I. Hate. Migraines. Period.
Can anyone else relate? Do you struggle with a recurring physical issue that causes pain and allows you to think of nothing else in the midst of its attacks? I have battled migraines since I was in college, and it seems like everything instigates them! Sinus problems. Female issues. Certain foods and smells. Stress. Everything! As soon as I feel the nausea in my stomach, tenseness in my neck, and blurry vision, I know that a migraine is coming. It’s a depressing feeling knowing that a migraine will plague me for the rest of the day. Not fun!
Last Thursday, I had a migraine as soon as I woke up. As I was heading to work, I prayed that the Lord would take it away and allow me to finish out my workday strong, even with the terrible pounding in my head and nausea in my stomach. Throughout the day, my head went from bad to much worse. I teach first grade, and while I absolutely LOVE my kids, they can be a little loud and high maintenance at times! When I have a headache, I just want a quiet, dark, and cool room. As you can imagine, that is not possible while teaching six and seven year olds! They can usually tell when I have a migraine, and some of them really try to be sensitive to that. I can hear them shushing their friends to try to help me.
While we were doing Math, one sweet girl said, “Mrs. Cochran, do you have a headache?” I said, “Yes, I do, but it’s ok.” The student responded with, “Well, I’m gonna pray for you before bed tonight!” What a sweetheart!
After lunch, I had the same conversation with a different sweet girl. Although my headache had not gone away, I was so blessed that two of my girls knew that prayer was the answer, and they were kind enough to tell me that they would pray. About an hour later, the second girl approached my desk, and said, “Mrs. Cochran, can I just pray for you right now?” Of course, I said she could. She proceeded to pray aloud for me right then at my desk, that God would heal my headache so that I could feel better. I was brought to tears!
Later that evening at home, my head was still pounding. I asked Riley Grace for a hug when I got home. She said, “OK! And a little baby kiss, too?” I took the kiss, and cried. Patrick took care of Riley Grace, while I laid on the couch with a cool rag, attempting to rest. This was the third reminder for me that day that God loves me and could use even little children to show me that He cares for me and hears me. While my headache did not go away until the next morning, I went to bed that night with a heart that was overwhelmed and overflowing with thankfulness. In the midst of pain, God brought sweet and tender reminders of his love, faithfulness, care, and goodness. 2 prayers and a little baby kiss reminded me of that!
(Side Note: The children around you, whether your own children or those you have the opportunity to pour into, are watching and learning from you! My two sweet students would not have thought to pray for me if they had not been taught to do so. Train your children up in the way of the Lord! Show them a godly response in the midst of a trial. Show love to others in front of them so that they can see your compassion. Turn to prayer as a first resort so that they can see dedication to prayer lived out in your life. Praise God in the midst of difficulties so that they can learn that difficulties are not to blamed on God, but rather we are to turn to Him in the midst of those trials. I’m so thankful for my students, and I emailed 2 proud parents later on that night reporting their sweet girls’ prayerfulness for me. J )
- REMEMBER: Take time to remember instances where God heard you, cared for you, was tender with you, and sent someone or something your way to remind you of His faithfulness even in the midst of your physical, emotional, or spiritual pain or unrest. Even though the painful times are not fun, we can see God at work in those times if we look for Him! Your painful experience may be an aggravating and painful illness or it may be a devastating loss of a loved one, but whatever the magnitude of the situation, God is faithful to you and He loves you. In His wisdom, He has allowed the trial to come, but He will love you and guide you through it, and send you sweet reminders of His faithfulness along the way!
- PRAISE: Praise the Lord for how He cares for you. Take time to thank Him for the times that you have seen and felt Him even in the midst of difficult circumstances. Thank Him for being a personal God who cares about the needs of every one of His people, including you!
- READ: Isaiah 26:3-4 – “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because He trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.” As this verse explains, in order to have a mind that is at peace in the midst of trials and pain, we must keep our minds on Him. We must trust in His sovereignty. I would LOVE to have a mind that is in perfect peace instead of one filled with doubt, stress, anxiety, and depression! How can I do that? By keeping my mind on the Lord! Saturate your mind with the Word. Surround yourself with godly things – music, people, books, etc. Focus on Him rather than the circumstances. Remind yourself of His faithfulness through the stories found in Scripture. Look UP!
- PRAY: Pray that the Lord will give you eyes to see the “big picture,” and that even while you are walking through a valley, you will be able to praise Him and bring Him glory through your response. Pray that your mind will stay on Him and your heart will trust Him even when things don’t make sense. Ask Him to help you notice the small, sweet reminders of His love. Also, pray that He will use you to reach out to others. You may never know what a simple prayer, kind word, or short Bible verse will do for someone who is in pain. I’m sure my girls didn’t know how much their prayers would mean, but they prayed for me anyway!
My prayer is that you may be able to visibly see, audibly hear, and tangibly feel the Lord’s hand in the midst of the trials and struggles you may be facing, as well as in the joyous and prosperous times. May we look for His handiwork. May we allow the Lord to use us to bring healing and blessing to those around us who are hurting. And may we give Him glory for being such a sovereign, powerful, and great God, while also being immensely loving and personal!