The morning after chemo, I did not fair well as expected. My liver was unusually swollen, with searing, stabbing pain that came on without warning. I choked it up to initial shock from the treatment, tried to drink what I could tolerate, and waited. Sadly, the next morning brought on full on ran-over-by-Mack-truck feeling. The pain was worse, now pressing my entire right rib, the fever soared, and I could barely lift my head. It felt as though a plate of concrete was on top of me. We rushed to the treatment center for me to be seen by the doctor. A long day of blood work, tests, waiting, palliative care people asking all sorts of heavy questions… This was the first time ever that I was rolled around in a wheelchair, head hung low… Just a month ago I was functioning wonderfully, chasing my boys, and even occasional housework! This heaviness, this weakness, lack of control over my own body, was very unfamiliar to me… Something else was at work, but I did not know how to snap out of this. I remember being in pain for months a year ago, when I was first diagnosed, immobilized and bed ridden. But since then, with so much prayer, relentless pressing faith, walking in His word, my pain was mostly gone for the past few months. That was until I had more scans in January, went in for radiation, and now this… My sweet angel of a nurse practitioner walked in with liver markers and other blood work results. She said, “Darling this looks bad. It is the disease in your liver that is causing fever and pain. The liver enzymes are extremely high. The range of a healthy person is 30 (for AST). Yours is 177!!! We have to hope and pray that the next few treatments begin to work, so we can contain this.” I was given some prescriptions for pain management, and released home, with doctors hoping for the next few weeks of treatments to show some hope. This was one of those times when even if I wanted to pray or read more, my strength has faded. I only remember laying quietly on the bed, playing worship music or healing Scriptures, testimonies. But daily my family, friends, church groups were lifting up prayers, many fasting, sharing encouragement, calling, writing, and storming heavens on our behalf. We have resolved to continue believing in these few intense days, that grace upon grace, faith upon faith, we would see relief come by Jesus’ divine I intervention. It had to! There seemed to be no room for error, no more margins. Pressure was mounting. At the end of the night on Friday, as I lay on the bed, attempting to pray, I heard this verse online, “For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10). The pastor who was speaking, brother Kynan Bridges, said, “The I AM is strong in you”… As I heard that, suddenly this light went off inside of me. All I could do in that moment was gather the strength to whisper, I AM [YHWH] is strong in me… I AM [YHWH RAPHAH – Healer] is strong in me… The I AM [YHWH SHALOM – Peace, wholeness, rest, health] is strong in me… “…let the weak say, I AM strong” (Joel 3:10) …greater is He [I AM, YHWH] who is in me… (1John 4:4) As my whispering prayer lifted off my lips, my lungs breathed in full breath (something that was painful to do before), and the pain was easing up. It felt so warm and fuzzy, breathing freely again. I was so thankful for being able in that moment to lean back in my Savior’s arms. Over the following few days the pain has not come back in my side. Though I may not have had all my energy back yet and had to rest often, I was in much better condition now. This was the time for the next round of chemo! As we waited in the office for the liver markers again, I was reflecting on Gods ability to heal, create and recreate organs. Our God is a magnificent Creator, who made heaven and earth, and intricately designed us… Well, I don’t remember seeing anywhere that He ever stopped being Who He is. Our mom received a brand new heart a few years ago, when we nearly lost her to heart failure. She barely missed an open heart surgery then, only because The doctor went in and found her heart was now as good as a 20 year old. My very brother received a hip, eroded by a childhood disease, but God supernaturally restored it in the prayer service when he was a grown young man. I turned to my husband and almost chuckled, “What if God could be recreating my liver! I don’t know what, when and how… But I believe that He can, and I will trust Him in the mystery.”
“I don’t know what, when and how… But I believe that He can, and I will trust Him in the mystery.”
“Your liver looks much better, Irina!” – in came the nurse practitioner…
She ran in, excitedly waiving the papers in her hand. “Remember how I said with 30 being healthy range, your AST was 177 a few days ago…. Well, it is now at 44. 44!!!”
What? She went over all my numbers, most looked ok, some naturally needing improvement. But this!!? That was before I even had the next chemo!
I am still pinching myself thinking about His goodness. Not only we can trust in His unchanging character, but He is so kind to even through surprises along the way.
And I am still filled with joy that I serve such a God, such great and wonderful IAM, Savior, Creator, Elohim, Who is mindful of me enough to breathe His life into my soul and answer when we call.
I don’t know the what, the when or how… But I will trust Him in the mystery