In 2011, I desperately needed a word from God. You see, I was dying—at least that’s what I thought. My wife and I had been in our new apartment for about a year. I had recently started a new job, and as a young married couple, we were happy. Yet, suddenly things took a turn for the worse; my stomach began to feel bloated and tight every time I ate. I developed anxiety, fear, and unbearable weakness. I lost 20 pounds and became skin and bones. I was virtually bedridden for three months. I sought help from both traditional and holistic specialists, underwent several tests and procedures, changed my diet, and experimented with over 20 different supplements. My sickness went undiagnosed and my condition kept deteriorating. I prayed and fasted, waiting for a word from God. I received nothing. I felt alone and forgotten. I became desperate, and I reached outside my immediate family for more prayer. They all prayed incessantly for me. It wasn’t long until I received a call from my uncle, telling me that God gave him one word: “mold.” He then urged me to check my entire apartment for contamination. With what little strength I had, I got up and began to look. Sure enough, I found mold. Immediately, we moved. Everything changed for me! I ate without pain, gained my weight back, and returned to work full time. I got my life back. The Bible says, after you’ve done all you can, just pray. I felt alone and forgotten but He never leaves nor forsakes. He was with me the whole time. What I learned in my sickness was true reliance on God, even if I didn’t see or feel Him. His one-word answer saved my life. Now, I spend time encouraging and praying for others who’ve battled unexplained health issues. Sometimes, to be an effective encourager, you have to go through pain. And for me, that pain had a purpose.

Joy Hughes husband  five different photos

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