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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Lessons from the Valley - The Doctor

Another blogger friend has written about 'falling down the rabbit hole' and his struggle to just live, to process the reality or unreality of what life had become for him. I'm trying to do the same after feeling as if I've been tossed and tumbled in a huge tornado. Parts One and Two of my ponderings are here if you haven't read them before. Today I'm going to talk about how God proves His love and faithfulness through the doctor.

I had never met Dr Gordon before…by some strange coincidence it turns out that our daughters were in school together. I don’t think that this had any bearing on his treatment of me…I think that God was at work here too.

As I mentioned in a previous post…my husband and I had been praying for a good ob/gyn since my previous doctor had migrated. I was seeing my GP for a short while and he was going to help us to decide which doctor to see.  Ultimately though, we were trusting that God would lead us to the doctor He had chosen for us.

We ended up seeing Dr Gordon as an emergency.  I do wonder if it hadn’t been under those extreme circumstances, whether he would have seen me. He is one of the more prominent doctors in my country.  I worried about how much it would cost to see him.

My loving Father...always my provider  had that covered too. 

Let me stress here that I am not sure what faith this man possesses. Without prejudice (and I hope I don’t sound biased) I know that he divorced his wife after he met someone else years ago. I saw no signs of religious affiliation in his office. My first inclination would be to think that he is not a man of faith…especially since he asked about testing the fetus for genetic problems.  (He also asked me what I thought about being pregnant at my age and I responded that when asked that question I refer the person to the One above.) As I lay on that table in his office…I wondered how many women may have gone there and made the decision to end the lives of their babies.

Yet, our all-powerful God is in every place, every situation.
He was there with me and I do believe He touched the heart of this doctor. This man saw me no less than five times between Monday and Saturday last week...twice in one day and even coming into his office just to check me before he went to his hospital appointments. He used his equipment on me and did several internal examinations…all with the purpose of avoiding the expensive D&C procedure and to ensure that I was okay.

He only charged me for two of those visits, which included ultrasounds, internal examinations, and internal scans. The total cost of my experience…less than US$200!

He could have charged me for each visit….he could have sent me to the hospital in which he works right away to do the D&C… he would have earned more money that way.

I can only see the hand of my loving and almighty God in this! Was  His purpose that this doctor should be touched by our faith in Him? Would he experience God’s love through us? 

Well, my friends, I will never know the answers to these questions, but I will be praying for Dr Gordon. I do believe that He was hand-picked by God, who orchestrated all the events that happened according to His Divine Plan…whatever that Plan may be…
should I question it?

In the midst of this it was abundantly clear that our finances would not accommodate a heavy hit at this time. We had just scrimped all we could to provide our daughter with money to go back to school. It was a pretty anxious time, since after two days of waiting, my womb was still not clear enough and the doctor said he would have to perform the D&C if things did not improve by the third. 

It was at this point that I sent out a prayer SOS to my Good Morning Girls family and to precious friends who all lifted their hearts with mine in prayer and God leaned down and breathed His healing upon me. My womb was clear enough to satisfy the doctor and once again the Lord proved His faithfulness in providing  for us.

"But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19

He supplied the doctor, he placed compassion upon that doctor's heart and He also worked a miracle of healing in my body so that we would be spared an expense we could ill afford.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

More Lessons from the Valley

Today I will continue my ponderings of yesterday ...the lessons to be learned from my stay in the Valley of Shadows.

As I mentioned…I wondered from the moment of discovery, where God was leading me with this pregnancy. After four c-sections, I know that further pregnancies are risky. I’d been warned enough by doctors. There was fear, yet I had to trust in God.

I shared with my mother…who naturally was concerned for me, that I wondered if God’s purpose wasn’t for me to actually have a full-term pregnancy. Perhaps he was just testing my faith to see how obedient I would be.  At my age, there is even more risk for things to go wrong and I have had one doctor ask me if I would want to test for genetic defects. This is the way of the world! What would I do if something is wrong…abort it? If something is imperfect we discard it?  All life is precious to Him, imperfect or not!

Oh, how I questioned God’s purposes!

If He took me to the end, He would protect me…I trust in Him!   And yet…when I say “Thy will be done”, does that not mean I must also be prepared that His will could be that I sacrifice my life as well? What of St Gianna…? Is my fate meant to be the same?

