Pain is the loneliest place to live in… if you don’t have the Holy Spirit by your side.

It was a normal Friday morning. I woke up, did my chores, had breakfast and did morning devotions (we call it devs) with my husband. As I was getting ready to start work, I began to feel that old, familiar sinking feeling inside. It was and always has been a response to the first signs of a migraine. That teeny tiny hint of pain in certain areas of my head or face that I know are going to explode into terrible pain. The only thing left to do is gauge how long that transition is going to take. It could be minutes to hours, but this one was escalating quickly and I ran to take a painkiller. I chose the mild one, as I always do, hoping that this time, the headache would respond and go away. At times like this, I have to go into superhuman mode to get all my work done as fast as I can before the pain reaches unbearable levels, and that’s exactly what I did. As the minutes progressed, I knew the tablet wasn’t working and the headache wasn’t going away and I could feel a step up in that sinking feeling.

They say that at the very first signs of a migraine, one must take the medicine in order to have the highest chances of recovery. Maybe I had taken the wrong tablet, I thought, instantly regretting my decision and wishing I had taken the stronger medicine meant for actual migraines (but with side effects). Now I would have to wait for hours before I could take it. Great!

I managed to push through to lunch time and was grateful for the break from my computer screen. I ate quickly and took the migraine medication. Soon, I could feel a drowsiness setting in, accompanies by dry mouth and a sort of inability to focus. There’s a reason why they say not to drive after taking this med. Going to sleep in a dark room is the best chance I could give myself for relief.

Laying in my bed dozing, head throbbing intensely to even the slightest movement, eyes shut tight to keep all the light out, I asked God for relief. Every time I would begin to fall asleep, I would feel a mosquito creep up on me and in trying to shoo it away, I would wake up. I cannot tell you how annoying this mosquito was being! The headache was so debilitating that I didn’t have the strength to even move to get the mosquito repellant cream or the bat, although both weren’t far. Let it bite!, I thought. This carried on for a bit, and I was beginning to feel hopeless. Sleep is often something that brings me relief from migraines, but here was this disturbing critter holding me back and ruining my chances.

I passed into a kind of middle place-, a sleep-wake state. I wasn’t deeply asleep, but neither was I fully awake. Somehow I was aware of being in both states simultaneously.

Next thing I remember, I could sense a prayer for relief from my migraine happening. There were no words, just knowledge that it was prayer for me and knowing I wasn’t actively praying like I would when I am awake and praying. That’s all I remember. I fell into deep sleep at that point.

Sometime later, when I woke up, the first thing I remembered was what had happened and I could immediately feel the pain recede and disappear! Like a bolt of lightning, I came to a realisation that has humbled me and prompted this testimony.

Remember when I said that I had prayed that morning with my husband? Well, he had read out the devotional for the day from the Bible app. It was based on Paul writing to the Romans acknowledging the hardships and suffering that believers were dealing with, and encouraging them with the following words:

Romans 8:26-28 MSG

Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

God’s goodness is seen in both the happy and painful moments of our lives. He works everything together for good!! Even a migraine! Gosh! I an so grateful for the Holy Spirit for being at work in my and our lives by interceding, advocating, celebrating and grieving with us. What a guarantee, and what a lonely life without Him!

I would like to share the devotional I have mentioned:

This Teaching Clip is based on Romans 8:28 by John Piper – Desiring God:”

Over the years, I have found that the deepest and most profound revelations of God to me have been while I have been in pain, like this one. On this day, it became very apparent to me that God was teaching me something vital for my everyday walk with him, something to know until my last breath. I realised that this wonderful and incomparable God who I worship and adore, who knows every detail of my life before it occurs, knew that I would be having a migraine that day, and knew that the ‘Verse of the Day’ from the Bible app that my husband would suddenly choose to read would be the very lesson He would so practically show me a few hours later!

As I lay in my bed, literally groaning in pain, unable to get the rest I needed, wondering what kind of faith I needed to have to see healing happen, the Holy Spirit had taken over, praying for me through my groans, keeping me present before God and asking for my healing. The Holy Spirit who dwells in me, the Helper who transcends all states of being and worlds was right there by my side, seeing me suffer, feeling my pain and taking over when I could no longer bear it. The comfort in this knowledge is so much greater than the human comfort we might feel from a loved one when we are in need. One might think that a mother, father, sibling, grandparent or best friend might bring comfort when we need it the most, and they do, but this is next level. It is superior in every way, and brings a sense of identity and belonging that has so much more worth that anything we could ever get from this world.

This has been a new level of God’s revelation of Himself to me, dear Reader, and as I think about you and wonder if you too might be going through the pain and struggles of life, I hope with all my heart that you are not alone, but know of ‘the Helper’ – the Holy Spirit who is for everyone who by faith follows Jesus wholeheartedly. If you have been suffering alone, I want to leave this with you.