Several months ago, my husband, Tim, and I were talking to our son, who said something that blew me away. He said, “Mom, in all my life I don’t ever remember a time that you have not been in pain.” My son is 24 years old and married with our first grandchild. My 27-year-old daughter said the same thing.
I cope with many medical conditions. Most days I wake up thinking God’s grace is sufficient no matter how much pain I am in. I say “most” days, not “all” days, because I am human and like everyone else, I still have my pity parties with God.
In November 2021 I almost died from carbon dioxide poisoning. I struggle with heart failure, my right diaphragm is paralyzed and I have had seven back surgeries. I have degenerative disk disease, which is a condition where a damaged disk causes severe nerve pain in my legs and foot, and I have had many concussions from falling.
Last summer Tim and I endured the biggest trial we have ever faced, and that is saying a tremendous amount given my background. My numbers were bad enough with my conditions to go onto hospice. My husband and I and our children prayed about this and felt that this was the right decision, so I went off my BiPAP machine, which takes the carbon dioxide out of my lungs. Our daughter came for the month of July, and our son and family came to say goodbye. My husband and I were at total peace with our decision because, like Tim told me, this was not the end; it was just the beginning of a new journey for us. Tim would work right next to me, and my daughter and son would come hug me and hold my hand.
At the end of August, a miracle took place! My heart failure numbers improved, and my carbon dioxide levels went back to normal, allowing me to “graduate” from hospice.
I still have health issues and definitely need prayer daily. I am thankful for the trials that God allows me to go through, though maybe not in the middle of them, because trials bring us closer to God.
My favorite verses are 1 Peter 5:10-11, which says, “The God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish, strengthen and support you after you have suffered a little while. To him be dominion forever. Amen.” (CSB)
These verses reminds me that no matter how much I have to suffer, God will strengthen and support me. People will ask me how I am doing on a bad day when I am experiencing Level 10 pain, and I tell them, “I am alive and well and God’s Spirit lives within me.” I don’t need to complain about my problems. I need to point everything to my Jesus because Jesus is our hope and strength. I am so thankful that I am blessed to be called a child of the one true King.
Mary Hall is a pastor’s wife, mother and grandmother. She and her husband, Tim, have been married for 28 years and live in Butterfield, Minnesota, where Tim pastors Butterfield Community Bible Church.