man’s eyes with mud and said to him, “Go wash in the pool of Siloam. So he went and washed and came back seeing.” 

John 9:6-7

My life hasn’t gone the way I dreamed. I imagined my life would be simple and easy because I loved Jesus. I believed if I were a “good girl” and followed the rules, I would live happily ever after. Well, not so much.

My freshmen year of college I developed strange neurological issues that I tried to ignore, like shaky hands. As the years passed, my symptoms worsened. I saw many doctors, but none had an answer. I finished college and moved on, adjusting to each new issue as it arose.

I married and then experienced infertility. This was one of the hardest paths I have ever had to walk. 

Like my shaky hands, my faith was shaky too.

Dealing with my infertility seemed similar to dealing with my neurological issues. I saw many doctors. I prayed more. Things got worse. I have never doubted God as much as I did during this time.

Finally, my husband and I were blessed with two beautiful children and I am forever grateful. However, after the birth of my second child, my neurological issues intensified. Walking was hard, and I lost my balance and fell frequently. When my kids were toddlers, I underwent brain surgery. The surgeons hoped to reverse my condition, and I hoped to be cured of all my symptoms. However, nine months after the surgery, my symptoms were worse and new ones had started.

This time I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. Treatment required a monthly infusion that took all day and left me with migraines and flu-like symptoms for three days.  I was told that, because pregnancy caused my condition to progress more quickly, I shouldn't have any more children. I was devastated.

I received infusions every five weeks for four and a half years, planning my life around them. My disease defined me, and I sat on the sidelines of life, anxious when anyone asked me to do anything that required me to walk very far. I prayed constantly for healing, but my faith grew weaker when I didn’t see improvement.

In July of 2016 I was at my lowest point emotionally and physically. But God began to whisper into the dark, discouraged parts of my heart. I am good, He said. Trust me. He brought a team of people into my life as only He could do. These people inspired hope in me that God was working. Then Jim gave a message about Jesus putting mud on the blind man’s eyes and telling him to go wash it off. Then the blind man was healed.

I have heard this story many times but a new idea jumped out at me. When Jesus made the mud and put it on the man’s eyes he wasn’t instantly healed. Why did Jesus even make the mud? I wondered. He could have just spoken the words and the man would have been healed. But Jesus, after putting the mud on the man’s eyes, told him to go and wash.

The man had to make a choice. He could sit and complain that he wasn’t healed. He could have said he couldn’t go to the pool because he was blind. But, instead, the man listened to Jesus. Even though what Jesus said didn't make any sense, he trusted and did what Jesus said. 

This has become my story. As I sat on the road begging for healing, living as a victim to my circumstances God said, “Get up! Move.” 

I choose to trust God. I became invested in my healing. Emotionally and physically, I had to take action. I changed my diet. I began to go out for walks and even have started to run. I started seeing a doctor who used methods other than medication, and I saw a massage therapist who used essential oils. I started experiencing healing, not in an instant but through a journey. I have been able to stop my infusions and I am currently training for a half marathon. More importantly, my faith has exploded.

Maybe you are feeling hopeless and hiding the pain you are experiencing. Can I encourage you to listen to those whispers from God? Trust him. He is a good God. 

Don’t give up. Do what you can do. Get up and wash off the mud. And trust God, who can answer your prayers in ways that make no sense at all.

Natalie is a wife and mother. She has been an IF Local Leader for IF Gathering since it began four years ago. She helped bring the IF Gathering to the women of Flatirons Community Church! 

Visit the Flatirons Women's Ministry web page for information on the IF Conference hosted by Flatirons Community Church in February.


  1. Natalie!! Thank you for honestly sharing your journey from discouragement back to hope!

  2. Wow, what an inspirational story. Thanks Natalie for your vulnerability and honesty.

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  5. Love this Natalie! You are so brave and strong. Way to lead and point others to God.