In my early twenties, I learned what a narcissist was. I didn’t know the word back then, but I knew the traits of one. I became familiar with the mental abuse. The words that cut like a knife. The mind games. I learned to cope. I learned to survive. Then I found an escape. I felt God literally put his hand on me and lead me out of that situation one summer evening…and I never looked back.
At the age of 30, I learned what an angiomyolipoma was. I learned that one was growing inside of my kidney. I learned what a nephrectomy was, and I had one; my left kidney was removed to prevent further damage from the benign tumor growing inside of it. I learned to cope during the recovery. I became a warrior. A survivor. God kept his hand on me throughout the entire journey and carried me through it.
In my early forties, I learned what anxiety truly was. I learned about intense panic attacks and depersonalization. The kind of “mental breakdown”, if you will, that keeps you in bed and trapped in your home because the outside world is too scary. I learned to cope. I became a warrior, not a victim. A survivor. God continues to carry me through this every single day.
Two months ago, I learned what an Acoustic Neuroma is: a very rare but thankfully benign and slow growing brain tumor. I learned that one exists inside my head. I learned that it sits on the 8th cranial nerve that controls my hearing and balance. Ringing in my ears 24/7 and hearing loss, along with a bit of clumsiness and nausea have become my new normal.
I am trusting God to hold me up and make a warrior out of me once again.
But some days, I falter. I’m scared. I’m scared of what this means for me. I’m terrified of a possible 12 hour surgery, of becoming completely deaf in one ear, of my face potentially becoming paralyzed on one side (the latter is rare but still possible).
At this point, my doctor has suggested “watching and waiting” and another MRI in Nov/Dec. (after having an anxiety attack during my first one and powering through my claustrophobia, that alone has made me somewhat of a warrior along this journey already).
Trusting God’s plan after all I have been through should be a “no-brainer” (no pun intended). But like Joshua in the Bible, I often have to be reminded that God was with me through my previous battles and He will be with me through this one.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Most days I’m pretty okay. My physical symptoms are annoying and sometimes scary, but it has mostly taken a toll on my mental health. People with anxiety don’t like surprises. We don’t like the not knowing. We like ALL the information and a detailed plan. Watching and waiting is not something I do well but I suppose it is yet another way for God to refine me.
“So that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
So I wait. And I trust. And I hope. And I pray. And even on the days when I falter, I believe.
I believe God is the Great Physician. The Divine Healer. I believe in miracles and I believe anything is possible for those who believe. I may have days when the fear wants to win, but ultimately my trust is in the One who made me, the One who knows me and the One who carries me.
If you feel led to, I would appreciate prayers. Prayers of healing, prayers for strength and prayers for my faith to be made stronger.
And if I may pray for you in any way, I will be glad to! Just simply comment and say prayers needed. I may not know the need, but God does.