March 3, 2017
What My Brain Tumor Taught Me About Trusting God
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.(Psalm 143:8, NIV)
Friend to Friend
Three and a half years ago I had basically no eyesight. I’d been to three doctors in one day. I sat nervously in a dark room, with nothing more than a hospital gown and my quickly diminishing faith. Three and a half years ago I was in the ER about to find out I needed brain surgery to remove a large tumor growing off my pituitary gland.
I prayed and prayed. “God, if you could just bring me through this I promise I’ll never doubt you again.” Because surely, if I got through that, everything else would seem like nothing. I wouldn’t need to worry about the smaller things because heck, I’D BE ALIVE. What more could I ask for?
Well, I got through surgery. In fact, it went so well that they didn’t even have to put me in ICU afterwards like they thought they would. But I was terrified I’d get a brain bleed, a spinal fluid leak, or one of the other million things they said could happen. They sent me home within three days. I ended up in the ER twice after they sent me home, once by ambulance. It was a rough couple of weeks.
I just kept thinking OK, God, get me through this one more thing . . . one more thing . . . one more thing.
But it never really ended. Once surgery was over it was recovery. And after that it was waiting until my next brain scan. And after that, well, going back to real life - work and a household on top of exhaustion and headaches. Oh yeah, and a year - long wait until my next scan.
When does it ever end?
My last scan was clear, and I don’t go back for a couple years now. But I still worry. I worry my tumor will grow back. I worry my pituitary gland will stop working. I worry it will cause more miscarriages. I worry I won’t be able to breastfeed my son as long as I’d like—or that maybe I won’t be able to breastfeed my next child. These thoughts go through my head every day – because the trusting never ends.
Three and a half years ago it was “God, please keep me alive.” Then it was “I beg you to let me have kids someday” and now that I have my sweet son, after two miscarriages, it’s “Please, please, please keep him safe. Please don’t let me have anymore miscarriages. I want him to have siblings.”
Every day when my feet hit the ground I have to give that day—every hour, down to the second—to the Lord.
I try grasping at hope everywhere I see it, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to trust. Five days before my surgery I had no idea there was anything going on in my head. That’s a scary thought. But had I known the outcome, would it have been faith at all?
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1
Faith doesn’t tell us to take a leap in the dark. It tells us to trust our never failing God with a perfect track record. Faith proves the reality of things that cannot be seen by the bodily eye. It means we are in full approval of all God has revealed as holy, just, and good.
Faith, by nature, is trusting God with the unseen. And when you have a lot of unseens, you just have to keep-on-trusting.
I look back on that incredibly rough year—of surgery, and endless blood draws, and MRIs, and waiting, and hoping—and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I learned to persevere, trust, and hope like I never thought I could. I prayed more than I probably did in my first twenty years combined.
I got a small taste of what it’s really like to trust God when it isn’t easy - because life isn’t easy. But that’s why we have to place our ultimate hope in Him.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Take heart, my friends. Faith isn’t easy, but peace is so freeing. Just trust Him.
Dear Lord, this life can be so, so hard sometimes. And the scariest part is that we never know what the next day will bring. This can cause great anxiety, but it also draws us to place our trust in you. I know that you are working every little thing together for your purpose and plan. Let each and every day bring me word of your steadfast love, because I place my trust in you.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Has God drawn you closer through the struggles you’ve faced? What has He taught you throughout the hard times in your life?
More from the Girlfriends
I got married in 2012, at the age of 19, and found that marriage didn’t come as easily as I thought it would! My mom had been married over 20 years and felt the same way. Out of this, our marriage ministry, Nitty Gritty Love, was born. We blog about the tough things we face as wives, and how the Gospel should shape our marriages. We’re currently working on our first devotional, which will be published sometime in 2017.
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Originally published Friday, 03 March 2017.