I now know God differently. I know a new side of Him. I can testify about it. Revelation 12:11 says we overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. So here I am to share my testimony with you because I am an overcomer. If you want some juicy scoop about me, here, I’m dishing. Read on…
I haven’t shared much about my health trials, except to say that they were present. A few people who are close to me knew, but I never publicly stated what was going on. If the above verse is true (and it is), we have to guard what we say and to whom we say it when in the midst of a trial. We overcome by the word of our testimony. It is what you say that makes the difference. So when I couldn’t find anything GOOD to say, anything praiseworthy or of a good report, I silenced myself and encouraged myself in the truth of God’s word. I am sharing now because God is way too good for me not to.
The week before Thanksgiving, I had a minor outpatient procedure done. Everything went so well. I never was on pain meds and was up and moving around as normal the same day. Only thing different was that my breathing was a little labored. I couldn’t seem to catch my breath and it was extremely frightening to even go to sleep. I feared I wouldn’t wake up. The first day, I let it pass. I thought maybe I had an effect from the anesthesia, so I wanted to see if it would go away. The second night, it was worse. So on Sunday, November 20, I went to the ER. I had them check me for a pulmonary embolism (blood clot in my lungs). Blood tests, chest X-rays, EKGs. The doctor came back and said he needed to do a CT scan because the D-Dimer levels on my blood work came back showing something was wrong. I laid still as they pumped contrasting dye in my veins and pushed me through the imaging tube, telling me I couldn’t breathe with tears rolling down my face. Thirty minutes later, the attending doctor came in and told me that I didn’t have a blood clot, but they found a mass on my adrenal gland and my thymus gland was enlarged.
The shock of hearing that news was almost too much to bear. But just as soon as I broke down in the ER, I heard Holy Spirit’s still, small voice whisper to me “the enemy that you see today, you will see no more, forever”. That is the peace that anchored me for the next three months. Doctors appointments began piling up – sometimes 3 per week. General practitioner, gynecologist, endocrinologist, endocrine surgeon. I was so weary of seeing doctors, having them touch me, ask me the same questions over and over and over. Blood draws and urine tests became routine. But I took it all in stride as much as I could.
Each time I would go to a new doctor, God would confirm to me that He was there. I would go in and the nurses would be listening to Gospel music. I’ve had nurses and doctors pray and lay hands on me. My gynecologist checked on me even when things were going on that didn’t concern her practice. She let me know that healing was a ministry to her and she was genuinely concerned for me. I ran into my general practitioner at church one Sunday (didn’t even know she went to my church) and she asked me how I was and let me know she was praying too. Everyone was so encouraging. It was always what I needed to hear.
January 3rd, my job let me go (I wrote about this in a previous post). I was so upset, hurt, angry, vindictive even. But I wanted to heal. And I knew I couldn’t heal in that negative mindset. I couldn’t expect God to answer my prayers when I was holding an ought against those who had done me wrongly. So I prayed about and for them and cast my cares to God. I began seeking how to heal myself through nutrition, herbs and positive energy. And my inner peace and physical strength were increased daily. That process was a painful blessing.
The surgeon I was referred to let me know I would have to have my adrenal gland, the mass, and my spleen removed. And it would not be a laparoscopic procedure – they would have to basically filet me open! Fear overwhelmed me. With no spleen, I would have no real immune defense against infections. So I had to have pneumonia, meningitis and flu shots before the procedure. I also would have to wear a medic alert bracelet and keep a prescription antibiotic on hand in case I got sick because it could be fatal. SAY WHAT NOW!?!
This is where the real fight began. Every night, I would wake up between 3 and 4 AM panicked. I kept thinking I was dying. I literally felt the death angel enter my room one night and try to lift me out of bed. All I could do was pray and plead the blood of Jesus. I resisted, Satan fled. Leading up to the surgery, I kept thinking everything I did was the last time I would do it. The enemy was playing so heavily on my mind that I was out of it most of the time but I kept pushing because I believed God would heal me. The good that came out of that is that I stopped taking things and people for granted.
I scheduled my surgery, not knowing HOW I would pay for it. My insurance was terminated with the job and I was in limbo, trying to push COBRA benefits through. The day I got to the hospital to check myself in, they asked me for $14,000 before they would even admit me. I just smiled, prayed, and stood still. God had brought me that far and I knew I would be provided for somehow. An hour later they came back with a solution and I was off to the OR.
Tuesday, February 21, 2017, my life changed. I was incised on the left side from just below my breastplate to my side flank just above my waist. When I woke up and was full of drugs, my parents and best friend let me know that the surgeon was able to save my spleen! PRAISE. GOD! That was the fear. I wasn’t ready for the new normal that that would have brought on. Recovery has been a doozy, but I am safe at home now. It took me 5 days to be released. I couldn’t walk for three days – my left leg was completely numb from the epidural they gave me. I couldn’t pee for two days – again, I was numb. Simple things that I took for granted such as being able to lie down and sit back up have become so laborious. As I sit here and type this I am in pain – fighting back tears of praise because crying physically hurts. But God is faithful even in the midst of it!
I shared this testimony because someone needs it. Someone needs to know God in a new way. You need to be able to testify of His goodness from a new angle. You need to know another one of His names, another manifestation of who He really is. Maybe you are used to Him being a provider, but not your protector. Perhaps He is your Savior, but He isn’t your Lord just yet. Quite possibly, you’re not really certain He even is. But I want to tell someone that He is everything and I know it full well. Through this process, I have personally met The Healer. Not just physically, but emotionally as well. I have learned to trust my Banner – the one who victoriously fights all of my battles. I believe in the One who goes before me making the crooked places straight. I’ve met Love. I have got to know Peace. I’ve seen Forgiveness, Reconciliation and things become new again. I know the Provider. I know Him as a redeemer and a vindicator. And I know that He cares for you in the same way that He cares for me. All is well.
Before I close, I want to write a quick thank you list to those who cared for me, prayed with and for me, regularly checked on me and encouraged me through this process:
My mother, Veronica Yarber
My father, Raymond Yarber
Dr. Christy Walker
Dr. Tanesha Chappell
Dr. Fiemu Nwariaku
Nurses at Medical City McKinney
Pastor Thomas Bessix and his assistant, Avet Anderson
Westside Baptist Church Social Justice Team
Faith in Texas team, particularly Robert Lilly
My best cousin-sister-friend, Aquilla Hicks and my nephew Brian
My auntie, Jackie Franks
(If I forgot your name, it is not because you were not in my heart. I am still high on pain meds, please forgive me! I love you!)