Since I was a young girl, I have struggled with a disorder called Trichotillomania, or TTM. TTM is a disorder that centers around compulsive behavior that caused me to pull out my eyelashes and the hair on my head.
When I was only nine years old, I had pulled out so much of my hair that I had bald spots on my head as big as my hand. By the sixth grade, my mom had to shave my head and I had to wear a wig everywhere I went.
Once I was diagnosed, I started to believe I was worthless.
I always felt embarrassed about my disorder, but I couldn’t figure out how to stop it. I remember one day at school as a little girl, I was in the bathroom and I cried out to God and asked him to take my disease away from me; that's when he spoke to me and told me I would help people some day.
I wasn't sure what he meant by that at the time, and I still felt a lot of resentment towards God for letting me live with this disorder that made me feel so ashamed.
A First-Hand Miracle
When I got older, I was in respiratory school, and we had a patient who was brain dead and had no hope for survival. While I was in the room with the patient, God spoke to me and asked me to pray for that man.
I was confused because medically, he was already dead, so there was no possibility that he would live. I also knew that praying over patients wasn't exactly appropriate in my line of work. But, I remembered that God told me I would help people, so I prayed.
God's presence filled the hospital room and I felt him like I never had before. I had both of my hands on the patient, who had an intubation tube in his throat.
As I was praying, I could feel the man moving beneath my hands.
This man began to heal right before my eyes. I told the man's father that God healed his son; God has raised that man from the dead.
Why Not Me?
To be honest, it was difficult for me to watch as someone else was healed, but I still had my disease. I asked God why he didn't heal me. I reminded God that I had been praying for years, asking him to heal my sickness in the midst of hopelessness, but I remained unhealed.
A while before that happened, my sister had invited me to Sandals Church. I immediately liked how real it was and I felt like I could just be me. After being at Sandals Church for about eight months, I got connected with Real Healing, a ministry for those who struggle with addictive behaviors.
I didn't believe that God would use my disease to help others or that he would ever heal me.
God started to rebuild my faith while I was in Real Healing and I completely surrendered to him. I began sharing my story with other people in the ministry and began to realize just how present Jesus was even in the midst of my most pitiful moments of life. So, I began to let Him heal me.
28 Days Later
In my process of healing, I had to fight the lies of the enemy who told me I was worthless or that I could never overcome my struggle. At the end of my first session in Real Healing, I was able to stand before the crowd with a cardboard sign in my hands. On one side of the cardboard, it told of the lies I once believed and on the other side I was able to write that I had been set free for 28 days.
It had been 28 days since I let God begin healing me.
It had been 28 days since I listened to the lies of the enemy.
It had been 28 days since I wanted to pull my hair out.
When people see me, they see me as a pretty blonde and have no idea that the hair on my head is not my own.
They don't know of the times I spent crying alone, asking God to take away my hurt. Regardless of my disorder, people feel safe opening up to me and sharing their own struggles and I am able to in turn share mine.
God promised that I would help people some day, and he kept that promise. When I tell my story, it helps other people feel like they are not alone and that they have a safe place to be real. God promises that when we heal others, we are also healed.
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