When God Says No - Part 2

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.


Kelly said...

Loved you post Julie! I really take issue at folks who view God as a benevolent Santa Claus giving them their every wish. God does say no. Often. But he can see the BIG picture, which we can't.

I often tell my kids no to candy before dinner. They think I'm mean, but I see the big picture. Same.

I'm so glad you have a faith that can hear "no" and still KNOW and love God. Amen, amen!

Anonymous said...

I love ALL of your blog entries, but this one has to be my favorite.

God recently said no to the family and friends of our beloved Denise when we prayed for her to be healed from cancer. She went home to be with the Lord only a few short months after her diagnosis. She praised Him right up to the time of her last breath. What a witness!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Too many times to chronicle in the space provided; I remember clinging to the bar grip in the hospital bathroom, crying in pain and telling the Lord over and over again, "I'm going to fail you, Lord; if you really gave me something more horrible than this moment of infection, I am sure I would fail you."

I was miserable and nearly out of my mind; looking back, I see just how far he's brought me. Should I ever face another crisis moment like this one a few years back (and I feel fairly certain that I will, although perhaps not female related), I want to walk a better faith that holds eternal perspective rather than fleshly groans.

So glad he brought us both through surgery. Reflecting on yours has brought some depth to mine.


Shawna said...

Oh, absolutely, Julie. I am living a "no" everyday of my life, though thankfully it is not a physical ailment with me or my family.

I just can't figure it out. But I know I love God and trust Him, though i just don't understand.

I am so thankful you are finally healed. It must have been so awful and discouraging. I am glad you came through with your faith intact and stronger than ever.

KelliGirl said...

Wonderful story. Thanks for sharing that even in the midst of our difficulties when it seems like God says "No" He is with us, armed with plans different, and often far more spectacular, than our own.


Sheryl said...

First of all, thanks for stopping by. I love meeting new friends. This post hits me where I live these days. God is saying no over and over. However, I know that He is saying no because His plan is better! I plan on coming back often to visit. You are truly a gifted writer.


achildoftheking said...

That was a powerful story Julie. I have Fibromyalgia, nothing like cancer. However, it's painful and daunting to get through each day. I've resolved to allow God to use it for His purpose in my life. I use my health as a witness for Christ.

Thank you for sharing how God works in and through you. It's a great example for us all.

achildoftheking said...

Julie, I couldn't find an email address to contact you personally... Just to let you know. I only use Kimberly for my name. Thank you for stopping by & commenting on my blog.

I look forward to your future posts. (=

Just To Praise Him... said...

Hi. I came on over to meet you from Tiffany's blog. I needed this post today. God has said no and I really really want a yes though He continues to promise what He has instead is better. It is still hard and it still hurts. Disobedience brings weariness I am learning so to surrender will mean rest...I'm right above you in sunny South Carolina! Come by and visit for awhile!


On Purpose said...

May we learn that His yes is what is truly right, and perfect for us!

This is a daily lesson for me!

Nice to meet you Julie

Tea with Tiffany said...

Thank you for your visit.

Wanted to share with you I wrote a post about abortion, a letter to Obama. Feel free to visit again. I had a fire come over me. I couldn't NOT write.

Sonya Lee Thompson said...

Hi Julie,

Thank you for writing these posts. This was so touching, excellent writing!

God has said "no" to me and my family on many occasions. Sometimes we have wrongfully forced the issue and regreted it, and other times we've just trusted Him. Once, there was a death in the family - what a very hard thing to go through! But, God is still God and He is not just to be loved during His "yes" times. :)


The Frazzled Mom said...

Just found you and found your blog from 2008. I hope you are healed. God has given me an answer of no for 12 years. It has brought tremendous pain and confusion. All I know is that "all things work together for good." I've struggled to maintain faith, but I know God is still listening and working in my life no matter what my circumstances are. Definitely following you. Cathy C. 5minutesforthefrazzledmom.blogspot.com

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