It’s not easy being a woman. He knows that.

It’s tough to be a woman, isn’t it? The physical demands on our lives seem too much sometimes. Too much.

I worked through all four pregnancies.

The first two I worked right up to the day of delivery. With Child #1 I remember walking into the daily newspaper office where I worked as a reporter, and there was a receptionist who’d say, “Are you still here?”

Yes, almost three weeks of that, as Child #1 was 20 days late. I gained 20 pounds with #1.

A year later I gained 30 pounds with Child #2. They were our Army babies, and we were stationed at Ft. Riley, Kansas. Craig was flying all over the country with his Army AAU basketball team . . . and I was due any day. But “any day” was also late . . . 10 days late. However, this time the sarcastic receptionist was also pregnant . . . and miserable . . . and wasn’t mean to me.

Six years later and settled into the Sierra Valley, we were expecting #3, two weeks late. I gained 40 pounds with him while working full-time at Craig’s law office while he ran all over two counties to courthouses for law cases and county supervisor meetings. I held down the fort, but I also felt like a fort. If I stood in the doorway, no evil-doer was gettin’ through that passage.

Another six years and I was expecting #4, with a 50-pound load, hemorrhoids, morning sickness, and not enough maternity clothes to face fourth and fifth graders as a second-year teacher. They were brutal. One girl complained to her mother that I used pregnancy as an excuse. In truth, I simply stopped playing basketball with them the last month before I was due. Another late baby (one week) . . . and my fourth inducement. All very hard labors.

All those eight-pounders took a toll on my body, and I experienced Body Fail with prolapse that eventually required surgery. And I need a second one now.

So, when I saw this painting in Israel at the Magdala Chapel, it struck such a chord with me. There I was, that woman, on my knees with Body Fail. If I could just touch the hem of Jesus’s garment, I knew healing would flood over me.

There were so many moments like that as Craig and I traveled with friends in Israel. Standing on the Mount of Beatitudes, imagining Jesus teaching and feeding the masses. Singing in a fishing boat on the Sea of Galilee, picturing Jesus quieting the waves. Stepping into the Jordan River to be baptized, just as John the Baptist did for Jesus.

I’m reading through the gospels now in my year-long, read-through-the-Bible plan, and I can picture those places and more: Gethsemane and the Mount of Olives, the Place of the Skull, the walled city.

I can’t wait to go back in May. I want to do a better job of journaling the sights and sounds and tastes and smells. I want to read the actual scriptures about those places. And I want to pray more.

I highly recommend this trip. I have no qualms in saying it would be the highlight of your life, as it was mine. And the thing is, friends . . . we’re not getting any younger. There were some older couples on the trip, and it was a physical challenge for them. Israel is not an ADA experience. Many places they simply could not navigate and had to stay on the bus.

I invite you to get off the bus that is your life . . . and come with me. Jesus will allow you to touch the hem of his life there. And you’ll be healed in many ways.

Here’s a link for more info: https://bibleincolor.com/holy-land-discovery-tour-may-2021/

Janet McHenry is a speaker and author of 24 books–six on prayer, including The Complete Guide to the Prayers of Jesus. She spoke in several places where Jesus prayed in Israel in 2018–and it was the highlight of her life. She would love to connect with you . . . and if you have questions about the trip, please feel free to contact her through her website: https://www.janetmchenry.com

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