A Decade Of Suffering, Faithfulness, & Forgiveness

Photo by Ryan, Venice Beach Pier

Hello friends and family, and God bless you all. Today is January 6th, 2022. Ten years ago, on January 6th, 2012, I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. To say it has been a long road and a difficult journey over this last decade would be an understatement. It has been absolutely torturous at times, and many of the lessons I have learned along the way were learned the hard way, but the last ten years have also been filled with the Lord’s faithfulness and forgiveness. Jesus has been with me through every step of this broken road of suffering, and He has never left me nor forsaken me. My prayer is that this post will bring Him glory, and encourage others who are living with chronic illness and pain.

When Christians think of suffering, many of us immediately think of the story of Job. I wish I could say I was as faithful as Job was through his suffering. Sadly, I was not. When I speak of faithfulness, I am referring only to the Lord’s faithfulness to me. After being diagnosed with Celiac, I became angry and bitter. Even though I had walked with Him since October of 1996, I fell away from the Lord for a time, and that bad decision just caused more pain for me and my family. Thankfully, the Lord is gracious and merciful and He never gave up on me.

The Lord drew close to me, even when I shook my fist at Him and wrestled Him with disappointment and bitterness in my heart. He met me right where I was in my darkest hour and let me pour out my heart to Him. He held me in His loving arms as I foolishly fought against Him, and struggled to come to terms with my new reality. And finally, with His deep unending love and forgiveness, He lifted me up, helped me arrive to a place of peace and understanding, and graciously reinstated me to continue fulfilling His calling and purpose for my life. It was astounding and amazing when He called me to publish my testimony and start blogging in 2018, and I am forever grateful.

One Man’s Very Strange Supernatural Life

Those years from 2012 to 2018 were the hardest and most painful years of my life. So many regrets and so much time I can’t get back. However, they are also years the Lord strengthened my faith and caused the roots of my trust in Him to grow deep. I will never forget the miracle the Lord performed to save my life when I stopped breathing on April 28th, 2012. Talk about a faith builder! Many of you know what happened that day. If you don’t, please read my post titled:

My Lazarus Moment

I quite literally died that day due to anaphylactic shock, and the Lord brought me back in the power of the Holy Spirit. The mighty wind of the Spirit was all around me, and my wife heard it rushing through our room just like on the day of Pentecost as recorded in Acts! It was the most excruciatingly painful and the most miraculously glorious day of my life, and I am only alive today because the Lord had mercy on me. Thank You, Jesus!

The greatest lesson I have learned through a decade of suffering is that the Lord’s grace is truly sufficient for me. No matter what you are going through, please don’t give up. Dig deep into your faith and cling to Jesus with all your heart. Even if the pain is so bad that you are barely hanging on by your fingernails, don’t let go! He is there with you even now, and He will never abandon you!

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” -2 Corinthians 12:9

I have wanted to give up so many times. Those first few years when I couldn’t stop throwing up and going #2 eight times a day. The endless days, weeks, months, and years of burning pain in my gut that would drop me to my knees. The horrific weight loss down to 128 pounds, and the torturous pain of a damaged small intestine so bad I could barely walk. The terrible pain of starvation as my body struggled with digestion and a severely restricted diet. So many times I cried out for God to take me as I lay face down on the floor barely clinging to life. So many times I just wanted it to all be over.

Jesus never stopped comforting me. He never left my side even for a moment. Every day He picked me up off the floor, dried my tears, and gave me strength to press on. Even if I could barely sense His presence and all I could muster was whispering His Name to help me, He was right there with me. Even when horrible thoughts of taking one last walk in the woods with my pistol in hand plagued my mind, still He protected me and fought for me. Jesus is my Lord and Savior, and I love Him with all my heart! Keep loving Him and rest in His love for you!

This life on earth can be so painful for so many of us, but there will be a day when He wipes all the pain and tears away. Don’t ever forget that! He is coming back soon, and He will make all things new! Jesus loves you so much! Run to Him, fall in His arms, and never let Him go!

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

“He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” -Revelation 21:4-5

I was 33 when I was diagnosed. I am 43 now. After all the pain and despair I have lived through the last ten years, I am still standing victoriously in the Lord by His grace, mercy, forgiveness, and love.

Since having the emergency gallbladder surgery last April, I am no longer suffering the excruciating gut pain, and I have even stepped out in faith to enjoy going out to eat at a few restaurants. I still have to be careful about cross contamination, but there are many options for those of us who can’t eat gluten, dairy, eggs, or soy, and it has been a huge blessing. We took our kids to Disneyworld on January 1st, and I was even able to enjoy lunch and dinner at the nice restaurants at Epcot. I hadn’t eaten out since being diagnosed, and it’s something I never thought I would do again. Even now as I still have days where I struggle with pain due to intestinal and colon trauma, I have hope that things are getting better and the Lord still has good plans for me.

