Mother Theresa is attributed as saying, “I know God will not give me anything I can’t handle. I just wish He didn’t trust me so much.”
I am far from anything close to Mother Theresa but I sometimes feel like saying “Enough already! I get the point.” Getting Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma was a shock. But I truly felt, and still do, that God was in control and that His plans for me were good. Sometimes it’s been a struggle however.
Back in 2000 I suffered a detached retina in my left eye. I had a dozen or so surgeries but developed a condition called proliferative vitreoretinopathy which kept pulling the retina back off and eventually damaged the macula. As a result, I am now blind in my left eye. About a month and a half ago, I started to notice a shadow in the upper inner corner of my right, (and last, good) eye. It worsened over a couple days and we quickly got in to have it checked. The retina in my right eye had started to lift away and separate from the underlying layers. There was no definite tear yet but there would be if something was not done.
I had to have emergency surgery. Three tiny holes were found in the retina. These were lasered shut and the retina was “welded” back into place. The fluid normally in the eye was removed and replaced with a gas. This gas would rise and hold the retina in place while it healed. Of course, that necessitates holding the eye in a certain position to keep the gas bubble and the retina in the proper position. In my case that meant lying on my left side 98% of the time. For just over seven days.
Now Ezekiel was commanded to lay on his left side for three hundred and ninety days, so I guess that I shouldn’t complain. But it still was not easy. For most of the time I had virtually no vision. No reading. No writing. I couldn’t even watch TV. Fortunately I was able to find some audio-books and that really helped get me through. Slowly, over the week, the gas bubble reabsorbed and my vision returned.
Just as I was recovering from the detached retina, our youngest son became ill. He had severe headaches, nausea, and vomiting. At first we thought it was due to a concussion he had suffered two weeks earlier but he kept getting worse and then broke out in a viral rash. By this time he was getting dehydrated and had to be hospitalized. Despite IV fluids and medication he was not improving and it was decided to consult a neurologist in Regina. And that was when God once more intervened.
There had been a lot of prayer swirling around us. For a long time, I’ve had occasional leg cramps at night and these had gotten much worse since I had been on chemo. During the week I spent lying on my left side day and night, I had not had a single leg cramp. My eye healed completely from surgery and my vision returned to 20/20.
The night before Jason’s appointment with the specialist, his family physician, Dr. Brown, awoke in the middle of the night with a strong urge to pray for Jason. He sat up and prayed.
The next day Jason was feeling much improved. He saw the neurologist who did a lumbar puncture and diagnosed viral meningitis. He was confused however by Jason’s physical state. He told us that based on the lumbar puncture, our son should still have been severely ill. The specialist had no explanation for this, but we knew the answer.
God is great.
God is glorious.
God is good.
God is gracious.
I know this. I hope you do too.