So I’m just going to dive right in because it’s a long one. I have divided it into two parts because I don’t want to write a book! Haha! In the first part of this story, we’ll talk about my journey from a child to an adult and the things that got me here today. So grab your favorite blanket and settle in for a great story!
As a child, I grew up very blessed. My family wasn’t rich by any means, but we had all that we needed and more. Things came pretty easy for me. I struggled in some areas, but if I would have applied myself more, I could have been better.
I did well in school. For the most part I felt like a pretty girl aaandd sometimes acted overly confident (thanks, Dad!). I had a lot of friends. I had parents that loved each other. I grew up in church and went to a Christian school my whole life.
With that life, what could I possibly have struggled with, right?
I always doubted my faithfulness to God because I had such a great life. If something bad happened or He didn’t answer my prayers, would I still call Him faithful?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a condition called Hyperhidrosis. (Medical definition: a condition characterized by extreme and excessive sweating. Primary hyperhidrosis affects the hands, feet, and armpits and often has no identifiable cause.)
This was a condition neither my family nor I had ever heard of. My sweating was mainly in my hands and feet. Sometimes it wasn’t bad, and then other times it was so bad that it looked like I had washed my hands and didn’t dry them.
As a kid my parents prayed for me and had others pray, too. Every time the preacher preached on healing, they took me to the altar. It doesn’t sound that bad compared to a lot of other diseases, especially life-threatening ones, but it affected every part of my life.
My schoolwork. Playing piano. Holding babies. Holding hands. It affected anything I used my hands for…which was EVERYTHING. My feet got so bad that I would purposely buy sandals with straps so my feet wouldn’t slip out. It got to the point that when my hands would start to sweat, they would hurt so bad, like something was coming out of my hands that wasn’t supposed to.
I had gone to a doctor when I was ten. There were a lot of things I could try to help the problem. If those didn’t work, they said they could do surgery, but it wasn’t recommended at my age.
Over the years I did my best to ignore it and change the subject or walk away anytime someone brought it up. I thought if I ignored it, it would go away.
I can’t tell you how many nights I prayed for it to go away. I did everything I knew to do and nothing happened. Prayer lines. Washing my hands in water someone had prayed over. Fasting. I tried to muster up all the faith I could find. Declare every promise, every word. Still nothing. I asked God over and over why He wouldn’t just take this away. I thought it was so simple compared to a lot of requests. But He didn’t.
Now you may be thinking, “Whitney, this really isn’t that bad. I think you are making a big deal out of nothing.” I’d agree with you, but I know the effect it had. Imagine every time you went to do something—work, write a paper, or hold someone’s hand—you couldn’t without making it all wet. Honestly, I thought I was so gross. I HATED when I had to hold other people’s babies because I would either have to hold them with my hands in weird positions or get the babies’ clothes all wet.
I made it through people’s remarks, high school, and even dating. I remember the first time my boyfriend at the time, now husband, tried to hold my hand. I was so scared. But he never made me feel gross or like something was wrong with me, which I am so thankful for.
BUT everything changed after I found out I was pregnant.
Now this was going to be my baby whose clothes would be getting wet, and I couldn’t do anything about it. I always heard other moms talking about how pregnancy and childbirth changed things.
THAT WAS IT! THAT’S how God was going to heal me.
I believed it.
I said it out loud.
I told others.
I just knew God was take this from me.
I remember the first time I felt it coming.
I looked down and saw the sweat beads on my hands.
I knew then and there that God hadn’t healed me.
I was so upset. I cried. I yelled at God.
Why in the world was I still dealing with this after twenty-one years?
Wasn’t that long enough?
All the jokes. People’s hateful words. The messed-up paperwork. The sweat on the piano after playing. Getting my husband’s hand soaked with sweat. AND now my sweet, little baby has to suffer, too?
My mom went with me to every doctor’s appointment because if I held my son, I got him wet. I used burp cloths every time I nursed him so I didn’t have to change his clothes. I had accepted that this was my life and that God wasn’t interested in my problem.
Stay tuned for part two!