Originally published Monday, 04 February 2013.
Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve written about my surprise visit to the hospital when I was suddenly taken with severe pain that sent me into contractions (while I'm currently pregnant). I wrote about what led up to going to the hospital and then what happened after I got discharged, while the pain persisted (only assuaged with medication and a constant rotation of cold packs) and I could barely get any sleep.
Through it all, I had been praying. Even before we went to the hospital, I’d asked my husband to pray over my pain time after time after time. When we finally decided to go to the doctor and then to the hospital, I didn’t question it because I knew that if God had wanted to heal me, he could have—he’s done it for me many times in my life, in everything from psoriasis to stomach aches. We had asked and we had not received, so I did not feel bad about taking the next step and seeking help at the hospital.
While they were able to stop the contractions and the nausea at the hospital, the pain persisted. I remember being up in the middle of the night—unable to sleep because of the throbbing pain—and all I could manage was to repeat, over and over again, “Lord, I need a reprieve. I need a reprieve.” The pain was so intense it overwhelmed me. And yet, the only reprieve came when the nurses administered some more pain medication.
That cycle continued even when we went home, and it seemed that my pain was here to stay. The doctors chalked it up to the baby’s position and said it would relent once the baby was born—in another five months. It looked like my newfound pain was here to stay.
Slowly, I started to come to terms with what looked like my new reality. I saw it as an opportunity to know—for the first real time in my life—what suffering actually feels like. At times, I began to embrace it, to take encouragement in knowing that it was drawing me closer to God and that it truly was him who gave me all strength. I could not rely on the doctors but I could rely on him.
At other times, I read the Psalms with new appreciation and cried as I prayed their verses out loud over myself, begging, again and again, for a reprieve. The doctors could not give it to me, but I knew God could—but would he? I latched on to the promises of those Psalms which say that he will. He will. It may not be today or tomorrow, it may be at the end of my pregnancy, but I trusted that it would come.
In the meantime, we were still fighting for answers and some kind of real treatment. We were convinced it was my kidney and there was one doctor who fought alongside us. Finally, just over a week after the whole ordeal had begun, a urologist took interest in my case and ordered some tests to nail down what was going on. For the first time since this all had started, I was encouraged; finally, I felt like we were making headway!
The only hitch was that one of the tests the doctor wanted to run was a special series of x-rays that would detect whether there was a stone lodged in my kidney. While they assured me that the test was of minimal risk to the baby, the idea of exposing my baby to any more radiation than necessary scared me and, once again, I turned to prayer and enlisted others to be praying alongside me as we figured out what to do next.
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Carmen writes the blog, Life Blessons, which provides an intimate look into her life as a twentysomething woman as she details her experiences learning how to live out her faith, enjoy the simple things in life and be the woman God created to her to be. Along the way, she shares the blessings and lessons that are a part of this journey, the things she likes to call her "blessons."
Feel free to learn more at her blog, Life Blessons.
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Waiting on God and Finding Joy Amidst the Pain
Cultivating A Grateful Heart Even When It Hurts