Fall is a very busy time for me. As I prepare to head south for the winter, I have a long to-do list to get things ready. I have work to get my house ready for the winter, work to get my RV ready to travel, and work to get me ready. The “me ready” tasks involve several doctor appointments to make sure everything within me is still functioning good enough to travel.
I do a lot of praying during this time and ask that God give me the strength to get through all the work. I also ask him to be with me through all the doctor appointments. At age 64 and living with a chronic disease, I know from experience that I could be one bad test result away from a calamity.
During the second week of November, I had four doctor appointments to get through. All were routine follow-up visits but I still worried about each one.
The first two appointments went fine. But the two appointments with my gastroenterologists didn’t go as well as I had hoped.
First, my colitis symptoms had shown real improvement over the past 6 weeks and I’d been feeling really good. But the test measuring the inflammation in my colon had doubled. I had a similar experience with a routine liver function test. I was expecting to see normal results but instead three key liver function numbers were all elevated above the normal range. How could that be? They were normal in May?
My doctors said there was a plausible reason why some of these test results could be elevated. We had tried an experiment with my colitis drug treatment by increasing the frequency of my of my drug infusions. It didn’t work. It made things worse so we stopped the experiment in August. The bad test results could be caused by having the higher drug levels in my body.
Their reasoning made sense, but it still didn’t make me feel any better. On top of these less than stellar results, the other thing they reported was that one of my colon biopsies came back as indefinite for pre-cancerous growth. What that meant was that it looked like it could be pre-cancerous but it didn’t have any attributes of a cancerous growth.
I was expecting none of this and as I drove back from Boston, I could feel myself sinking into a blue funk. On top of this, on my way home, I stopped to visit with a friend who is dealing with a challenging cancer diagnosis. I had a good visit with my friend, but knowing more about his diagnosis and treatment, I left feeling more down.
When I got home, my thoughts were all negative. All I could think about was the out of control inflammation in my colon, my gimpy liver, the possible beginnings of colon cancer, and my friend who may have just months to live. It was all gloomy and a heavy burden.
The Power Of Prayer
But that night, I remembered a Bible verse from Mathew – “Come to me all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” I got my bible and read the passage in chapter 11 verses 28 thru 30. I also remembered a similar passage from 1 Peter 4:5-6 where he says – “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time. Cast all you anxiety on him, because he cares for you.”
I got down on my knees and began praying. I didn’t pray for healing. I told God I was casting away my burdens of worry and would have faith in Him to do whatever he has planned for me. Whatever may be happening to me or my friend was in His hands, not mine, and I would not worry. I would continue to have faith, thank Him for all he has given me, and ask Him to show me what I should do.
I felt better after praying. The next day, I woke up and my blue funk was gone. I wasn’t focused on the negatives anymore. I was focused on the positives. Regardless of what any of my tests showed, I still felt great. My liver numbers were only mildly elevated and should come down in a couple of months. The doctors had a plan for reducing my inflammation and I would undergo another colonoscopy in the spring to check on the questionable spot in my colon. Whatever that showed, I would deal with it in the spring with Gods’ help. And regardless of the challenges my friend was facing, he was upbeat about his prognosis and had the best doctors in New England treating him.
God is Always There
What I thought had been a bad week had quickly flipped around. God had answered my prayer. He didn’t cure anything or make any conditions go away. Instead, He took away my burden of worry and showed me the positives. No matter how bad things get, I know God will always be there to comfort us and help with any heavy burden.