My body has been put through the ringer this term with several large mysterious lumps appearing quite suddenly in my abdomen. One of them being the size of a tennis ball! But it hasn’t been all bad, in fact, strangely I have quite enjoyed the whole experience and I am looking forward to telling you why.
It all started at the end of January when I first felt a large lump in my abdomen. Well, three weeks later, after a second ultrasound, it was confirmed this lump was growing at a rapid pace and measured a whopping 6cm already!…. As you can imagine, I WAS PRETTY MUCH FREAKING OUT.
Fast forward to now. I have now had total of three mysterious lumps, two operations, six nights in hospital, and I am currently still recovering and waiting for the third lump to ‘go down on it’s own’….. Apparently, this could take months!
Naturally, there have been some really low points in this last month. I have had my teary moments and it feels like I have just had a forth c-section, only worse. I didn’t really get time to prepare for it and I don’t have another cute baby to show for it.
I felt sick for most of last year and it really wasn’t very fun and I had high hopes this year would be better. Unfortunately it hasn’t turned out that way so far and yet I have peace that it will all be ok.
I must admit, the time of rest in hospital was, for the most part, pretty fun. The food was great, the people were lovely and I just got to rest and read and relax most of the time. I didn’t get a photo of me in hospital, but if I did, it would have looked something like this…
But the thing that has made this time so special is all the wonderful moments that I couldn’t have planned or predicted where things just ‘fell into place’.
…..Like the time I waited all day for the Doctor to turn up and he appeared just at the exact moment my husband had arrived to see me in hospital (after being at work all day).
…..Or the way I already had the best appointment booked to see the doctor the day the second lump suddenly appeared so I was able to see him as soon as physically possible.
….. The midwife who happened to walk past me in the hallway and remembered me from when I was in hospital last, having my baby. She gave me a lovely motherly hug and the help I was so desperately needing.
……and the time I really wanted to get prayer at church but ran out of time and then a random lady, who knew nothing of what was going on in my life that day, came up to me while I was waiting at the pick up area and asked if she could pray for me before I went home! It was just so perfect!
Not only this, but the opportunities I had to speak with and encourage various people was so amazing and again, totally unexpected.
….Like the nurse who was encouraged just by observing my husband and I talk, and said that she too wants to speak with kind words to HER husband like she saw we did.
….and the lady in the shared room I was in who had broken her leg and I could make cups of tea to bless her and offer a listening ear as we both shared about our current medical woes.
…. And the kind old lady in the room next door in the hospital who would come out to say hello to my baby and said she was praying for me.
There were also many other, very small things. That really just made me feel totally loved and in God’s hands.
….. I had a book that I was about to return to a friend that I didn’t have time to read, and now I was in a perfect position to enjoy reading this great book. I was really glad for the distraction and the opportunity.
….. There was a lovely nurse who actually braided my hair in my first night in hospital as I couldn’t bend my arm to tie my hair out of my face because I had a drip attached at the elbow.
…. The day I freaked out that the first lump was growing bigger and I needed to get a second ultrasound ASAP, while sorting some papers at home, I happened to find an ultrasound referral all ready for me to use that I had forgotten about. My GP had written it at my last visit to use in three months time but there was nothing stopping me from using it earlier for peace of mind.
…. Even the simple fact that I still had some maternity clothes at home that I was able to access to be more comfortable in hospital after the second operation was a huge blessing.
As I reflect on this whole experience, I actually feel so thankful for this opportunity to rest in the moment and just see God moving clearly in so many ways all around me. I think in the normal day-to-day grind of life it is sometimes hard to notice these moments, though I am certain they are still there. This season gave me opportunity to be reminded afresh that God sees me and holds me lovingly in his hand.
When I was recovering from the first operation where I had the first, very big, lump removed. I watched a wonderful movie called “Miracles From Heaven” based on a true story about a little girl called Anna who lives in the US. She became very very sick, the doctors didn’t know what was wrong and there was no hope for a cure…. I could sympathise with this girl. In one particular scene she was rolling around in pain yelling out for a heat pack and more Tramadol (A type of pain relief). Well, THAT WAS ME! I was LITERALLY watching that movie cradling a heat pack over my abdomen requesting my next Tramadol tablet!
In the movie, one day, this little girl tragically falls out of a tree and hits her head. But the accident somehow miraculously knocks her body back to complete, total normality! A total miracle. No one could believe it!
What I really loved in this movie was the mother’s final speech at the end, where she stands up in her local church to testify to what had happened. The whole town showed up, including news reporters and a TV crew. In front of all those people she addressed the question on everyone’s mind. “Well that’s good for you but what about me? I need a miracle in my life. Why won’t God do miracles more often? If God does exist, why haven’t I ever seen a miracle?”
She said many people do not get the miraculous healing her daughter did, but if you look closely, there are often many small moments in time that some might call a coincidence or good luck, but in fact are truly wonderful God-moments sent from heaven.
Where the universe has, in some small but wonderfully perfect way, aligned. As the movie replayed several moments in the little girls journey it showed many times God was looking out for them just sending an act of kindness or wonderful coincidence just at the right time.
These are the moments I have seen with such clarity these last few weeks. And it’s wonderful.
Just the other day, after a storm had passed I spotted a rainbow in the sky and I was reminded of a wonderful moment that happened last month. Looking more closely at the dates it was just a week after I had first spotted the big lump. My son encouraged me to come outside and admire the sky. It was just on sunset and as we walked out further to look back on the house we saw the most amazing sight! By the time I took this photo, one of the rainbows had disappeared, but I kid you not, there was a double full rainbow stretching right over our house!
“I will put my rainbow in the clouds
to be a sign of my promise”
Now a person who doesn’t believe in God can easily reduce this moment to a wonderful fluke of nature and leave it at that. But not me. I looked at that rainbow and I saw it’s symbolism. God was giving me a promise. He was letting me know he has my family and my home covered. I didn’t know at the time WHY God would go to such drastic measures. He obviously thought it was an important message for me to know and he knew what was coming. And now, after seeing another rainbow just a few days ago, I can look back at what has transpired in the weeks between. It is just so beautiful, God kept his promise.
God saw what was going to come. And though my situation was not by any means ideal and I didn’t get some amazing massive sudden miracle, I CAN see, that from start to finish, God was walking the rough road with me and providing little wonderful moments along the way.
Just so he can say
“ I love you.
I see you.
I care about what you are going through.
You can trust in me”
We might not get the media worthy miracle but miracles DO happen. Much more than you probably think. So while you are traveling through life in this season, whatever that might look like. I’d like to encourage you today to look beyond the ‘lumps and bumps’ in life and keep your eyes open, to see the God-moments, the rainbows in the sky, and the wonderful coincidences.
….. And be thankful.
God IS with you.
“Therefore, give your attention to what God is doing, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”
And just incase you wanted to know…
By all reports so far, this “very lumpy” health journey I have been on should soon be over. The first lump was apparently related to scaring from having 3 c-sections and the other two are natural healing reactions after the first large lump was removed called Seromas. Only, they are quite large, and have caused some pain because I had an infection which complicated things a bit.
What little miracles have you noticed in your life recently?
I’d LOVE to hear about them.