Peace be with you, Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I have a very personal story that I'd like to impart, and I pray that it will be an example for those who have doubts about God and a true faith relationship with Him.
I have for some time now encouraged faith to my readers using scriptures and the parables of Jesus. But I have been going through a personal experience for some time that has drawn me face to face with my own faith. It's time to practice what I preach on a very personal level.
I have DDD, Degenerative Disc Disease of the spine. I also have scoliosis where the spine twists rather than curves. I have already had a double fusion on my cervical spine, and thus I have a titanium plate in my neck where two levels were fused using a synthetic disc material that actually grows to the bone. Surgery was successful and accomplished the goal of being pain free in my neck and shoulders.
I also have had surgery on my lumbar (L3/4 and L4/5) which was fused just like the surgery in my cervical spine. The same synthetic material was used and I believe some kind of rods and screws were put in place to hold the fusion steady. I've told you before that I contracted staph and a bone marrow infection that was horrific, and subsequently was the very thing that brought me to my knees at the foot of the cross.
I am once again facing some kind of surgery on my spine. I have two levels together and one level by itself where the discs have degenerated and I am in pain every day of my life. I'm a pro. I've had problems since I was in my 20's, so I've spent most of my adult life in pain. At this point, I have had four unsuccessful epidurals for the pain. I recently underwent a CT scan and an MRI at the request of a neuro-surgeon.
Yesterday, I went to meet with the surgeon and I just knew it was going to end up with me scheduling a surgical procedure. I was dumbfounded when he sat and crossed his legs and arms and bluntly said, "there's nothing we can do to make you more comfortable." I was "you're kidding, right?" He said "no" and mentioned something about three levels, two together and then one stand-alone. I was so shocked at his very matter-of-fact disposition about this very important issue with my personal health and gave me no recommendations whatsoever that I couldn't think of the questions I should have asked. That came later after I cried in my car on the way home and began to seek God's advice.
My conversation went something like this: "Dear God, I can't believe what just happened! What am I to do? I know that you're trying to tell me something; help me to understand. God, I need some answers and right now I'm so shocked, but I know that this is Your doing! You have your plan for my life. So, it had to be Your decision for me to not have this surgery with this physician. What are you trying to tell me. Help me to understand because I feel so lost right now."
These thoughts between me and God continued until late into the early hours of morning, for my mind was racing and I could not sleep. I finally did sleep and when I awoke, I laid there thinking about my prayers for understanding and acceptance of what is happening with me.
My conclusion: God does not want me to have this surgery now or with this physician. The time is not right, and rushing around to find a spine specialist and having surgery might just curtail my plans to spend Christmas with my nearly 85 year old parents. Also, these surgeons were not the right ones. Perhaps something could go wrong that might cripple me for good. All of these things were made perfectly clear, and therefore, I am not worried about my back pain at this time. I'm resolved to use OTC medications for pain, pain patches and the like until after the holidays.
I am at peace. I have put my complete faith in God about this choice. I feel it is right, I can tell by the peace and resolve that I have.
So, I suppose I'm trying to simply impart a personal experience that went from not knowing to fully knowing because I know that God has my life plan, and he will not deviate from that plan. If I must go through this pain, then all I can say is that it brings me closer to Jesus and His Passion. He suffered a TREMENDOUS amount of pain for you and me.
I haven't been around as much lately as usual because of how I feel, pain wise. But I'm watching from the side and love and pray for your intercessions every day. God bless you all.
My faith in God is more solid, and for that, I am so very grateful.
Lovingly in Christ Jesus,