We saw in “The Golden Rule of Healing” that all healing takes place from the inside out. In other words, the healing process begins in our minds.
In today’s post I want to share with you my own personal experience of healing and what I’ve come to learn about the healing process.
The story begins three and a half years ago, during the winter of 2016. I felt extremely ill. I couldn’t keep my body warm, my hands would shake when I would eat or drink, I was constantly tired, and I vomited on a daily basis. After several days of agony, I went to my doctor who ordered some blood tests. That same evening I received a call from the physician on duty who said,
“Get yourself to a hospital immediately. You’re severely anemic and require a blood transfusion.”
How did this happen? The diagnosis arrived shortly thereafter. I had suffered an obstruction and had developed kidney failure.
After a one-week stay in the hospital to re-establish electrolyte balance and begin dialysis treatments, I was released. My previous symptoms had disappeared thanks to a couple of blood transfusions, dialysis treatments, and plenty of bed rest. But my kidneys had not regained their function. My doctors hoped that since my kidney failure was caused by an obstruction, another two weeks of dialysis might be all I would need to regain kidney function.
The test came a few weeks later, in the form of a 24 hour urine collection to determine whether my kidneys had regained their function. During a dialysis treatment while the collection was being analyzed, I heard a voice deep within me say,
“It won’t be so bad if you have to stay on dialysis for awhile. Look at it this way: You and I will be able to spend a lot more time together.”
As it turned out, my Inner Voice (whom I also refer to as God) was correct. A few days later, the test results came back and showed that I was going to continue to require dialysis to stay alive for an indefinite period of time. I was officially diagnosed with chronic kidney disease and became a long-term dialysis patient with three weekly treatments lasting three and a half hours each.
From the beginning, I made up my mind to use my treatment time wisely. I wasted no time in asking God for healing. That request started me on a journey I could never have imagined. Although chronic kidney disease has no known cure, I knew God could heal me if He wanted to. As Jesus said,
“With God, all things are possible.” [Matthew 19:26].
The problem was that when I asked for healing, I didn’t really know what I was asking for and my Inner Voice knew that. So He set out to teach me.
The first thing I came to learn was that I needed the quiet time that nearly 12 hours per week in dialysis would provide to concentrate on the adjustments to my thinking necessary to initiate the healing process. In the stillness, I sought out my Inner Voice; I needed it to teach me in order to heal. From the outset, my Inner Voice instilled in me the importance of viewing my circumstances from a positive perspective. With that disposition fixed firmly in place, I spent the bulk of my treatment periods reading books and writing down new revelations as they occurred to me.
One day during treatment, a young dialysis technician saw me busily writing down my thoughts and said to me,
“You know, you should write a blog. You could help people.”
Those words, my friend, were the inspiration for the blog you are now reading. So I continued to vigorously read and write.
As time passed, my thinking became transformed. One of the key
principles I learned was that when you request healing, you must believe wholeheartedly that you will receive what you have asked for. As Jesus said,
“Keep on asking and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on
seeking and you will find. Keep on knocking and the door will be
opened to you. For everyone who asks receives. Everyone who
seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
“You parents – if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give
them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a
snake? Of course not!…how much more will your heavenly Father
give good gifts to those who ask him.” [Matthew 7:7-11] (NLT)
Needless to say, to be healed of a serious illness is a good gift to request, and I believed that I would receive my healing. But the healing work of my Inner Voice was still in process. There were more areas of distress in my life that needed to be removed so healing could progress.
The kidney failure was the direct cause of my needing dialysis, but the underlying causes had to do with other parts of my life that also needed healing. At the onset of my illness, I was operating a financially struggling business and had retained considerable bitter feelings toward a bad marriage that ended in divorce a year and a half earlier. To say the least, I was in an unhealthy emotional state that I believe significantly contributed to the manifestation of kidney failure in my body.
Healing my kidneys was going to require first healing my emotional state, and one obvious part of that process was to heal these unbalanced parts of my life. From a practical point of view, I started by addressing the financial challenges that had arisen from my being on dialysis and being unable to work full time.
I also needed to forgive and forget my own past failures and those of others. The past no longer exists; the only time that exists is the present moment. I needed to forgive myself for ignoring medical advice, which contributed to my kidney failure. I needed to forgive the events of my previous marriage and the failure of some of my customers to pay me for services rendered. I learned that when you don’t forgive, you become a prisoner of your past. Let the past go and be free. Forgive yourself and others.
The transformation in my thinking progressed through reading, quiet reflection, opening myself to the teachings of my Inner Voice, and forgiveness. As time passed, I even became more receptive to becoming involved in an intimate loving relationship again. I remember where I was when I opened myself to the possibility of finding love: I was on my way to a dance in Westford, MA where I unexpectedly met for the first time the woman who has since become my partner, lover, and best friend.
So, to recap, my thinking had changed, my faith was deepening, my financial problems were being resolved, and I found love again. All of these conditions were necessary to set the stage for what happened next.
About six months ago, I noticed some changes in the character, color, and odor of my urine. I mentioned this to my partner, who is a teacher, scientist, and avid researcher. She immediately went to work researching the potential for people with chronic kidney disease to recover kidney function while on dialysis. In fact, it turns out that a small percentage of dialysis patients do recover kidney function sufficiently to come off dialysis. Encouraged both by what I saw and my partner’s research, I asked my nephrologist (kidney specialist) to do another 24 hour urine collection similar to the one I did initially three years before. He consented.
The results of the test came back a few days later showing that I potentially had recovered enough of my kidney function to come off of dialysis. My nephrologist wanted to be certain, so he instructed me to take a week off from dialysis and take another 24 hour collection at the end of that week. The results of the second test yielded even greater improvement than the one the week before. Finally, on Friday, March 1st of this year, I received a call from the dialysis center where I was being treated. They told me not to come in for treatment. I no longer needed dialysis to stay alive.
At the time of this writing, I have been dialysis-free for four and a half months. During this time, the creatinine level in my blood has continued to drop, indicating that my kidney function continues to improve. I see my recovery to date as an outward manifestation of the inward healing that had already taken place.
Three and a half years ago, I saw my health struggles as a problem.
However, in the process of healing I have come to understand that bad things happen in order to point us toward the good. In fact, the past three and a half years have proved to be a wonderful and transformative experience.
I could say that my kidney failure was a wake-up call, but it was my Inner Voice that actually woke me up. From the time He prepared me for the inevitable, I could sense new life springing forth. All I had to do was acknowledge and accept what He said. Once I did that, He visibly orchestrated the conditions that would bring about my healing: quiet time wisely spent, a willingness to seek out and learn from my Inner Voice, forgiving myself and others, the giving and receiving of love, and the belief that bad things offer a pathway to the good.
From a physical perspective, I still live with the effects of chronic kidney disease. My blood and urine tests show that my kidneys are weak, but good enough that I don’t require dialysis. But in my mind and in my heart I am certain that my healing is a done deal. For this is what it means to exercise faith.
“Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives assurance about things we cannot see” [Hebrews 11:1] (NLT)
In other words, the proof that my kidneys will ultimately exhibit normal function again is the inward faith that I possess. And that inward faith is a gift that not only I but all human beings possess because it emanates from the Inner Voice that dwells deep within all of us. For God, our Inner Voice, is the source of all healing. That is why all healing takes place from the inside out.
“He said, ‘If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.” [Exodus 15:26] (NIV)