Searching for Hope in the Wilderness of Sickness & Unhealthy Living

Written by: Sherisse M. Butler


Isaiah 43: 18 – 19

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?                                  I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland.”

If you have ever been sick for a long period of time, then this message is especially for you. I’m talking I days in a raggedy hospital bed, pain wreaking havoc in your body (and mind), nausea, vomitting, burning, dizziness. A never ending cycle of unexplained symptom and a quest for the mysterious ever-evading solution. That was once my story.

June 25, 2009 recovering from my second inguinal hernia repair, I lay overly medicated on a Fentanyl patch and some kind of narcotic analgesic for breakthrough pain. Alone in my NYC apartment, I began to have an asthma attack. However, my fear of another night’s rest in hospital delayed my call for help. I waited until a call to Columbia University’s CAVA was imperative. I was ashamedly a frequent flyer over at St. Luke’s E.R. This time I had to stay…nearly one week!

I can see her face vividly. I recall begging that I not be intubated! “I have no family here in NY to make medical decisions for me…whatever you must do steroids, 24/7 oxygen, anything but going under.” I couldn’t breathe, Michael Jackson had just died, gargantuous amount of steroids and pain killers flooded my body and I had no clue how I would ever be “well” again.

My pastor at the time came to visit, and I remember that we prayed. We had sought out new physicians and had believed God for a “new thing.” Praying for full recovery and healing is this weird process when you are in the midst of physical, emotional and psychological illness. There is this internal faith thing that fights and believes there will be a better day. But, there is also the existential reality of feeling like HELL! The reality of the burning and tingling, nausea and depression accompanied by constant wheezing. It feels like a whirlwind.

The amazing miraculous thing is that day after day, sunrise after sunrise, tiny bits of relief arise. The dark isn’t so gloomy, the pain isn’t so bad. Suddenly, I’m breathing deeper. The exile of illness has been overcome with a new thing called health! Overtime, healing and wellness bursts through wastelands and desserts of infirmity. Those quiet, tear-filled prayers for a new day have been answered. Night is over and healing has arrived!

Thank You LORD for a New Day, Thank You LORD for a New Week, Thank you LORD for a New Year,

Thank You CREATOR GOD for a New Opportunity to live Purposefully  & Abundantly!

Thank You God for Fresh Ideas & Perspectives! Thank you God for renewed hope, revitalized strength!  Thank you God that I am made new in YOU!

As I embark upon this new journey, Heavenly Father, I pray for direction for MY new path. Gracious God, guide my intent, focus, direction & actions–that they be in alignment with your Divine Will for MY LIFE! My earnest desire is to be whole, healthy, healed and fully and completely restored in You! Your joy strengthens, Your stripes healed and my faith today has made me whole.

Thank you GOD for clarity!

Thank you GOD for contentment!

Thank you GOD for direction!   

Thank you GOD for discernment!

Thank you GOD for deliverance!

Thank you GOD for MY JOURNEY to wellness, healing, strength!

In your name, AMEN.



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