With Great Mercy

Finding hope when you have trigeminal neuralgia and other types of pain

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January 17, 2008

For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee. Isaiah 41:13

At the end of October 2007, I took my Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) exam. I had begun my master’s program in 2002. Approximately two-thirds into the program, I had to stop completely. The pain from the trigeminal neuralgia had become so violent that I could not study or function.

After I was healed, I decided to finish my degree in rehabilitation counseling. I did not want to, and going back to finish was terribly difficult. My heart was not in it, but the Lord gave me the grace to complete the course. By the time I was done, the program had taken five years.

CRC TestUpon completion of my degree, I had another decision to make. Should I take the CRC test? I could find a job without it, but with the CRC credential, one’s qualifications are stronger. I decided to take the six hour test.

I was still having a lot of problems with my shoulder and jaw, so my neurologist and I agreed that it would be better for me to ask to take the exam in two sessions. I made the arrangements to take the test at a library. Then I began to study.

The more I studied, the more I realized I had forgotten. I put everything I could on hold so I could study more. For months and months I studied for the test. Finally, I felt prepared. I went to the library at the appointed time, and the exam began.

Many of us think of libraries as quiet places, but they normally have quite a bit of activity. My proctor and I were in a study room reserved for us. Immediately outside the room were two large computerized book returns. Each machine made a unique sound when a book was returned. The sounds were loud and terribly distracting. My head began to hurt, and I realized that I was reading each question three to four times. It had become impossible to concentrate, and I began to panic. When we spoke to the librarian, we were moved to a quiet room.

Realizing I was not comprehending the test questions, I knelt down and called on God. I did not know what else to do. The fear inside me had rapidly grown, and I felt lost. Months of intense study seemed to float out the window. The five years between some of the courses and the test came to the forefront of my mind. It seemed that the odds were against me, but as I prayed, God reminded me that He was with me. I knew that He had plans for me, and that if I really needed to pass this test, I would.

I had to wait nine weeks to get the results. Those nine weeks seemed like a year, but I passed. I passed because God kept His promise. In spite of the noise and my headache, God saw me through.

Many Christians in the United States feel as though we are losing some of our rights. I agree, but I am thankful that in a public building, we still have the right to kneel and pray. I thank God for the opportunity to call on Him in a public place without facing persecution.

In a day when it is so easy for me to complain about the country in which I live, I want to thank God for my freedom and for my CRC credentials. One day I am going to go back to the same library, kneel, and thank Him again for taking my fear and giving me success.

With Great Mercy

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