Honestly, I’m a pansy when it comes to suffering. This might be why I feel such admiration and respect for those like my sweet friend and team member, Kelly Campbell who’ve endured incredible and ongoing hardship with perseverance and grace. This is also why when women like her speak on this subject, I pay attention, because I know they have much to teach me.
Godly Suffering by Wholly Loved’s Kelly Campbell
Believe it or not, becoming physically disabled at 40 has actually been one of my greatest blessings! God didn’t cause my stroke but He allowed it to happen so I would learn in ways I never would have otherwise. I tell everyone I meet that if I could go back and change that July night, I wouldn’t because of how my life has changed for the better.
The apostle Paul, who wrote much of the New Testament, discussed his own “thorn in the flesh’ (2 Cor. 12:7). While he never identifies his exact ailment, his suffering kept him from pride and reminded him that his ministry success lay in Christ. In Romans 5:3-5, Paul encouraged Christians not to miss the opportunities that walking through suffering can bring.
Before my injury, I spent most of my life rebuffing any attempt to get close to me. I could pray for others and serve but didn’t want others to do the same for me. But I have learned (albeit the hard way) that we need others. We need community to thrive. I believe God uses others to heal us emotionally, relationally, and spiritually but it’s so easy to get comfortable in our own little world.
Our circumstances/plight/struggle can become our identity. When we allow our losses, struggles, and secrets to keep us in isolation, we can’t achieve our full potential and healing. Proverbs 27:17 states, “as iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” In other words, those with deep and godly relationships help one another improve. When we use our situations to connect with the hurting, offering support, information, and resources, we can help them build new lives and realize their highest new capabilities and how God is always walking right beside them.
It’s with that faith I can say I am healed- emotionally, spiritually, mentally, in my relationships with others, and, despite my outward appearance, even physically. It is truly healing redefined. Far too often when we hear a pastor or speaker ask if anyone needs prayer for healing, our default answer is “I’m physically healthy so I don’t.”
Can I challenge you to reach out to someone in your community and ask them to pray for your emotional, mental, spiritual or relational healing? Our Heavenly Father is waiting to guide us and to love us as much in the future as He is in the here and now. He fills those places in us that loss hollows out, shining His light on the road ahead. Psalm 119:105 sums it up beautifully- “Your word is a lamp onto my feet (the now) and a light onto my path (the future).”
Get to Know Kelly!
Kelly Campbell survived a massive stroke at 40 that left her physically disabled but with a passion for prayer and other survivors. She is currently completing her Masters of Divinity in Healthcare Chaplaincy and serves on the board of directors for the Brain Injury Association of Georgia (BIAG).
Kelly currently leads the prayer team at her church in Woodstock, GA. She is a single mother of adult sons and has two beautiful daughters-in-law. She leads a number of brain injury support groups around her home state of Georgia and loves to use her testimony to help others.
Verses taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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