FirstCov'er Nancy Nygaard is no stranger to physical suffering. She has weathered many storms in her life, and in continuing to seek God through it all, she has witnessed His blessings and faithfulness. Read her story below, as she gives us a glimpse into her journey.
Pursue Him to Find your Purpose
Seek God through His word which is filled with His promises. The Bible is God’s full revelation to all people throughout the generations of who He is and His plan for all generations and those who are committed to Him in faith.
Through seeking God in his word, I have found courage to endure through trials knowing that the God who created the heavens and the earth will never abandon me. You will be encouraged through the stories of others whose lives God transformed through trials as He used them to fulfill His plans for His purposes.
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
God is Faithful to His Promises
As I study the book of Joshua this year I am encouraged and I am reminded about the goodness of God and what He has done for me through the past 12 years. It has been a long journey through loss, grief and of discovering that God is faithful to the promises He makes in His word, the Bible. I have so much to be thankful for.
After being in an automobile accident in 1996, I was given a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia after the pain from injuries to my upper cervical spine did not resolve despite multiple treatment modalities.
I learned to cope with it and manage my life, even started my own business as a temporary dental assistant for hire. It worked very well for me because I never knew when a painful flare up would incapacitate me. I could make my own schedule and work around this. Life was good.
Since my girls were older and more independent, I joined the Minnesota Air National Guard to learn more about computers. It provided me education benefits should I desire to further my education. During this time, I fell injuring my hand.
My plate was already full between the responsibilities of family, my business as a temporary dental assistant and my work in the Minnesota Air National Guard. I had to add therapy to an already packed schedule. That same hand a year later would need surgery for Carpel Tunnel Syndrome (CTS). The surgery for CTS did not resolve the pain and it was affecting my work as a dental assistant and my work in the Minnesota Air National Guard as an Information Management Specialist.
Reflection Brings Renewed Relationship with God
Looking back on these events I see that I was trying to handle all of this in my own power rather than seeking God and asking for his guidance and help. I lost both careers due to the loss of function of my hand and the painful flare ups I experienced in other areas of my body. I was a mess physically and emotionally.
I was angry at God for allowing this to happen.
This became a turning point for me in my relationship with God. I was no longer in control and I began to earnestly seek God to help me get through this. With these new events, it felt like it was time to pursue the college degree I hadn’t been able to complete years earlier while raising our young children as my husband served active duty in the Air Force and after his retirement. At that time, we didn’t have the funds.
Now I was seeking God’s direction for my education, rather than my own. I wanted to know and to do His will. I sought His guidance through time spent with Him studying His word and in prayer.
I felt lead to go to a Christian college where I would gain greater understanding of Him through searching His word and prepare for my chosen field of management. Feeling peace after taking a couple of years to research colleges, I believed that Crown College was His will for my education. I began their adult college degree program in Management and Ethics and prayed that God would help me get through juggling all the responsibilities and dealing with chronic pain one day at a time.
I completed my degree with high honors because He was lifting me up, giving me strength and encouraging me when I thought I was going to fail, or wanted to quit because it was hard. He has promised he will never leave, or forsake us. He was faithful to his word.
A New Diagnosis, Slippery Ice, and a Faithful God
In 2006, I began to experience additional symptoms outside of the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia. Year by year the symptoms became more complex and debilitating. My doctor didn’t have answers and didn’t search, outside the box so to speak, beyond the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia.
I began to experience new symptoms regularly and became unable to continue working due to the debilitating symptoms. I began doing my own research and discovered the complex symptoms I was experiencing fit the diagnosis of chronic Lyme disease. After doing my own research, I found a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating patients with Lyme disease.
Chronic Lyme disease – also called late stage Lyme disease - was confirmed six years following the time I first began presenting with symptoms to my primary care physician. And God promised He would never leave me, or forsake me.
Only two months before chronic Lyme disease was finally diagnosed, I had slipped on ice and fallen on a concrete sidewalk where I landed backwards hitting my head and spine sustaining head injuries, a whiplash, a sprained pelvis, a broken rib and four fractured vertebrae.
Between the excruciating pain of the injuries, the mental incapacitation from the head injuries and Lyme disease, and the raging symptoms of now chronic untreated Lyme disease life was challenging.
I could not work. It was a feeling I had never experienced before – I had always been independent. The stress on my husband was huge as he worked all the overtime he could get to prevent us from losing our home. It was very hard on our marriage. And God promised He would never leave us, or forsake us.
He has been faithful to help us, walking with us through it all, providing for us one day at a time and allowing us to pour out our sorrow and suffering when grief over losses threatened to overwhelm us. After 12 years of suffering with chronic Lyme disease, He has healed it making provision through natural herbal medicine. He continues to heal the damage in my body that was left in its wake. And God promised he would never leave us, or forsake us. He has been faithful to His word.
More recently, after experiencing extreme chest pain that didn’t resolve within a few minutes I went to the emergency room where doctors discovered I had a heart attack. I was rushed to Abbot Cardiac Care Center. God provided a skilled team of Cardiologists who discovered the problem and I was diagnosed with Coronary Artery Disease with 80% of the Left Coronary Artery blocked.
They put a stent in, opening the artery once again. Between January and April, I had several more episodes of chest pain each ending with a trip to the Cardiac Care Center. After several subsequent visits to the hospital with chest pain, an additional stent, and 12 different medications my heart seems to be stable. I have remained out of the hospital since April of 2018. God has worked in the details and provided. And God promised He would never leave me, or forsake me.
When Trials Come, Trust in God
Through each challenge He has increased my faith as He has faithfully provided. He has taught me to say that it is well with my soul no matter what circumstances I am in because He has promised never to leave me, or forsake me. He loves me with an everlasting love. When He created me, He had my days planned and numbered. He will be faithful to complete His plan for my life. He allows the good and the challenging things in my life.
He uses all things to show me who He is and what He has done and will continue to do for me. I trust Him fully. I don’t have all the answers for why He allows suffering. I do have this answer. God is good. He does not abandon us in our suffering but is always working for good in the details of our lives.
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28
How have you seen God work through trials in your life? Let's continue to give God the glory, just as Nancy did in her life story, by leaving a note in the comments section.