Photo by Ryan, Fireworks show at Disneyworld

Nothing is impossible for God. Keep hope alive and never stop believing He can do all things! His love is greater than any suffering on this earth!

Grace and peace to you all!

Author: Ryan Callahan

Hello, and welcome to my site! I am an independent Christian author (One Man's Very Strange Supernatural Life), blogger, and evangelist for Jesus. My main goal with this blog is to help people come to know Jesus, help people understand the Bible, and to minister to a lost and hurting world. This site is about hope, new beginnings, grace, mercy, forgiveness, and love! I'm glad you are here, God bless you! Copyright © 2021 Ryan Callahan. All rights reserved.

68 thoughts on “A Decade Of Suffering, Faithfulness, & Forgiveness”

  1. Ryan, your testimony is powerful. It is
    that the Lord has sustained you all these years and you were able to eat at a restaurant at Epcot. Praise the Lord! He has more for you to do and the best is yet to come! Abundant blessings of health through Jesus and his finished work.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. It’s very hard as your mother to read of all the horrible pain, hurtful moments of feeling forgotten, and heartbreaking disappointments you have gone through these last 10 years, Ryan. There are no words I can express to you on how awfully sad, hurt, or angry I have felt, too, over these 10 years, but my faith in Jesus always gave way for hope for your healing and happiness. My prayers have been answered so many times, and I am so thankful you are feeling much better! I am grateful you have Jesus so close to your heart. Praise God he is there for us, especially when we need him the most. You are amazing to me, Ry, your endurance through all this and selfless love for your family. I am so proud of you. And, your Dad and I are so thankful you are where you are now instead of 10 years ago. You will always be in my and your Dad’s prayers, Ryan. Nothing is impossible for God. Love you, Mom

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Sir, this is for me! I’m in pain everyday but I keep holding on. Nothing is impossible to God.
    I just posted the pain I had during New Year’s Eve before I read this. Thank you for sharing this inspiration.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just read your post. Please know that the Lord loves you and He will never abandon you. It is so hard dealing with chronic pain. The Lord sees you and has not forgotten you. I pray He brings deep healing to you and lifts you up. God bless you with strength and peace. 🙏

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Such a moving testimony. My walk with The Lord has taught me that He will ‘never’ give us more than we can bear. It’s also taught me that no matter what we have to endure, we never have to endure it alone, for He is right there with us, and He will see us through it. Whatever you’ve gone through, Ryan, you did not go through it in vain.. God has a purpose for it. I believe that our testimonies are used to help others who are going through what we’ve gone through. I have no doubt that your Faith is stronger and deeper. You are an inspiration! God Bless You, Ryan!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ryan, I’m in tears. My tears are flowing at your miraculous testimony and faith. From the pain you’ve endured, your miracles moments, and the precious times now with your family. Praise God that you have been able to enjoy a few meals out. You’re such an inspiration–and I know to WHOM you give credit! My suffering has been greater (my colon is spastic and my IBS, coupled with my blood disorder, the TBI issues, and now, a must-needed biopsy scheduled for Monday) and you my friend have given me hope. My life is a miracle. I shouldn’t be here. I was on death’s doorstep and Jesus brought me back. I’m so thankful to know you on this journey. As Paul wrote to the Romans, “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.” And, “Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.” He is our comforter and healer, Savior and Father–and I’m so glad to be a part of the family with you, brother!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Karla, amen! You are an inspiration too! I appreciate your encouragement and fellowship. I pray the Lord lifts you up and blesses you with healing and strength. You are so right, the Lord is our comforter and healer, and such a good Father to us. May His will be done. God bless you!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Beautiful and honest testimonial, Ryan. The Lord always knows best and everything he takes us through in life is intended to lead us where he made us to be. May he continue his good work on you and may you always trust his ways with your heart filled with his love.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Dig deep into your faith and cling to Jesus with all your heart. Even if the pain is so bad that you are barely hanging on by your fingernails, don’t let go! He is there with you even now, and He will never abandon you!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What an amazing testimony Ryan. It was hard to read some parts . I can’t even begin to imagine what you have gone through. Only God could have brought you to where you are today.
    Praise God. Thank you for your honesty in sharing this powerful testimony to the glory of God.
    Blessing to you and your family Ryan.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Powerful testimony my brother. Praise the Lord for His grace during your storms. I witnessed suffering in my family for years. My mom was sick for over 15 years with regular asthma attacks. People do not know the emotional pain you endure during a season of constant illness. May God pour out His healing grace over your life. Your testimony will bring healing to many hurting souls. Cyberhug.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This is a powerful testimony, God is faithful,He is still working in your life.Today I’m encouraged by this verse,

    Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
    Ephesians 3:20‭-‬21 NKJV
    https://bible.com/bible/114/eph.3.20-21.NKJV

    Liked by 1 person

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