The Silent Struggles of the Woman with the Issue of Blood
Stefani Pady

INSIDE: Have you ever felt invisible? You might relate to the story of the woman with the issue of blood in the gospels. After 12 years of struggle, the woman with the issue of blood has a holy encounter with the Living God that leaves her seen, honored, and restored. But silent struggles go beyond the woman with the issue of blood – this is still something we as women grapple with today! In this blog, we’ll explore the story of the woman with the issue of blood, including her miraculous healing, and how we still struggle in silence today.

 

Have you ever felt invisible, like you were struggling in silence, all alone?

If you have read or followed any of my content, you know about my struggle moving up the corporate ladder. I had all the things society said I should want. I was moving up, I had a great salary, and it felt good to be good.

Looking back on that time… my idea of being “good” meant not being honest about how hard it was to manage everything. As I grew in my career, I saw less and less women around me. And the VERY FEW I confided in were struggling too, but that struggle was largely invisible to those around us (never let them see you sweat, right?!). We battled alone and in silence.

Fast forward to my season of life now. I know women supporting their families while their husband battles cancer. The diagnosis is public, but the quiet daily battles are locked tight behind closed doors.

I know women in relationships with verbal abuse so covert, they look like the villain and their spouse shines as the hero. I know stories of rape, bankruptcy, mental disorders, and incest… all hidden in the shadows.

You’d be surprised how many stories of debilitating situations, scenarios, and shame live in our world, kept locked up. Even when it isn’t our fault, I know so many women who just pick up the burden and carry it… alone.

Did you know we see women in the Bible struggle in similar ways? There are women carrying silent shame all over the pages of Scripture.

 

The Woman with the Issue of Blood

One story you probably have heard preached during a Sunday sermon is about the woman with the issue of blood. You may also know her as the “hemorrhaging woman.” Her struggle was like having a never-ending period for 12 years (that alone is the definition of misery), and Scripture tells us that she suffered. I have heard of her, but recently, the Holy Spirit (and seminary 😉) has opened my eyes to the hidden pain and shame she probably carried.

 

And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse.

Mark 5:25-26 NIV

 

We don’t know her name. We actually know very little about her background, but we can suppose a few things.

It is likely her bleeding was an issue in more ways than one. Her constant bleeding made her unclean under Mosaic Law and, if someone else touched her, they would also be unclean.

Since anyone who touched her was unclean by association (even things she sat on would have been considered unclean!), she would have been unable to participate in everyday life for 12 years, missing out on things like shopping in public, going to the temple to worship, and having sex with her husband (if she had one).

The text tells us that “she had spent everything she had” on doctors (Mark 5:26 CSB), so she may also have been suffering physically, socially, and financially. Have you ever been so low you would do anything to stop the pain?

Much (if not all) of the woman with the issue of blood’s suffering was probably endured all alone, in silence.

 

Then Jesus came along.

She knew, if she could only touch the edge (or wing) of Jesus’s cloak, she could be healed. She had faith that Jesus could do what 12 years of many doctors could not. She had faith in the prophecy in Malachi 4:2: there was healing in Jesus’ wings.

 

Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.”

Matthew 9:20-21 NIV

 

But, for this unnamed woman with the issue of blood, who had suffered in silence for 12 years, an encounter with the living God ended her years of invisibility. In a time when touching an unclean woman was not done (especially when you were a rabbi, or Jewish teacher, like Jesus), Jesus saw her and spoke kindly to her. He wasn’t mad or annoyed, even though He was on His way to heal a little girl (the daughter of Jairus, a synagogue leader) who urgently needed help (spoiler alert: Jesus raises the little girl from the dead).

 

He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

Mark 5:34 NIV

 

Jesus, who, by society’s standards, should have been upset, shows her love. Jesus saw her, called her daughter, publicly honored her and her faith, and sent her away in peace. Jesus has the power to make all things new in our lives, and that’s what He does with the woman with the issue of blood. Jesus restored both parts of her silent struggle, her health and her everyday life. 

 

On his way to heal one daughter, he stopped and healed another.  

In what was potentially a matter of hours, He changed two daughters’ lives, having a ripple effect on every loved one around them.

Jesus cared. He cared about her, and about her years of pain and shame, and friend, He cares about your silent struggles, too. There is room enough for Him to carry all of our burdens. Yours, mine, and every child of God on earth.

 

More Than Enough: The Silent Struggle of a Woman’s Identity

This idea of a woman’s silent struggles is so relevant to me personally (and to so many women today) that I wrote a devotional about it in a book that will be PUBLISHED, like, actually PUBLISHED in PRINT, in September. Becoming a published author has been a dream of mine for so long – PINCH ME! But I had NO IDEA how amazing it would be to do it alongside other women. DOUBLE PINCH ME!

More Than Enough Book Cover

The book is all about the silent struggle of a woman’s identity, and the truth that God tells us: we are more than enough.

Even when we don’t feel worthy, we can come to Jesus as we are (we don’t have to fix ourselves first!). Just like the woman with the issue of blood, Jesus sees us and loves us. He finds us, alone and suffering in silence, restores us (making us new), and sends us away in peace.

I am so proud of the chapter I wrote for this book, and I can’t wait for you to read it and all the stories inside (and to see how God works through them!).

Trust me, when you read these women’s stories, you will feel your silent struggle as seen and not alone. Please pre-order your copy today and learn about awesome women and moments in Scripture. You will see how women today are overcomers, just like you, my friend!

PREORDER from Barnes and Noble

You can also join the book launch journey, stay in the loop with updates, be entered into fun giveaways, and connect with fellow readers by joining the book launch team!

JOIN the Book Launch Team

 

Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment.

Matthew 9:22 NIV

 

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