2014 has been off to a rough start. It seems like it has been one thing after another and the resulting anxiety has been overwhelming. I have struggled with feeling empty physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually and with that comes guilt and shame.
I am a youth pastor’s wife who feels like a wall has been built between myself and God.
I have not lost my faith. I know wholeheartedly that God is in control and I cling to His promises fully. The proof of His love and provision is all around me.
During the trials that have surrounded me, I know that He is with me and He has never moved. I have. My tank has run empty and I have not let His grace fill me up.
If you deal with chronic illness, you know how exhausting it is on every level and in every part of your life. Actually I’m not sure the word exhaustion can even begins to describe it. It is a fatigue that seeps into your bones and into every corner of your spirit.
In efforts of self-preservation, I shut down. I yearn so badly to be filled but I feel so full of guilt and shame that I push it away. I should be stronger than this. I am not only married to a pastor but I have my own call to ministry and here I am swallowed up in a sea of desperation and feel like I’m treading water just to maintain.
I am exhausted.
And then today happened.
I received the results from my biopsy results from last week’s EGD. All of the biopsy results came back normal but one. My celiac disease is being controlled by my gluten-free diet and I have healed wonderfully since my diagnosis almost four years ago. It is what they found in my stomach that made me hold my breath.
When the nurse went over my doctors notes after my EGD last week, she mentioned that they had found and removed a gastric polyp but not to worry because they are common and turn out to be not that big of a deal.
But this one wasn’t.
The polyp that they removed is called an adenoma. Adenomas are the least common type of stomach polyp, but the most likely type to become stomach cancer (source).
I almost dropped the phone. The nurse assured me that they removed everything they needed to during the procedure, nothing was left behind, and I am 100% ok. I would just need to be closely monitored with EGDs to make sure that nothing comes back. I could breathe again.
As I sat on the bed trying to process everything, I went back to the day I sat in the doctors office last month scheduling the procedures. She had only planned on doing the colonoscopy but something inside me told me to push to have an EGD done at the same time. Since I do not test positive in blood work for Celiac, an EGD is the only way to monitor the disease so she agreed. If I was under and cleaned out, they might as well check both ends.
But what if I hadn’t asked for the EGD? What if this polyp not caught and removed early like it was? When would we have found it?
Those were scary questions to ask and I found myself face down on the floor.
At that moment there could have been no greater reminder of the sovereignty of God. He was the one that pushed me to ask for that EGD. He was the one that helped my doctor find the polyp early enough to be found and completely removed. He was the one waiting to rescue me.
In that moment I felt His grace and mercy poured down on me like rain. All this time He had been whispering, “I am here” and I finally pushed myself out of the way so I could hear it. I could feel the walls crumbing.
Today is the first step in healing. Today is the day I give my heart back. Today is the day I reclaim my place. At the foot of the cross.