Rachel


God is good. God is faithful. And God is with always with us. These are just a few of the lessons I’ve been learning over the past couple of months as I’ve struggled with illness. For months (really, two or three years), I was sick. I was sick and getting worse every single day but I didn’t even know it. Can you relate? In a sense, aren’t we’re all sick and in desperate need of Jesus, our Savior--the only one who can truly make us whole and well?!

I didn’t know I was sick at the time and now looking back, I can’t believe I didn’t see it. My body was operating in hyper speed, pumping the stress hormone, cortisol, through my body at an extremely high rate. Every moment of every day, I felt that same anxious feeling you have as you zoom past a police officer running radar. You see him tucked away on the side of the road just moments before you race by him, speeding a couple miles over the speed limit and fearing you might get pulled over. The second you see him, your heart starts beating fast and you feel a shot of adrenaline course through your veins. Well that sensation, also known as “fight or flight,” is literally how I felt ALL the time for the better part of two to three years. It happened gradually so I guess you could say my body just got used to being in a constant state of panic and I learned to adapt to always feeling anxious but never knowing why. It was miserable, yet at the time, I didn’t really realize what was going on. I would literally wake up on Sunday mornings with church as the only thing on my agenda for the day, yet I still felt anxious. I prayed and asked God to take away my anxiety and calm my anxious heart. Yet even still, the anxiety persisted, along with several other bizarre symptoms.

Well, little did I know, there was something physically wrong with me, thus causing me to feel like I did. I started to wonder if there was a root cause for all of the strange things happening to me and I finally sought help from doctors this past summer. After having countless tests and an MRI of my brain, it was concluded that I had a benign pituitary adenoma (tumor) that was causing Cushing’s Disease. Immediately, I was referred to a Pituitary Clinic at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee and after meeting with a team of doctors, we scheduled surgery to remove my tumor. So here I was, a seemingly healthy 27-year-old whose only prior surgery was having my wisdom teeth removed as a teenager. Yet now, brain surgery was on the horizon, set to take place just weeks away.

On December 12th, 2017, I underwent surgery and this week marks 15 weeks since my healing began! I’m improving all the time and with each passing day, my body is slowly reverting back to how it was pre-Cushing’s. I feel SO MUCH BETTER! To God be the glory!!! I can honestly say that God is the Master Physician and I continue to marvel at the way He so intricately created our bodies. He was with me in the days when I was sick and didn’t know it and He was with me during my diagnosis and in the days leading up to my brain surgery. He was guiding my surgeon’s hands and He’s healing me in these weeks since my surgery. He surrounded me with an army of prayer warriors and He’s shown His love and compassion through the countless friends and family that have encouraged me through this journey. This has by far been the scariest, hardest thing I’ve ever had to endure yet I am thankful. I’m thankful for the promise we find in Romans 8:28, “And we know that in ALL things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

I never would have chosen to be sick. I never would have asked to have a brain tumor that required surgery. I never would wish the misery that followed my surgery in those early days of recovery on my very worst enemy. Yet even still, I am thankful for the reminder that God is good. He is faithful. And he is always with us. No matter what you’re going through, I hope you find these to be true, as well!

The more I think about my story, I also want to share a song that really encouraged me as I was going through everything...not just then but today, as well! It’s called “Beautiful Story” feat. Mia Fields with the Belonging Co. The lyrics are literally my anthem—such truth and so good to be reminded of God’s promises to work all things together for good!

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