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If you ever wonder if God can use you in your pain, in your trials, in your circumstances, let me share a story with you that shows that no matter where you are, God can turn it into a mission field and an opportunity to encourage, witness to or just be there for a person in need of a friend. We can show Jesus to them no matter what we are going through and He will use those things to help us be a blessing to others. God wants to use you in all your circumstances.
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God Wants to Use You – It Started Back in the Hospital
I found myself back in the hospital recently. I had weakness and numbness on my left side, which is the side not affected by the stroke I had.
My husband took me in to the Stroke Center and they determined it was not another stroke, so then began the long process of trying to figure out what was going on.
After multiple tests and another MRI, this time on my full spine, they found that I had “severe, severe arthritis” in my cervical spine that was constricting the nerves to my left arm (Cervical Spondylosis).
I also have previously been diagnosed with Spondylolisthesis in my lumbar spine and they determined that those vertebrae were also severely constricting nerves to my left leg. So they were able to see on imaging exactly what I was feeling!
So after a few days in the hospital we had an answer. Now to solve the problem.
Neurology determined that surgery was not the best course of action because of the risks. There are about 5 various ways to treat the problem, with surgery being number 5.
They said rehab would be best so I can get intense physical and occupational therapy, plus speech therapy for the issues remaining from the stroke.
So I would be moved to a short term rehab facility closer to home. I was at least happy about that, although not about the fact that I would likely be there for about a week.
Moving to Rehab
They had an ambulance come and pick me up at the hospital to transport me to the rehab facility. When I arrived there it had just gotten dark.
They wheeled me in and my heart just sunk. The smell was worse than the hospital. It was dark (seemed that way at the time), and lets just say everything just seemed to be bad about it. The people were nice but I was not liking being in this nursing home. I wanted to be in MY home.
I didn’t think I would ever sleep in this place but after taking my medication I was able to drift off to sleep and actually slept all night.
God Wants to Use You – Joy Comes in the Morning
The next morning, things looked a little better. It is amazing what some sunshine can do!
I got up and got washed up and felt much better. Then I pulled the curtain back from around my bed and there was my roommate, a woman who, I would later find out, was 90 years old, sitting up looking at me with a smile.
I had heard her throughout the morning, weeping a bit and saying “Why God?” So I knew she was a bit distraught about being here away from her family. I certainly relate to that part!
And I could feel it deep down; I thought “God wants to use you“!
I said “Good morning!” and she said it back.
We began talking a bit. I found out that she was 90 and has three sons. She told me about how she was from Italy and how she had always wanted to be a nun, but her father wanted her to move to the United States with him.
Then she wondered why God would “do this” to her. She had injured herself in a fall. She was pretty much healed now but she was still in physical therapy and due to go home in a couple of days.
We spoke for a while and I tried my best to encourage her by letting her know that God didn’t do this to her. She thought maybe she had done something wrong to have this happen to her. I explained to her that is definitely not the case.
God’s Presence in Your Pain – God Has a Plan and God Wants to Use You
I went on to tell her how sometimes things just happen and that some things happen because of our own free will and the decisions we make.
I explained I had a stroke. God didn’t cause my stroke, hormone replacement therapy did. I made a decision, based on poor medical advice but my decision nonetheless, to go on the therapy.
But God was most certainly with me through it all. He used (and IS using) my story to help encourage others and let them know that God does not cause their pain but He will use it!
She smiled a big smile and put her hand on her heart and said “Oh thank you! God bless you! God sent you here to me!”
That made my heart happy! It made all the complaints I had about the place, all the grumblings under my breath and all the texts I sent to my husband telling him I wanted to get out of here, worth it.
God Wants to Use You: Being Used of God For Encouraging Others
When I got here I was focused on my own comfort and my own feelings of uneasiness, and that is natural to do especially when we are going through health issues.
God wants to use you wherever you are! You see, the mission field isn’t just in another country or in another city. The mission field is any ground we step our feet onto. Encouraging others and showing God’s love and grace to others should happen wherever we go!
When I was wheeled into this place on a stretcher, it became my mission field.
God had a plan for me here. He may not have caused me to end up here but He certainly knew I would and He wanted me to use this time to not only heal myself but maybe heal someone’s faith or heal someone’s heart.
I would like to think I made this woman happy in knowing God IS with her. His Word promises that! He has not left her at the door. He is right beside her, not punishing her but healing her and loving her.
So now I say “Show me someone else I can encourage today Lord!” To be used of God is the best medicine in the world, especially for encouraging others!
And God wants to use you too!
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