I have something very personal that I would like to share with you.
Earlier this month, I left work on a Friday afternoon just like any other week. That night Dustin and I met up with a friend and went out for pizza and drinks. Upon arriving home that evening, I started experiencing really bad stomach pains. They persisted through the night and into the next day. It felt like a pulled muscle rather than an upset stomach, which left me a little perplexed since I hadn’t done any strenuous physical activities before then.
The entire next day, my stomach hurt pretty intensely. I woke up on Sunday with the intention of having Dustin take me to the ER just to get checked out but then talked myself out of it due to the cost. I told myself I’d go to the doctor the next day if need be, during normal business hours.
Fast-forward 2 weeks…I still hadn’t gone to the doctor and my symptoms had all but disappeared, however, Satan persisted relentlessly in toying with my mind, making me wonder if something was wrong with me due to the unexplained pains I had experienced.
I decided to set up an appointment with a new doctor just to get the peace of mind that I was looking for and be able to get it out of my head once and for all. They did some blood work and a few days later it all came back normal but due to the pains I had described, the doctor wanted me to get an ultrasound done, just to be sure.
A week later I went in for the ultrasound and the next day they called me with the results. They told me that they had found a 1 inch lesion on my liver which they thought was probably a hemangioma (a tangle of blood vessels) as well as a tiny cyst on my right kidney. Although the doctor did her best to convince me that both are actually very common and are almost always benign, I was pretty shaken up. I’ve never had any kind of irregularities show up on a test so this was very disconcerting news. They told me I would have to have an MRI done to confirm that they were benign. When I found all of this out, I cried and got pretty worked up at first. I let Satan get the best of me that night, rather than immediately turning to God.
I didn’t sleep much that night so I took the next day off from work and spent it talking to God and getting my mind right. A “mental” health day if you will. I prayed for God to strengthen my mind and heal my body. I listened to 2 sermons about the power of healing and my attitude completely changed for the better. The Holy Spirit spoke to me through the words the pastor spoke in these sermons and I felt a calm come over me. A peace that only God can deliver.
The next few days were hard. I had to wait over a week for them to get the MRI approved by my insurance company. That waiting time was excruciating! Every time I let my guard down, Satan was there to creep into my mind trying to make me think negative thoughts. I began doing brief daily devotions to keep close to God on a regular basis. I also ordered a book by Joyce Meyer called “Change Your Words, Change Your Life”. Reading this book really empowered me. It made me realize how much power God granted us through Jesus and through the Holy Spirit. He gave us access to so much power just by saying His words. I started reading 1-3 chapters a day, which for me is not typical! I have several books that I started years ago and still have not finished. I was so engrossed in learning about and harnessing the power God gave to us that I couldn’t put the book down. Finding this book was such a gift! I chose to believe that God is bigger than this mountain that had been set on my shoulders and started claiming positive things about my situation. I actually spoke out loud to myself and quoted verses and spoke affirmations into my life. Some might think that talking to yourself is silly but the peace I felt from doing this was undeniable. Saying this in particular always seemed to give me peace and made me feel in control of the situation- “I will not give the devil a foothold in my life. I will resist the devil and he has to flee from me!” I said this based on these verses that I had read: “Don’t give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life.” (Ephesians 4:27) “So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper.” (James 4:7)
Rather than focusing on the negative, I read God’s word and planted it within me and it made me stronger. I believed 100% that through my faith, I would be healed.
Part of what I had been reading about was the story in the New Testament where Jesus was tested in the wilderness:
Matthew 4:1-11New International Version (NIV)
“4 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’
5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. 6 “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
and they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
7 Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.
8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.
11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.”
Jesus had trials and tribulations to deal with for 40 days and 40 nights and had 3 separate instances where He was tested and He came out victorious because of his faith and his belief in God. This story resonates with me because there are some remarkable similarities in it to my own situation. I had gone in for blood work, an ultrasound, and yesterday I went in for an MRI. 3 separate instances where the devil was trying to interfere with my faith. Just like the 3 times he tried testing Jesus.
Today I received my test results back from my MRI and it just so happens to be exactly 40 days today since this all began back on Friday September 1, 2017. I hope you can see the irony in that. To my delight, I was informed that the lesion on my liver was nothing but a hemangioma like they had suspected. The doctor told me that these are just like birth marks except that they are on the liver instead of the outside of the skin. And the cyst on my kidney is just a benign simple cyst! She said no further treatment is required! I am so happy that I could cry!
God answered our prayers and in His own perfect timing (Psalm 37:7 “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him…”), brought me out of this struggle and into a renewed faith. Through all of this, I realized that I had unknowingly become a complacent Christian and God used this experience to wake me up and ignite a fire in me once again. It also made me finally have the willpower to start eating a healthier diet and make healthier choices in my life which is something I have struggled with over the past couple of years. God gave me the kick start I needed and I plan to keep that up even now that I know I am ok! He made good come out of a tough situation. God is truly amazing and full of love and miracles if we just choose to put our trust in Him and live a life for Him! Normally I keep to myself regarding any health concerns, but this was too awesome of a story not to share and God deserves to be praised publicly for it! J