When I first heard about my aneurysm I wanted everything to be done quickly, quickly, quickly. I wanted to be rushed to the hospital and have them do whatever surgery they could to fix this. But, that has not been the plan. Thankfully, according to my doctors I have a strong aneurysm. So this means that the doctors can do all the tests and all the right steps to determine the right procedure for me. This is great – but it takes time – and often I don’t want to wait. I have finally finished waiting 10 days for insurance approval and a procedure date. So, now I wait until May 17 where the doctors will attempt to put a stent in my brain to fix the aneurysm. If this does not work, then I will need brain surgery. More waiting, more days of wondering what is next. It’s been a month so far since I found out about this. Each day I am praying and each day I am waiting for when this is over and I am healed. And again, God is teaching me in this waiting. Which brings us to a second lesson I’m learning:
About two and a half weeks ago I had a brain angiogram done. This is where a catheter is put through a vein in your leg and threaded up to your neck. Then dye in injected so the doctor can take pictures of the vessels in the brain. Thankfully the angiogram went well and the doctors were able to get the information they needed. However the stitches didn’t work. This meant that the doctor had to press on the site for 15 minutes to stop the bleeding. This of course caused a lot of bruising. At first I was recovering really well and because of that I decided to push myself a little. Walking a bit too much, standing a bit too much, carrying things I shouldn’t be carrying. Well, because of all this extra pressure on my body, one morning at school I became extremely dizzy. We left work and went to the hospital. It turns out all the extra strain I put on my body caused me to have hematoma near the puncture site. This means that small pools of blood have gathered – basically a really bad bruise. So, that meant more bed rest last week – and it felt like a set back. More waiting, more resting, more time not walking. I want so badly to be better but I can’t rush, I need to rest. I want so baldy to jump, walk, do yoga, dance. I want to get better right away . . . but healing takes time. Some days I feel so discouraged, and so overwhelmed by my fears, but I need to see this time as God’s way of slowing me down, healing me, and preparing me for the next procedure. In Him I hear: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
It’s so easy to get anxious, impatient, and frustrated. With waiting there is time for doubts, and fears, and what-ifs to creep in. Some days I get overwhelmed by what could happen, and am filled with so many doubts in my faith and my outcome. But through each step in this process I am learning to be patient, positive, and hopeful. There are some things that have carried me through and have helped me to be hopeful. First, there is a dream I had not too long after finding out I had an aneurysm. In this dream God’s hand came down from heaven and with healing oil made a cross on my forehead and said “Don’t worry, I will protect you.” Many many times when I am full of worry and fear my husband will remind me of that dream. Second, when driving to Dubai for the first time to meet with the specialist I closed my eyes in the car and could picture angels surrounding the car, guiding us safely. Another is all the prayers and emails and people who are thinking of me. I have had times when desperately praying where I can feel everyone’s prayers with mine giving me confidence and strength. These are the things that give me hope. These are the things that keep me positive. These are the things that remind me that God will never leave me or forsake me (Deuteronomy 31:6).
So, here I am – waiting. And what else can I do? I must be hopeful. I must be positive. I must be patient. I am often journaling and collecting verses and quotes that I have found encouragement in. There are two in particular that have filled my mind with peace and my heart with hope:
My whole life I have looked to the stars whenever I could – literally. I love star gazing and taking walks in the night with scatters of stars shining above me. Scott even proposed as the sun set on the best place to star gaze on the east coast. Stars have always filled my heart with hope – and I think that’s why this quote by Spurgeon touched me. Right now I am walking through a night filled with medical tests, hospital visits, worry, and doubt. But I am called to be like the stars I so often look to. Now is my time to hope and to trust that God will carry me through this. I need to be a star in the sky.
For most of my life things have been safe, easy, comfortable. I have had different difficulties in my life like my unemployment, my ulcer but overall I have been really blessed. The odd thing, as I look over the past years of my life, is that for a time after college I seemed to grow away from my faith. Things were easy and I didn’t need to rely on God so he fell into the background. Now, during this shadow, my heart seems to be bursting. I want so badly to be close to God, his protection, his love, his peace. I hope that this time in my life teaches me to not only bloom and grow during these difficult times, but also during simpler times. I want to get through this shadow so I can shine in the sunlight as well.