Healed by the Great Physician

O Lord my God, I cried out to You,
And You healed me. – Psalm 30:2

Sunset over Kourion coast
Sunset over Kourion coast. Mediterranean. Cyprus

The good news came after a very long wait. I am cancer-free! This whole trial has been an extreme test of patience and waiting on the Lord. From the drop of blood in April until the doctor’s call with my pathology report the evening of August 18th, it was a very. long. time. With the good report came refreshing weather, as if God lifted all of the heaviness of the air as well as the heaviness of my soul in one fell swoop.

Thy Will Be Done

For months, it wasn’t easy to pray thy will be done. I realized the Lord could continue to afflict me. But I prayed with this portion of scripture in mind:

Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! Matt. 7:9-11

He is so loving and kind towards me. He answered my prayer and the prayers of my family, friends and church family.

Lymph nodes are clear. No further treatment needed. Praise the Lord!

My Date with da Vinci

Now I rejoice as I reminisce about my date with da Vinci. The date that almost wasn’t (click to read about that here).  I didn’t dare look at da Vinci. The pictures I’d seen of him online looked scary and intimidating. So when I was hauled to the OR, I looked at the ceiling, the big lights and the faces of people around me who were grabbing, poking and getting me ready for the Master to perform my surgery.

A little arm rest, one of them said as she bolted them down.

Arms stretched out and tied down, I was at the mercy of these medical professionals and one large robot. But my trust was in Jesus. I knew He was with me.

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, I whispered.

I’m going to give you something to relax you, another said.

Over and out.

Next thing I knew was intense pain. I heard myself moaning.

Hang on, I’m adjusting your pain meds, one of them said.

Don’t rub your eyes! said another.

Joy Cometh in the Morning

It’s over! It’s done! I’m awake! Thank you, Jesus!

I was overwhelmed with joy.

Later that night, I thanked the Lord continually and relived the events of the day. In the OR, I was in an utterly vulnerable state: naked under my gown, on a tiny plank of a bed, arms pinned down, ready to be cut, blood would run out. It made me think of Jesus going to the cross for me. How they stripped Him. How he stretched out his hands on that cross, willingly, for me. How he would have intense pain inflicted upon Him, with the goal of killing Him. How he did not drink the sour wine mingled with gall, for He would not be tranquilized. He was not anesthetized. Jesus’ pain was fully felt.

He would not drink it, because he … would have nothing like an opiate to lessen his sense of pain, for he would die so as to feel himself die, because he had so much work to do, as our High Priest, in his suffering work. — Matthew Henry’s Commentary on Matt. 27:34

I welcomed the anesthesia as well as a nerve block for my pain. My pain was inflicted to remove cancer, to heal me. My Lord’s pain was inflicted upon Him to give me ultimate healing.

So when I woke up and saw the connect-the-dots wounds da Vinci designed on my belly, I thought also about His wounds. He was wounded for my transgressions. He was bruised for my iniquities.

That is the ultimate healing. And now this, too — he gave me physical healing.

The Great Physician, Master Surgeon, Has Healed Me

It wasn’t Master Leonardo da Vinci. It wasn’t the medical geniuses that invented this robot. It wasn’t Dr. David Moore. It was my Master, Jesus Christ, who performed all my surgery. As I read that very morning:

…the sharp cuts of the lancet have cleansed out the proud flesh and facilitated the healing. –C.H. Spurgeon

I previously posted how this affliction was a visitation from God (read that here). So I actually had a date with Jesus, not da Vinci. His abiding presence was with me, as He promised.

and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. – Matt. 28:20

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He Moved Mountains For Me

IMG_0169August 5, the morning of my surgery, Spurgeon’s devotion said:

“We know that all things work together for good to them that love God.”

Upon some points a believer is absolutely sure. He knows, for instance, that God sits in the stern-sheets of the vessel when it rocks most. He believes that an invisible hand is always on the world’s tiller, and that wherever providence may drift, Jehovah steers it. That re-assuring knowledge prepares him for everything. He looks over the raging waters and sees the spirit of Jesus treading the billows, and he hears a voice saying, “It is I, be not afraid.” He knows too that God is always wise, and, knowing this, he is confident that there can be no accidents, no mistakes; that nothing can occur which ought not to arise. He can say, “If I should lose all I have, it is better that I should lose than have, if God so wills: the worst calamity is the wisest and the kindest thing that could befall to me if God ordains it.” “We know that all things work together for good to them that love God.” The Christian does not merely hold this as a theory, but he knows it as a matter of fact. Everything has worked for good as yet; the poisonous drugs mixed in fit proportions have worked the cure; the sharp cuts of the lancet have cleansed out the proud flesh and facilitated the healing. Every event as yet has worked out the most divinely blessed results; and so, believing that God rules all, that he governs wisely, that he brings good out of evil, the believer’s heart is assured, and he is enabled calmly to meet each trial as it comes. The believer can in the spirit of true resignation pray, “Send me what thou wilt, my God, so long as it comes from thee; never came there an ill portion from thy table to any of thy children.”

