Today is big. Or maybe I’m putting too much pressure on it. But today marks my appointment with doctor #4 with Amber’s Mysterious Illness. And today will tell whether my journey will give me healing here in Cincinnati or if I will have to branch out to the Cleveland Clinic.
Earlier I wrote about putting too much of my trust in people – in the doctors, myself, my husband – to heal me. And instead, I needed to rely on God to pull me through no matter what. Since then, I’ve repeated Psalm 16:8 daily in my mind: I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
And I have to wonder, am I putting too much emphasis on Doctor #4 today? Am I relying solely on his skill, experience and knowledge to diagnose me? Am I still keeping my eyes on the Lord?
I won’t lie – when you feel like poop every day, it’s hard to focus your attention on God. It just is. The extreme fatigue, loss of appetite and overall general malaise have a way of taking center stage, usurping my relationship with Jesus. The bad feelings are the here and now, and God feels like a million miles away. A shadow to the present.
Maybe I’ve spent so much time focused on my physical healing that I failed to see how God was working on me in other ways. My soul. My character. My spiritual maturity.
I’ve been pleading, desperate to feel better.
Please heal me, God. I know you can. Please work through the doctors to figure out what’s wrong with me. Give me a diagnosis, something to work with, so I at least know what’s wrong. Make me well so I can go back to being the kind of Mom and Wife you want me to be.
Now I wonder if I God has been healing me all along. Slamming me up against a wall, and I had to prove – would I cling to God so he could lift me over or would I try to scramble up on my own steam? Or worse, would I give up?
In the beginning, I kicked and clawed at that wall with all I had. I ripped off fingernails and bloodied my knees. But at my low point, feeling so crummy I would have went back to the ER if they hadn’t already shrugged their shoulders at me, I clung to the one truth that never changes, God.
I grasped tight – like a newborn to a finger – onto all the truths about God’s character.
God is a faithful. God is merciful and full of grace. God is slow to anger and quick to forgive. His timing is perfect. He protects. He heals. He will never leave me.
I stopped kicking and screaming at my wall, and instead tried to listen to what he wanted me to learn. Instantly, Proverbs 3:5-6 comes to mind:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
Lean on God, Amber. Give your pain, worry, anxiety, fatigue, and sickness to him. Just give it away and trust.
In a few minutes, I leave to see doctor #4, a nephrologist. But I’ll be honest, I don’t think I have a kidney problem. And I almost think this appointment will be a waste of time. It’s just another stop I need to make to rule out a bunch of things I don’t have wrong with me.
But if the appointment is fruitful, I’ll know it wasn’t from me wall-climbing. God gets the glory.
Time to hit the road . . .
Good news: my kidneys are fine. The bad news: Doctor #4 has zero idea what’s wrong. His advice is for me to go to the rare disease department of Johns Hopkins or Mayo Clinic. Sigh.