Seeing in the Land of the Living: No Evidence of Disease (Part 6)

We believed in our hearts that this day would be a good day.

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It was finally here – Monday, November 12, 2018 – The day we had been praying about for months. We believed in our hearts that this day would be a good day. We had prayed so much about it and now it was finally here. It was time to walk out what we had been praying for. Can I be honest? That was harder than I anticipated.

It actually started the day before. The appointment was three hours away, but because my appointment wasn’t until the afternoon, we would have had plenty of time to drive up on the day of the appointment. However, that all changed when the forecast started to show snow.  So we decided to drive up the day before the appointment and settle into a hotel before the snow hit. We had our car all packed and ready to go, and suddenly we were hit with the first of many distractions. My car, the car we often drive when we are together, was making strange noises. So, we turned around, loaded our things into my husband’s car, and hit the road. My husband, Dan, and I discussed the changes once we got onto the interstate and agreed that we were not going to let the worry of what may or may not be wrong with my car ruin our trip.

When we arrived at our hotel, we checked into our room and I started unpacking. Yes! You read that right. It doesn’t matter if we are staying for one night or ten – I move in. I hang up our clothes, set out chargers on our nightstands, and put all of our toiletry items in the bathroom. It just feels homier and organized to me that way. Anyways, I had just finished unpacking, when our air conditioner/furnace started making strange noises. We tried to wait it out, but each time it kicked on the noise continued. We called the front desk and they decided to move us to another room. So, we quickly packed up the room and moved everything. Once in the new room, I unpacked again. Again, Dan and I agreed to not let the small annoyance ruin our trip.

After getting settled in our new hotel, we drove to the hospital to ensure we knew where we were going. As soon as the hospital came into view, it all felt so surreal.  This entire journey had been so fast and so crazy. Plus, the hospital was so big! I am grateful for specialists, but the fact that I had been given a diagnosis that required a specialist at a hospital that is that big just felt so unreal. As we drove around the huge campus, tears started falling down my face. Instead of being consumed by what the hospital could hold for us, Dan and I choose to talk about how thankful we were for the medical opportunities we are given.

After our adventure to find the huge hospital, we did a little running around and then went back to the hotel and ordered pizza. As my head hit the pillow, I felt the doubt creep in. “Your prayers do not matter.” However, I quickly pulled that out of my brain and spoke truth over myself like I have so many times before. When I fell asleep, I fell asleep with complete peace, knowing that whatever the next day held, God would be there.

The next morning, I woke up long before Dan. I laid in the dark hotel room and started thinking about what the day may hold. In the past, I have been quick to choose anxiety, and some of the same old voices of worry started to creep in. “What if I am not only healed, but I am actually worse than the doctors in Springfield thought?” As quickly as the thoughts poured in, I took them captive and replaced them with truth. 

After Dan and I got ready for the day, we decided to go to my favorite chain breakfast restaurant. However, when we got in the car we realized it was closed on Mondays. Instead of grumbling, we choose to go to the mall to kill time instead.

When we arrived at the mall, it was like walking through something I have only read about. Nearly all the stores were gone. The place was filled with several empty storefronts. Of the few stores that remained, very few were open. We kept checking our phones to see if we had read the time the mall was to open correctly. At this point, we could have gotten annoyed, because it seemed that every plan we had was falling apart. However, we choose to laugh and enjoy our adventure. (Complete side note, why aren’t businesses setting up office space in old malls? To me, having several offices, maybe acute care and daycare in a mall just makes sense!) 

We were just starting to think about sitting down for lunch when the snow started falling pretty hard. Again, I had a choice. I could be fearful of the way the roads would change, or I could choose to enjoy the beauty of it all and trust Dan. After a few minutes of talking it over, we choose to drive and park near the hospital and have lunch within walking distance. After we ate lunch, we still had quite a bit of time before my appointment. So we explored a little and enjoyed a cup of coffee together. 

Finally, it was time to check into my doctor’s office. As we rode the elevator up, I realized I was feeling expectant and peaceful at the same time. I was expectant of miracles and filled with peace that no matter what the next several hours held we would be okay.

The appointment was thorough. It started with a discussion about my medical history and what I had been experiencing. The doctor looked at all my previous tests and confirmed that based on my symptoms and tests he agreed with the diagnosis of idiopathic intracranial hypertension or IIH. After that confirmation, I went through various tests and exams. 

I learned quite a bit about the condition at this appointment. As I have described before, IIH is a rare condition where a person’s body creates too much spinal cerebral fluid which creates pressure. Increased pressure can cause optic nerves to swell, and when the swelling is left untreated it can cause blindness. What I learned at this appointment is although the symptoms can be controlled with medications,  the condition almost always leaves behind scar tissue and some kind of vision damage.

Did you catch what I said? Almost always. I am so excited to announce, the doctor confirmed I have no evidence of IIH. He actually uttered the phrase; “I see no evidence of disease here.” There is no scar tissue and no vision loss. In fact, I passed every vision test with flying colors. I barely made it to the elevator before the happy tears started to fall. How good is our God? 

Friends, I share this story in part to brag about how good our God is, but more than that I share it because our God doesn’t show favorites. He doesn’t pick and choose who He heals. He also doesn’t pick and choose which ailments to heal. His heart for all of His children is total healing and total restoration. Healing is our inheritance. He doesn’t just want to heal me, He wants to heal you!

Lately, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about Romans 15:13. It says this:

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

My prayer is that as you wait for your healing, God will fill you with complete joy and complete peace and that you will overflow with hope. However, friends, there is an important part of this scripture that cannot be overlooked. He fills us with joy and peace as we trust Him. Again, this story isn’t about how amazing Dan and I are because I promise you, we both have a lot of things to work on! However, in the twenty-four hours leading up to my appointment, we had several opportunities to choose fear, to be grumpy, or to feel discouraged. Each time, we choose to trust Him and walk in joy and peace. 

Did walking in joy and peace guarantee a good outcome? No! However, because Dan and I have been rooted in the word, we know the character of God. We knew He could be trusted. Trust is like a muscle, and when it mattered it was easy for us to flex it because we had been using it every day in the small stuff. 

I love what Isaiah 41:13 says in The Passion Translation:

I am Yahweh, your mighty God! I will grip your right hand and won’t let you go! I whisper to you: “Don’t be afraid; I am here to help you.”

I don’t know when healing will come for you. Honestly, I can’t begin to guess what tomorrow holds for any of us. However, I do know that we do not have to be fearful, because no matter what He is holding each of us. 

 

This is an updated edition of a post originally published on borderless.blog.

Featured Image by Graham Ruttan 

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About the Author

Melissa Forster lives in Missouri with her husband, Dan, and their adorable gray cat named Leo. She loves Jesus with her whole heart and loves following Him to a place where her faith is without borders. She collects llamas, t-rexs and grand adventures. Her favorite place to be is tucked in at home with copious amounts of coffee and a great book. Melissa and Dan have been struggling with delayed fertility for ten years and have two precious babies in heaven. Melissa writes from her heart about her (slightly dramatic) near death experiences, grief, joy and who Jesus is in the midst of all of it.