Note: This post contains discussion of 'female issues' not intended for men or children.
"Do you think it could be cancerous?" Never one to beat around the bush, I leaned forward, bracing for the worst, not at all ready to hear it.
My doctor's elbows rested on a heap of file folders. His fingertips arced into a triangle that covered his mouth and chin. Leaning back into his chair, he cleared his throat. "Given your age, it's unlikely I'll find anything cancerous." He paused. "But there is always a chance."
A shiver raced down my spine. I had a mass, and it needed to be removed. Twilight Zone music played eerily in the back of my mind. "Hello, I'm Julie Gillies. I have a suspicious mass that needs to be removed."
Recently the elders and pastors of our church had anointed and prayed for me; it was scriptural, and I had done so with great faith, hoping that the Lord would have mercy and spare me from another potential surgery.
Apparently God said no.
Floating somewhere between denial and somebody please wake me up, I startled to find the surgery consent forms Dr. Pollack had placed in my hands. The breathtaking view of a local bay, resplendent with carefree boaters, was a sharp contrast to the dead weight I now felt harassing my shoulders. Five surgeries, God? Wasn't four enough? Even as Keith and I signed consent papers, I could not fathom how God could allow this to happen.
Three weeks later, in July 2006, the surgery was performed. Dejavu struck as the I.V. painfully found its way into a vein in my arm. My husband stood holding my free hand, his head shaking in disbelief. Here we go again, his face said. God help me, I whispered as the anesthesia began to take effect.
In the months that followed, my body struggled to heal. The good news? No cancer. The bad news? I returned to the doctor's office on four separate occasions due to continued bleeding, enduring four chemical cauterization procedures, which I assure you is every bit as awful as it sounds. Eventually the trauma came to and end, and complete healing came - just not the way I would have preferred.
Through it all, God spoke to my flabbergasted heart. My grace is sufficient.
I willed my mind to grasp the words I hardly wanted to hear. Are you sure, Lord? Cuz sometimes it hurts so badly. I just wanted you to heal me.
"But He said to me, My grace, My favor and loving-kindness and mercy are enough for you, that is, sufficient against any danger and to enable you to bear the trouble manfully; for My strength and power are made perfect - fulfilled and completed and show themselves most effective - in your weakness.
Therefore I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ, the Messiah, may rest - yes may pitch a tent over and dwell upon me!" - 2 Corinthians 12:10 (Amplified Bible)
There are things we will never understand this side of heaven. Yet I believe God is sovereign - and good. Even when His answer to me is "No", I will not stop trusting Him. In spite of pain, hardship, and confusion, I will choose to trust Him, serve Him, and love Him wholeheartedly.
How about you? Has God said "No" to you when a "Yes" was what you desperately wanted to hear?
Copyright © 2008 Julie Gillies. All rights reserved.