“So how are you doing?” she asked.
I wanted to put on a smile and type back that I was fine, but in that exact moment, I was anything but fine.
It had only been a couple of days since I had been released from the hospital for the second time in four weeks due to ruptured diverticulitis that left me with a large abscess that needed to be drained using a catheter inserted into my abdomen (you can read more about that scary ordeal here and here). I was still on bed rest, toting around my disgusting drainage bag, which I named Mary, while also taking sponge baths, and requiring help to and from the bathroom.
Sure, the drainage tube that was still inserted into my abdomen appeared to be doing its job and draining the infection, but I was in a lot of pain. However it wasn’t the pain that I was struggling with that night. Or the night before. Or the night before that. It was fear. Fear that the infection wouldn’t drain completely, as sometimes this happens; as well as fear that the hole on my colon wouldn’t close because statistically speaking, they typically don’t. Therefore I knew that if this plan, which was Plan B (because Plan A had already failed), we would need to move on to plan C. And friends, Plan C, which consisted of surgery and a 9-12 month temporary colostomy bag, frightened me to my absolute core.
And so for some strange and bold reason, I told her.
I told her about how I have been in bed for nearly 32 days and it was hard to maintain my hope that this plan would work.
I told her about how I cry and I cry and I cry. Sometimes they are just tears streaming down my face, while other times they are sobs that turn into wailing. I had gone from a strong, faith-filled Christian to one that felt faithless and weak.
I then confessed about how I always thought I trusted God to know and do what was best, but as it turns out, I don’t. Because truth be told, I feared what His version of best looked like for my life. And what He would ask me to walk through.
I am sure she could sense the panic in my words. I mean, how could anyone not? Even you can probably sense it in my recap, right? So of course being the awesome friend that she is (seriously, she is the best), she spoke miraculous healing over my body and declared in faith that I wouldn’t need surgery or a colostomy bag.
But friends, this is where I bared my soul as I shamefully told her that while I believe God performs miracles, right now, in this season of my life, it was extremely difficult to believe that He had one for me. I could believe with 100% certainty that He could open wombs, unblock Fallopian tubes, remove endometriosis, restore sperm, and even as crazy as it sounds grow money on a tree, but close a hole in my colon? Or completely drain an abscess? For some reason, I struggled.
My answers might have been more than what she was wanting but I knew that hiding my fears, ignoring my feelings, or at the very least not being honest with my thoughts would have kept me in bondage, a place the enemy wanted me to be.
He wanted me to live in fear
Remain in doubt.
Be swallowed up in worry.
And camp out in my self-destructive scenarios.
But you know, I hate him enough to do what he wants. Therefore I told my story to anyone who would ask how I was doing; and friends, I discovered that each time I exposed my weaknesses, chains would fall and my confidence in Him would slowly build as they breathed hope into my hopeless situation, healing into my body, and faith into my fears.
It’s been 11 days since I had the first honest conversation with not just my friend, but also with God, and I am happy to report that on July 25th it was confirmed via a CT scan that the hole is closed and the abscess is completely drained. No surgery is required and no colostomy bag is forecasted. The miracle I had prayed for, but doubted would happen, did.
I may not have been able to see it then, but looking back on this nightmare that began on June 18th with my Emergency Room visit and admission into ICU, I can clearly see God’s faithfulness and hand of protection upon me. I have been told by numerous hospital staff that the surgeon on call the day I was rushed to the ER is the best of the best, and the Radiologist who was selected to perform the procedure of inserting the catheter in order to drain the abscess is also a number one pick. Not to mention the nurses, friends and family He placed in my path to care for me every step of the way.
Sweet friend, I don’t know what it is you are going through, but take it from someone who has been through the fire, and that this: it’s going to be okay. Yes, it might be painful. You might not get through it as quick as you would like and the fear might be crippling at times, but keep believing that even if you can’t see His hand working, you can still trust His heart.
And His heart is to heal, restore, comfort, protect, and love.
My prayer today is that through sharing my testimony of a miracle, it would give you an extra boost to believe in God for the miracle you need as well. He is not a respector of persons (Romans 2:11), therefore what He did for me, He bends down to whisper that He wants to do the same for you! He is the Lord who is not only able but also willing. And I am proof.
“I am the Lord who heals you.” Exodus 15:26
July 14th—struggling to walk
On July 21st, after 3 weeks of a liquid diet, I was finally able to eat this bowl of heaven (aka…mac and cheese)
For more posts written on this health scare, please click on the following links:
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