Written by: Glenndia Thompson
In the fall of 2011, I began having severe pancreatic pain. I knew it was my pancreas because I had acute pancreatitis earlier that year, triggered by a gallbladder removal surgery. You do not forget pancreatic pain. It was like a bunch of burning hot pokers were stabbing me through the front of my sternum out through my back with the pain radiating up into my shoulders. I became a person I didn’t know. I was filled with anxiety and depression. To add to it, I was also having racing thoughts.
I was no stranger to pain as I also suffered from Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction. During that moment, I knew to call out to Jesus. Psalm 18:6 (KJV) says, “In my distress, I called upon the Lord and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple and my cry came before him even into his ears.” The conversation I had after mercy walked into my hospital room was one that I will never forget. Jesus had been pursuing a relationship with me and I knew it. I didn’t want to provide explanations or justifications, I wanted to only express my sorrow for rejecting Him.
Sometime later, I received a diagnosis of chronic pancreatitis when an endoscopic ultrasound showed over 55% damage in my pancreas and duct from scarring and calcifications. Eventually, pain on this level wears on the body and mind no matter how hard you are working to treat it. However, I always knew Hebrews 13:5 (KJV), which says, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Some nights became weeks in the hospital. It seemed there was no end in sight.
The good news is on January 26, 2016, I was ‘scheduled’ for a total pancreatotomy (removal of the pancreas, spleen, part of the colon, and part of the stomach) at the University of Cincinnati Hospital. With prompting from the Holy Spirit, I canceled that surgery and for the next three years, I did everything I could to get closer to Jesus, which in return decreased the stress on my body.
Struggles in life are inevitable but destruction is optional. I became a new creation in Christ that was constantly reminding myself that character should always be stronger than circumstances. And although I may not be able to control what happens to me, I can control how I respond. I stopped complaining and gave my thanks to God for the good in my life, and automatically the parts that seemed bad started to seem less significant.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 KJV says, “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” I do my best to keep a positive attitude/thankful heart regardless of what I am going through or what is happening around me. I remember that hard times produce strength, faith, and perseverance in us, and all our pain has a purpose. God’s plans are perfect! We just need to have the patience to wait on His timing instead of forcing our own and remember that God will never leave our side.
In February 2020, after testing at Cleveland Clinic, I found that I now have a healthy, viable pancreas with zero damage. An organ that doesn’t heal itself has been healed! This is exactly what God does, it IS His character. We each have our own story with Jesus; healings come in physical, emotional, or spiritual form. God chooses which one we receive based on our needs. The following is my go-to life verse! Raise your hallelujah!
“‘You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah, and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.’” - 2 Chronicles 20:17
Thank You for Your mercy, grace, and amazing power. Thank You for Your blessings over us. Thank You for bringing hope during tough times, always strengthening us for Your purposes. Thank You for being the God who stays. Forgive us when we don't thank You enough for who You are, for all that You do, for all that You have done, and for what You are going to do in the future. For we know that all things work together for the good of those who love You. Help us to set our eyes and our hearts on You, Father. We love You, we need You, this day and every day. We give You praise and thanks, for You alone are worthy!
In Jesus’ Name,
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