In the months leading up to a very critical turning point in my life, my husband came across an uplifting song on the radio titled, Awesome, by Charles Jenkins and added it to his playlist. He would play it for me in the car on our weekend rides together, as we waited to find out what type of surgery I would soon be facing. The song ended up being a way that God spoke to me three times, very clearly, during my hospital stay.
To give some background history, on December 12, 2012, I went to the emergency room thinking I was having a heart attack, but the CT scan revealed fluid around my spleen. The fluid was under my diaphragm, placing pinching pressure when I tried to inhale.
The day after Christmas, I went in for a CT scan guided drainage of the fluid. My brother, a medical student, was spending time with us over the holidays was able to come with me to the procedure. However, the fluid had thickened to the point it would not drain. (Sorry, I know! It's gross!)
Then what seemed like a medical scavenger hunt began.
I was sent to another doctor to rule out infectious disease . . . then to a gastroenterologist . . . then to a surgeon that described the surgery I would have . . . then my case was taken up by another well respected surgical oncologist, after my case was discussed by a team of surgeons. Up to that point, I had been able to keep my sense of humor and practice the art of not jumping ahead in my thoughts . . . until. Until my first appointment with the surgical oncologist who seemed to be the one who would finally have some answers as to the type of surgery I would be having.
My brother (with miracle timing from the Lord) was again able to come with me to that appointment. We walked in the waiting room on the second floor of the Winship Cancer Institute at Emory University to be greeted by beautiful silver words set on a wood paneled, modern wall. It was the verse found in Proverbs 17:22, "A cheerful heart is good medicine." I smiled and felt comforted. My brother took a seat, as I made my way up to the check in counter. Beverly, with her kind eyes, looked up at me over her glasses, sweetly smiled and asked, "How can I help you?" The tears streamed down slowly like raindrops at first and then progressed into a unexpected downpour as I tried to answer her simple question. It was as if the heavy load from the long months of waiting and pinned up emotions all came to a head.
Why can't I hold it together, am I having a breakdown? This is embarrassing!
Beverly stood up with a sympathetic smile, walked around the big counter desk with arms opened wide coming towards me. I will never forget her big momma hug that day. I finally was able to take a deep breath, but continued to have torrential tears throughout the appointment. All I heard was six to twelve hour surgery, followed by a chemo wash and a two week stay recovery time. It was as if a kitchen timer went off in my head.
DING! I'm done! I can't process any more information!
My surgery was scheduled for April 16, 2013, and I would need to be there before sunrise to get checked in. One of my prayers was that the Lord would be with me. He was!
Little did I know, God would use this song to surprise and comfort me during my visit. I was about to find out just how Awesome, Mighty and Holy He really is! My Deliverer, my Healer, my Protector, my Provider, My God, who hears my prayers! This song was just one of the ways He ministered to me during this time.
Two days after my surgery, a nurse came into my room and started humming My God is Awesome. I excitedly said, "I know that song!" She smiled big. Scott immediately played the song on speaker from his phone. The three of us had our own little mini concert singing God's praises. Our God is awesome! I completely had a ahh moment where I didn't even feel the weight of my circumstances; just pure, sweet joy focusing on Him.
About five days later, Scott came to visit me after work. Down the hall, another patient had this song playing in their room with the volume turned way up, enough for us to hear it in my room. This is how some patients roll; we were laughing and smiling as we sang along from my room on the ninth floor. I regret that we didn't actually visit or see that patient. Most friendships formed with other patients were made out in the hallway or through open doors, but every time I walked by their room the door was usually closed. I still hope we still might find each other after all these years and swap stories.
Finally, on the day of my anticipated release, a nurse stepped into the elevator with me while I was being escorted in a wheelchair down to the lobby. She starts singing out loud, "My God is awesome" and I looked up at her and replied, "Yes! Yes! Yes He is!" I giggled with excitement. I shared with her how I had heard that song two times during my stay and that I loved how she sang it out loud the third time before I left. She smiled really big and I did too, because we both knew . . .our God is awesome!
Christina is an
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