The last several weeks have been challenging, to say the least, for our family and for our oldest daughter, Kristin, in particular. It’s been more than 3 weeks since she had the father of all headaches – an event that defined a new level of pain that she had never thought even possible. Nothing worked – and she was finally hospitalized in an attempt to stop what was thought to be a migraine headache. With a specific cocktail of drugs, Kristin finally received some temporary relief and was released to go home.
Unfortunately, her relief was short lived and through the next several weeks, she continued to suffer debilitating headaches. I won’t bore you with all the details, but since her initial pain, she has seen a neurologist, had several variations of MRI’s and CAT scans and today had a cerebral angiogram, as a result of some perceived abnormalities and incongruities in earlier tests. The hopes is to determine whether she is suffering from brain aneurysms or constricted blood flow through certain areas of her brain. A rheumatologist appointment is scheduled for later this week.
It appears that the doctors are at a loss as to what is wrong. At least tonight we are grateful that aneurysms or other brain surgery related issues seem to be off the table for consideration. Thank God. There are still some other possibilities – brain infection or some sort of auto immune problem – such as MS. Unfortunately, my mother died from geriatric MS and immune disorders also run through Janet’s family. Kristin’s final test, a spinal tap, is on schedule for Wednesday to see if the doctors can isolate her problem.
While it sounds like this post is more about the negativity of what is happening, it is really about God showing up in the midst of suffering. I just don’t know that I have ever seen the community of believers rally around somebody the way they have surrounded Kristin with prayers and love during her trials. Janet and I have a church family as well and at least three of the pastors where we attend, as well as numerous friends, have prayed for our family and have asked to be kept advised of Kristin’s health status.
People are calling and texting me for updates and while all this must seem “normal” for the situation our family is in, the miracles of God continue to be evident throughout this entire story. Because when people are facing trials, they either grow closer to God or are driven further away. But they don’t stay the same.
And I am thrilled to report that Kristin and the rest of us have been drawn even closer to God the past several weeks. That doesn’t mean that we haven’t been worried, or that Kristin hasn’t been scared, but we have discussed theology and different verses that refer to being fearful or worried. I am proud that Kristin has used this episode to grow her faith even deeper and to continue to surround herself with the people of God who pray and intercede on her behalf.
Certainly God must be aware of the number and magnitude of prayers that are being lifted up for Kristin and He has honored those prayers to date. Of course, we are continuing to pray for healing and for the doctors to find a treatment that will put an end to Kristin’s suffering. We will continue to be hopeful.
Many times, I have seen people pull away from God when they face adversity. Kristin’s steadfastness has been a wonderful testimony to faith in Jesus Christ. Even today, as she entered the hospital for her angiogram, Kristin happened to meet a nurse who attends church with her and had been praying for Kristin yesterday. What an uplifting thought! – and what’s the chance that something like this could really happen?
The verse for this evening reflects our dependence on God. After all, He is in control. We are told, in Nahum 1:7, “The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him…” My encouragement this evening is that God is always there for us and is waiting for us to put our trust in Him. It’s okay to be worried or even fearful about medical problems and other issues that we face. God understands. My prayer is that if and when the time comes that you face trials of this magnitude, that you will put your trust in Jesus and that drawing away from Him won’t even enter your mind as a possibility. After all, we serve an awesome God and Kristin, as well as Janet and I have had the privilege of feeling His presence up close and personal. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…