Miracle Monday: In the Waiting

I’ve been an athlete my whole life and was blessed to still be going strong into my forties. Every Saturday a group from church would gather to play basketball. It all started when I jumped to block a guy's shot and somehow fell straight on my face, landing me in the hospital with stitches and a concussion!  (In case you were wondering…let’s just say, it was a legit block.)

Five months later I was training to run a Spartan Race, and was experiencing constant, shooting neck pain with headaches which were limiting not only my training, but everyday life.
After months of chiropractic care, he recommended I seek an orthopedic evaluation.  An MRI revealed significant damage at 3 levels of my cervical spine. Protocol would have called for my doctor to fuse all 3 levels which would greatly reduce my range of motion and ability to be active. We agreed a more conservative approach was best and through many other tests, zeroed in on the level that looked the worst. In January of 2021, I underwent cervical fusion of C4-5 with hopes of returning strong and pain free!

This was by far the most difficult surgery I have had to date and unfortunately I had a number of complications recovering. After 6 weeks in a neck brace, I began Physical Therapy but was experiencing worsening pain.  I tried many approaches for help, including acupuncture, massage, medications and even flew to Denver to see a specialist to try to figure out what was causing the daily, chronic pain and headaches.
 
Nothing has been able to alleviate the pain and my lifestyle has changed pretty dramatically. No more basketball, not much hiking, no races and regrettably, I’m not able to play with my girls the way I want to. I have had to learn to slow down in ministry and daily life and to say no to a lot of engagements I would normally gladly take on. I am thankful for the Lord's faithfulness even in seasons of pain and weakness! I have learned a much greater dependence on Him and am beginning to understand what Paul meant in 2 Corinthians 12:9 - And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Last month at my one-year post-op consultation I learned the surgery failed, explaining my ongoing pain (meaning my bones did not fuse together, a 4% chance). Unfortunately, due to the other two problematic levels below c4-5, the path forward is not clear. If it were just this one level, the recommendation would be another surgery to re-fuse it. However, c5-6&6-7 may also be causing pain, in which case, if he fused those as well I could end up right back at square one, now with 2 more levels that did not fuse.

While this is certainly not ideal I am confidently leaning on the pillars of my faith: God’s sovereignty and His goodness.  God is in complete control over the affairs of my life, which means; not only has He allowed this but I believe, He has ordained it for my life. His goodness (found throughout the scripture) is summed up in Romans 8:28 - And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

I am confident He can change my situation at any moment, whether He heals me, or leads to a medical procedure to alleviate the pain.  But should He choose to allow this pain, He’s doing this for my eternal good and His glory.  In that, I am learning why James says (James 1:2) - Count it all joy when you fall into various trials,  knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

There are days when I give into tears when I am struggling with the pain. It’s a good opportunity to live out the Gospel with my family as I ask their forgiveness when I fail to be patient due to the pain. I know God sees my frame, just dust! He is long suffering and compassionate in the midst of my struggle.

I keep perspective knowing there are so many people who are going through far more difficult trials than mine.  However, by God’s grace, I want to be faithful in the little things and my prayer is that He enables me to suffer well, with joy and a song of praise on my lips!
 
Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

If you remember nothing else from my story, know this: No matter what we are facing, we can have joy, and still praise God while waiting for our miracle.  God IS good, ALL THE TIME.  

My name is Kam, and this is just one of my miracle stories.


 

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