Did I have a stroke? What happened to the left side of my face?
Those are the two questions I had looking into the mirror twelve years ago. Strangely the answers seemed unimportant; even though, my left eye wouldn’t blink, the side of my face slumped and my speech was slurred.
After enduring eight months of pregnancy, nothing rattled me. Through my own previous experience, and unsolicited advice from my friends, I understood the body does unexpected things while you’re pregnant. Since I had a regular OB-GYN appointment in an hour, I went about my day.
“Well, it looks like you have a good case of Bell’s palsy,” Dr Welch said flatly from across the room. In short staccato sentences he explained the sheath around the cranial nerve was inflamed, causing the left side of my face to suffer a temporary paralysis. He went on to say that pregnant women are three times more likely to have this happen, and that after a large dose of anti-inflammatory medicine, most people have a full recovery.
I spent the next week finding out what my life was going to be like if it didn’t heal. At the grocery store I got side glances from strangers. With a crooked smile, I felt like the pregnant Joker. But this was no joke.
The next Sunday, after our precious Julia was born, we ventured off to church. I was desperate to connect with God and to have Him heal me. On the way out I picked up a small devotional booklet, Our Daily Bread. The following morning I opened the booklet. The Scripture verse for day one was “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13 ESV).
In my mind I cried out, “God, if I knew where to find You, I wouldn’t be looking for You!”
Several weeks later in the early afternoon I sneaked out of my oldest daughter’s day bed after she finally went down for a nap. Unbelievably both my young girls were asleep. Kneeling on the living room floor I finally came to the end of me, yelling, “God, where are You? Why have You left me? Why did You do this to me?”
At that moment the most wonderful peace enveloped me. I heard God whisper to my heart, “I never left you. I love you.” Tears poured out of me like a flood. My heart softened and for the first time I let Jesus fully have my life. It was only then that I saw why God had allowed my face to be split. It’s because that’s how I had been coming to Him, with only half my heart.
Now, it's my privilege to share my story with women, so they too can experience the blessing of coming to Him with their whole heart.