I got some bad news at the doctor a couple of weeks ago. The scan that had been ordered to check for a work-related hernia instead revealed problems with my liver. It took me a minute to understand what I was being told. Liver damage was, in my mind, something that only heavy drinkers faced and I’ve never been a fan of alcohol. How was this possible?
The doctor explained that one of the problems I have is termed cavernous hemangiomas. These are benign masses of tangled blood vessels. Often people are born with them and they almost never cause any damage. It’s possible for someone to go her entire life with these masses and never know they’re there. How long these lumps have been hanging out on my liver is unknown, but the medications I have been taking for the few years can contribute to their growth.
The other problem? Nodular regenerative hyperplasia. Basically, this means that I have some places on my liver where the cells are all tweaked out.
Imagine, if you will, a wall made from bricks. It’s uniform. Solid. Now, imagine trying to replicate that brick wall using some chewing gum, cotton balls, Legos, a tennis racket and some string. You might be able to get the basic shape, but it won’t look the same. It won’t feel the same. It won’t respond to stimuli the way the brick wall does. This is what hyperplasia is, but it’s inside your body and it’s affecting cells you can’t see.
This second type of damage can lead to cancer, though in my case the chances of that are low. It appears that it has been caused by some medications that I was taking.
Shaken but Not Broken
The last two weeks have been tough. I’ll spare you the details, though I’m sure you can imagine what I’ve been dealing with.
In the past, this kind of experience would have shaken me deeply. I would become an emotional wreck. I’m embarrassed to admit that I would have avoided prayer and reading the Bible, because I would have been mad at God.
Not this time. Something clicked inside of me when the doctor was laying all this out. I realized that I had a decision to make. I got to choose how I would respond to this situation.
It no longer made sense to me to run away from God when I needed Him the most, and so I decided to walk through this valley holding His hand. I wasn’t going to yell at Him or succumb to the Enemy’s lies. I was going to take what I’ve learned and live it out.
Reminders of Truth
On a notecard I wrote out several verses to remind me of this choice:
“My eyes are ever toward the LORD, for He shall pluck my feet out of the net.” – Psalm 25:15
“They cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and He saved them out of their distresses.” – Psalm 107:19
“He calms the storm, so that its waves are still.” – Psalm 107:29
“Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold! I will do a new thing. Now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” – Isaiah 49:18-19
One Body In Christ
I share all of this with you because I know I’m not the only one struggling. I know that each one of us faces difficulties each day, whether it’s health related or not. From broken relationships to financial problems, there seems to always be something that threatens to knock us down.
Take heart, my friend! Our Lord has overcome all this (John 16:33). We have hope. We get to walk through the dark times with Jesus. We get to make that choice.
I pray that you choose to hold on to truth, whatever it is that you are facing today. Let’s stand in faith.
Let’s stand together.