Yesterday, I spent about 5 hours in the emergency room. I’ve had two episodes of ovarian cysts before. About 11am, I stared to have some serious ovarian pain. I went home, thinking I’d be better if I could just lie down and take the pressure off.
Well, I barely made it home. Every red light felt like an eternity. It was the worst pain I’ve ever had in my life. It made the pain of the previous two episodes look like pleasure in comparison. I was shaking and sick to my stomach.
Praise God, a friend of mine was able to come to my house and take me to the hospital. As with all emergency room visits, it was long and frustrating.
Having been through this before, I knew the drill, and wasn’t surprised when the doc said that I’d need to have a catheter, a pelvic exam and ultrasounds.
A young nursing tech (Melissa) came in with another nurse to insert the catheter (but not before my nurse gave me IV morphine, praise God!). That part was fine (it’s really not as bad as you think). A little later the tech comes back to get a urine sample from the catheter bag.
She was having some trouble getting the urine out, so she lifted the bag up high and shook it. And. She. Pulled. The. Catheter. Out!! It spilled urine all over me. Yuck.
Somehow, miraculously (by the Spirit, of course), I didn’t flesh out. I felt sorry for her, because she was so upset by it and felt so bad. I told her it was ok, mistakes happen and not to worry about it.
Later, after my ultrasound, Melissa came back to remove the second catheter. Somehow, during our conversation (talking somehow made me forget what she was doing!) she ended up saying “I used to go to church all the time when I was a kid.” I said “you don’t go to church now?”
She told me no. When I asked why, she told me that she just didn’t believe all that stuff anymore. I asked her if someone had happened to her, something hurtful at church. She told me that her church was very conservative, and that they believed that you shouldn’t go to a doctor if you were sick, but you should just pray and God will heal you. She said that God didn’t heal her, and when she eventually did go to the doctor, things were bad and more complicated to deal with.
Right about this time, I had to change my hospital gown (I love those things so much), because she’d spilled urine on me AGAIN! I still didn’t flesh out! And so in the bathroom, I prayed that God would give me words to say to her, and that He would speak to her through me.
When I came out, I told her that I was so sorry that she was subject to this teaching, because it’s not consistent with the character of God. I said that it’s crazy to me that people who say they believe that God is so in control that He can heal all sickness, somehow don’t believe that He is in control enough that science, medicine, and medical care are a GIFT from Him.
I told her about my bipolar, and that my pastor says “we’ll pray for your healing, but until God heals you, you’d better take your medication.” I said that not all churches, Christians or pastors believe that medical attention shouldn’t be sought out.
She said that she didn’t believe that God was in control. That when she finally got to the doctor, she had had two nervous breakdowns, and that the doctor told her that it was amazing that she survived. “God’s not in control. Where was He during all this?”
I told her that she did survive, and that there’s mercy in that. God took care of her.
She softened a lot then, and stopped arguing. I could see her on her face that something had touched her.
I told her I would pray for her. Because I was so sorry for what had happened to her, and it wasn’t right.
I can’t tell you how blessed I feel that God brought me in the path of Melissa to share His love with her. If that was the purpose of all that pain, it was worth it! What a privilege to speak to others on God’s behalf!
And what an amazing miracle that God’s Spirit kept me from going off on her over the catheter incident(s). If I had done that, I would have completely lost the opportunity to share God’s love with her.
So, God let me get an ovarian cyst so I’d get the privilege of sharing with Melissa. He indeed works in mysterious ways. And by surrendering to His Spirit, and letting Him make manifest the life of Christ in me, I was able to change a painful ER experience, to an experience I now cherish. 🙂
If you read all this, thanks! And if you get a chance, please pray for Melissa. That she’d be drawn to the Holy Spirit, and that He would minister to her, and that she would surrender her whole heart to Him!