“How’d you miss it for so long?” someone asked me today. “Couldn't you tell you had a sinus infection?”
Well, I should have, but the symptoms all matched various other physical conditions I have and I had chalked them all up individually to other things. There was no more mistaking, though, what was really going on (for the last 8 weeks) when my temperature hit a high of 105 last Friday, my face felt like it was about to blow off from the inside out - if my brain didn't explode first - and I truly felt like there might not be a tomorrow. I have spent the last week, very, very sick. Every day there seemed to be some new symptom or some new challenge. The temptation to feel sorry for myself has been overwhelming, but I only gave in once, and very briefly at that! (That’s when the nausea hit like a brick wall – on top of everything else. And just when I was beginning to feel like there was some hope I would feel human again!)
Today, around mid-morning, I felt a sudden burst of energy and a sense of “wellness” that I have not experienced in over a week. The most dramatic change was that the very strong and most unpleasant nausea I was experiencing as a reaction to the antibiotic, suddenly lifted. I was surprised and briefly puzzled. Then, “Ah,” I thought to myself, “Belinda and her team of managers are praying this morning.”
It’s been an amazing week. Until something like this happens, you don’t realize how much support God has built around you in the relationships he has blessed you with. At least I didn’t. My family, bless their hearts, rallied to patiently and faithfully meet my physical needs, fetching cold cloths, and medicine, and endless cups of cold water, and finding the long-lost thermometer (mind you I had to offer ten bucks to whoever came forward with it first!) and offered up the first prayers, I’m sure. I sent out a weak, but impassioned “Help!” to Belinda via email, and she alerted the church prayer team, and her team of managers and who-knows-who-else she dragged into praying for me.
People started to call. Emails began to drift in. I knew I was supported and loved through this situation. How could I possibly feel sorry for myself? The support I felt meant everything as I lay there writhing in pain at times and other times showing signs of delirium from the fever.
On Saturday morning I am leaving for Mishkeegogamang First Nation on a missions trip for two weeks with my daughter, Jorie, age 16. Up until 10:30 this morning, that idea seemed like a bubble that just had to burst, considering my physical condition. But today, it looks like we will definitely be going. I know that is directly related to the fervency and numbers of prayers offered up on my behalf, not to mention the goodness and mercy of God to whom those prayers were offered. Today I began to build up my stamina again by going into the office for an hour and dropping in to cell group for a bit longer than that. Tomorrow I’m going to try 3 or 4 hours at work, and Thursday, hopefully I’ll be able to stay the whole day. All this with a deeply rooted, chronic infection, which flared up into a virulent life-threatening one -without the aid of antibiotics - just a week ago.
From the time I first was sick, I knew this was an opportunity to say, “I quit. I can’t do it. I can't go.” The illness was my out. And I would have been completely justified in doing so. But I felt the Lord saying to me… “You can stay home if you want to. I’ve allowed every reason for you to say you can’t go. It's your choice. But – do you believe I have called you?”
Yes, I believed. And Saturday we're going. I will still need his strength for every step we take. But we're going! We have to be at the airport at 7:00 a.m, leaving at 6:00 to get there. We won't arrive in Sioux Lookout until lunch time. Then we will wait a couple of hours or more for our 250 km. van ride to Mish. Knowing the team of prayer warriors that surrounded me this week will be such a comfort as we face each new challenge and rise in the road. I am SO pumped! Just waiting for God to reveal his more of his goodness and mercy in our lives.
“Thank you Lord, for every experience this week. For every victory – every physical challenge faced and overcome with your help. I am completely undeserving of your goodness, but you called in the troops and you helped me anyway, because that's who you are. Thank you for the support that you revealed that is around me all the time – that is around all of us who are called by your name and firmly planted in your family. I have no need to fear anything in the future. You and your people will see me through." Amen.