Perhaps He was testing me to see if I would remain obedient and disregard any medical advice given to me to prove that I had faith in Him to deliver me and my baby safely through.

Now, I wonder if the true test was not in the acceptance of the pregnancy and the faith to go through it, but in what comes now. 

My friends, I feel so fragile and vulnerable at this moment…I am afraid of going through what I have already.  Fresh in my ears are the warnings of professional medics and the fears of family and friends and my own children imploring me not to put myself in this position again. Fresh is my own fear and doubt.

So, I do believe that the true testing of faith comes now. I can almost hear His voice saying “Now is the time to show your mettle. Do you listen to the voices around you or to mine? Do you stand firm upon your faith in Me, or will you give in to your human fears and weakness? Will you trust Me and my covenant with you…or will you crumble into the dust?”

I must saturate myself in His Word again...I must sink deep into Him to regain that deep faith and abiding trust.

Now, back to the valley of shadows...  the Lord is not yet done with my lessons...He would show me yet again how he is Jehovah Jireh.  

Tomorrow I will tell the tale of the Doctor…

Coincidentally, Jacinta at Growing Home is doing a series on Children are Blessings. I am finding much inspiration from the testimonies there.  Please visit her and be blessed by these beautiful stories of God's glory worked in the lives of women just like you and I.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Another Season...Lessons from the Valley

My dear friends…it has been quite a while and I have had a very eventful summer so far.  Let me fill you in. I wrote this post last month and I had some shockingly exciting news. Today’s post is about yet another season…another valley in the shadows.

"The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want..."

Last week, I discovered that I had lost my baby. This was no ordinary miscarriage though. I began spotting and over the weekend the bleeding became heavier so I called my GP. He arranged for me to see an Ob/gyn on Monday.

The scan revealed that there was no baby at all.  The amniotic sac was empty. What?! Did this mean that I had had a false pregnancy? No, the doctor assured me that there had been a baby, but that at some time in its development, it had just stopped growing and was expelled.  I had spent the weekend eating myself alive with worry that I could be losing my baby and there wasn’t even a baby to grieve!

I cannot begin to explain how confused, shocked and traumatized I was at this news. I wasn’t even thinking clearly at this point. In some weird place in my consciousness, I was GLAD that I didn’t have to look at a dead baby on that screen…the memory of the last miscarriage, which I had ten years ago, is still vivid. That moment when the screen showed clearly that my baby was no longer attached to the placenta and was, in fact, dead was a moment of the deepest despair as I let go of the fragile hope that it was all just a strange hiccup in my pregnancy and that all was well.

"He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul"

To cut a long story short, the doctor induced labour to rid my womb of the placenta and sac. My friends, I have had the pain of miscarriage…which to my memory lasted only a couple of hours. I have never experienced labour and I must commend all of you who have endured this to bring forth your precious babes.

 For my part, I endured without the prospect of a beautiful babe at the end of it and it was the most torturous thing I have ever endured. The agony was two-fold, physical as well as emotional. I thought of our Lord’s passion as I began walking this threshold of pain, but soon no coherent thought would form in my mind for hours.

Many of you, I know, have experienced pain and suffering of all kinds, loss and grief. Our journey here on this earth is filled with peaks and valleys, highs and lows…all with the single purpose of ascending that final mountain to our loving Father’s arms.

Sometimes we are tempted to question God’s purposes…when we are in the darkest of places we sometimes feel all alone. This is far from the truth because He is never far from our sides. I just love the well-known poem “Footprints in the Sand”. 

It illustrates so clearly the truth…the reality…that when we are at the end of our strength, He is there carrying us. When we feel alone, abandoned, despairing…He is actually lifting us, comforting us, loving us. If only we could see clearly with our spiritual eyes when we are in these dark valleys of life. If only we could remember not to turn inward but to look up.

"For yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,  I will fear no evil for thou art with me; thy rod and they staff they comfort me."

Many times throughout the last few weeks, I have failed to look upward. Many times, I have questioned, wondered out loud and allowed my thoughts to roam far from Him. From the moment I discovered that I was pregnant, I have wondered where God was leading me…what His purpose was. I have wondered what the cost of my obedience would be.

 As I ponder this, I know I have a lot more to share and I hope that you will come back tomorrow for the rest.  God is almighty! We are not to question His ways…and yet

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