“Say not my soul, ‘From whence can God relieve my care?’
Remember that Omnipotence has servants everywhere.
His method is sublime, his heart profoundly kind,
God never is before his time, and never is behind.”

[bold emphases mine]

That invisible hand is with me. The sharp cuts of the lancet will soon cut out my cancer and He will facilitate healing. The Great Physician who healed my sin-sick soul is present with me now. These were my thoughts at 4:30am, the morning of my surgery.

7:30am – my surgeon approaches my bed and says, I’m so sorry, your surgery is cancelled. I looked at him and laughed, thinking, cute joke….but he was serious. There was an emergency case and my anesthesiologist was summoned to it. My doctor was furious. The surgical nurse was, too. In the hallway, there was a heated meeting of men and women in blue scrubs. The hospital bumped my surgery, and I was the only 8am surgery scheduled. How could they not have another anesthesiologist available? My doctor said he would never again use this particular hospital for his surgeries.

Tears flowed as I said, I can’t go back home! I want this out now! My doctor had compassion, and it looked real. He grabbed my hand.

I want to help you, he said.

But unless the surgery could start by 9am, it was impossible. The da Vinci robot was set up and ready for me in the OR. My surgeon had that room for 4 hours. Then he had other surgeries scheduled in other hospitals.

Just then, the surgical nurse said, wait a minute! She was the diplomat, negotiating for me. She ran off to talk to someone else.

Pacing figures walked passed my room in the hallway. The nurse returned to tell me that another anesthesiologist was on his way. At 8:45, I was whisked away to the OR.

Just in time.

My Lord moved mountains for me. Omnipotence has servants everywhere. He moved hearts that morning, for me.

The morning after surgery, my doctor came in to check on me. I said, Praise the Lord that this surgery is done!

He said, It took an act of God to get your surgery done.

Yes. I know.

 

 

Are You Ready To REALLY Love Me?

What a horrible summer it’s been. Forget buzz words.

This is a special break from our regularly scheduled programming.

Buzz words are far better than the C word. I didn’t want to ever have to deal with that one.

IMG_4155

It has been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year (in Judith Viorst’s words. I love children’s books, so nothing says it better than that).

It all started shortly after New Year’s Day, when I broke a tooth on an almond. So much for healthy choices.

So that got me to the dentist, after a ten-year hiatus. Yes. You could only imagine the bill I’m still paying.

Then with April rains, came a mysterious spot of blood. Just one spot and tiny at that. I thought it was, maybe, I dunno…maybe I’ll ignore it. But I couldn’t.

So that got me to a gynecologist.

Fast forward to June 20, after having a PAP (abnormal but not showing cancer), uterine biopsy (abnormal but not showing cancer), ultrasound (looking good, but fooled ya!), and finally, a LEEP and D&C, I get the dreaded call. I had been praying fervently that morning, that I would finally get a good report, after all these other inconclusive tests.

 

IMG_4189Ring.

It wasn’t the receptionist or nurse from the doctor’s office. It was the doctor. My heart started pounding.

“I have your pathology report here. I’m so sorry. You have uterine cancer.”

“Okay” I said, shaking, but not crying…yet.

I called a dear sister from church, immediately asking for that APB (All Prayer Bulletin) to be put out across our church family.

IMG_4187
My plans and lists. His plans are far better, for His glory.

Then I cried. And prayed. And did some chores, zombie-like.

Then I called my daughter. My daughter, who has survived her father’s abandonment. My daughter, who has survived her own daughter’s cancer. All by God’s grace. And now she is the most positive, upbeat, loving woman that I can lean on.

My poor husband was next in line. I hate telling him horrible stuff over the phone while he’s at work, but he knew I’d get results today and he would ask anyway.

“Honey, we have a dark providence to deal with.”

“Oh, no.”

“ARE YOU READY TO REALLY LOVE ME?”

I will be weepy. I might be mean, impatient and irritable. I might not have dinner for you when you get home.

Later on, he said he cried, and I think I believe him, though I couldn’t see his tears through the cell phone.

Are you ready to really love me, husband? Are you ready and willing to put physical intimacy on hold? Can you appreciate greater spiritual and emotional intimacy in exchange?

The Lord ordained this for me, for us. Be there for me. You don’t have to speak, just wrap your arms around me. Be selfless. Stop making crumbs, haha! Be sensitive to my emotional tumult. Forgive me when I scream at you. Please.

I’ve been so volatile.

We are still newlyweds. From the beginning, I told Mike how I would love and savor the years the Lord gives us. I pray that He has many more in store for us. We’ve only just begun. Continue reading