Andy’s Story

02 Dec

In 2005 I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis after struggling to walk; in 2008 I found out I’d got osteoporosis caused by the drugs that I took for the RA. I’ve had other health issues. I also had a horrible
redundancy experience.

Life sometimes bites you on the bum! Life can be very scary and the only thing you have control of is how you respond to the circumstances you face. When you hurt it’s so easy to drift into self-pity.  I’ve lost the desire to be alive at times. When trouble comes God can seem very remote and very silent sometimes.

I’ve learnt the hard way that I must rely on the promise that God loves me and has a future for me -not necessarily the one that I’d choose. I’ve learnt to praise God when life hurts. When I’m scared or hurting, I’ve had to fill my mind with good, positive stuff (not put my feet up in front of the TV.) Reading my Bible (Psalms,) or Christian books, listen to praise music – singing along! This helped me to silence the fear and self-pity.

About 3 years ago 2 people independently urged me to read a booklet about healing. It’s got short paraphrased Bible verses to speak out loud each day telling your body to work properly. It’s not denying you’re ill, just speaking out in faith. I thought “It can’t do any harm, but I might feel a prat doing it!” I started to get better. The doctors started taking me off drugs that were causing complications. I’m now off all pills for rheumatoid arthritis now and inject myself with a half dose every 10 days now. A tiny amount. When I last saw my consultant she described my health as “amazing!” I’m in clinical remission, praise God!

I don’t believe that only those with strong faith are the ones who get better. I do believe that God answers prayers and I do believe that He wants to help us through anything that life throws at us. Your faith doesn’t grow when life’s easy! I don’t like taking risks. There’s a scared, shy little boy inside this “old” man. I wouldn’t chose to be up here with everyone looking at me. I’ve learnt that God nudges me forward saying, “Go on, you can do it, I’ll help you!” God’s discipling me. He gives me empathy for others who are suffering and I try to be a joy to be with.

If you remember nothing else that I say – please listen to these familiar Bible verses :

Philippians 4:4-9 Always be full of joy in the Lord; I say it again, rejoice!
Let everyone see that you are unselfish and considerate in all you do. Remember
that the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about
everything; tell God your needs and don’t forget to thank Him for His answers.
If you do this you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful
than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your
hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus. And now, brothers, as I
close this letter let me say this one more thing: Fix your thoughts on what is
true and good and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely, and dwell
on the fine, good things in others. Think about all you can praise God for and
be glad about. Keep on putting into practice all you learned from me doing, and
the God of peace will be with you.
Philippians 4:4-9 ( Living Bible)