The Physical Battle

The Worst Day

I am covered in bumps! My face looks distorted and ‘elephant’ like. I need help God! I need help! This is awful. Please let there be some cure, some drug that will fix this. It itches and I can’t see because my eyelids are so swollen! Lord, please heal my body! I am looking to you and I want to keep my focus on you, not the bumps, but I’m slipping. Despair is close, hope and joy are fading! I need you Lord. Please help the doctor to have a solution and quickly!

This is what I wrote in my journal on March 28, 2005. I was at the very bottom! This was a very hard time trying to think positive. The bumps were a reaction to the third session of chemotherapy, and they erupted on Easter Sunday. My family was there with me, but even their supportive presence couldn’t lift me from “the pit.” I felt like I had leprosy. I was itchy, full of despair, tired and overwhelmed. It was the lowest point I’ve ever experienced in my lifetime.

I was reading in the Bible in the book of Isaiah chapter 53. It was written years before Jesus lived on Earth. It predicted how Jesus would be treated and how he would die. I was feeling so low that my feelings resonated with this description. “There was nothing attractive about him, nothing to cause us to take a second look. He was looked down on and passed over, a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand. One look at him and people turned away. We looked down on him, thought he was scum.” That was how I was feeling, but what really hit me was that Jesus was God and had a choice about living in this condition and He chose to do that because he loved me. Amazing! So, I continued to read. “But the fact is it was our pains he carried – our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us. It was our sins that did that to him, that ripped and tore and crushed him – our sins! He took the punishment and that made us whole. Through his bruises, we get healed.” What a sobering thought that God loves me that much. My tiny faith in Him began to grow. He knows what is happening to me, he has experienced it too. This thought stuck with me through the sleepless, itchy night.

The next day, I went to the doctor and he said that it couldn’t possibly be the chemo, because it should already be out of my system. (My doctor was out of town and I saw his associate. He was not kind and acted like I was a bother and that it couldn’t possibly be his problem.) It was a disappointing appointment and I was more desperate! I called my friend and asked her to contact all of my many supportive friends and family. She sent out an email, requesting them to urgently pray for my healing.

When you are at the end of your rope, that is when your faith is tested. I believe that God uses doctors to help in the healing process, but when it comes down to it, your faith better not be only in medicine. This situation taught me to rely totally on the great physician-GOD. As I began to pour out my heart to God, he began to refocus my mind. I began to see that I had prayed and demanded he heal me…now my heart was changing and I began to say “Have your way with me- whatever that is.” Total surrender happened during this week. I began to pray, “Thanks for meeting me each morning and helping me through each night. God, you are my anchor, my salvation, my focus, my solution, my everything. I love you Lord.”

These verses were my focus during these days:

Psalm 119:50 My comfort in my suffering is this, your promises preserve my life.

Psalm 27: 7 Hear my voice when I call, be merciful to me and answer me.

Psalm 40:1-2 I waited patiently for the Lord, He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord. Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust.

Eph 3: 20 He is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine. To Him be the glory!

Well, my bumps and itching finally went away. A friend called with a homeopathic solution, and it helped. However, it still took about a week for the reaction to totally subside. This may not be your experience with chemotherapy at all. Your circumstances will be uniquely yours, but I bet there will be a “worst day” during your journey, and my prayer is that you can use the truths that God brought to me for your bad day.

worst_day1Looking back, I can see God’s plan in all of this. He brought me to where I didn’t rely on anything or anyone. No medicine, no doctors…just total trust in Him. His plan was for me to totally surrender to his will–not mine. John 9:2-3 says “This happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.” Jesus was referring to a blind man in this passage, but I believe that my toxic reaction also happened so that God’s work might happen inside me.

The next week when I saw my regular doctor, he recommended that I not take another round of chemo. He said such a toxic reaction made him believe that another chemo would not be best. So, not having to do a 4th chemo was God’s plan. I hated having the rash, but I was very, very happy that I was now finished and didn’t have another chemo to deal with!

I read this passage in the book, “Streams in the Desert:” When we are in darkness, the temptation is to find our own way out without trusting the Lord and relying on Him.” This is what I learned during this dark time…to rely on God and Him alone!! I am grateful for the lesson, but even now, years later, I shudder when I think about this week. Some lessons are meant to stick with you for the long haul.

My precious daughter sent this Bible verse to encourage me, and I hope it reaches your heart as well. It is found in Job chapter 11 verses 16 through 18.

You will surely forget your trouble, recalling it only as waters gone by. Life will be brighter than noonday and darkness will become like morning. You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety.

Life is so fragile, yet God gives us each day as a gift to enjoy! I am trying to do just that!

If you are experiencing your “worst day” I would count it a privilege to pray for you. If you desire that, please send me an email and I will gather a group of friends to cry out to God on your behalf.