Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A fancy cotton robe and the scariest day of my life

I thought there would be a fancy cotton robe, but there wasn't. I did not expect to re-visit nuclear medicine ever again, but I did.  I never believed I would ever see the little red-haired man with the tiny, black rimmed glasses, but he was there too.  I certainly never thought that a simple gallbladder scan would evoke such strong memories - unpleasant memories - from one of the scariest days of my life, but it did.  Last Friday was a very bad day for me emotionally.
  I went to Women's Hospital for a gallbladder scan, which in itself is nothing to fear.  Yet, when I got there, a wave of memories and panic settled over me like a blanket.  When I had my triplets, I ended up visiting practically every wing of the hospital before my six week stay was over.  On the scariest day, when I was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure, I was wheeled down to nuclear medicine for a lung scan which I like to call the "worst test known to man."  They lay you on a table, slide you nose to nose under the machine (which feels like you are in a coffin), and put a plastic bag over your nose and mouth.  There is a small amount of air in the bag and you are suppose to breathe in the air from the bag until it runs out.  Yet, once it runs out, you still have to continue to try to breathe in.  The purpose of the test is to check your lungs for blood clots.  You are already having trouble breathing, so when they purposely remove all the air from your lungs, it's not exactly welcomed.  So, when I went in for my scan this past Friday, all the fear and emotions of that day came flooding back.  To add insult to injury, the little red-haired man with the tiny, black rimmed glasses proceeded to strap my arms and legs to the table.  There I was, strapped down, and left to count ceiling tiles for 2 hours.  I was a wreck emotionally.  I thought, "Lord, why am I back here? Again? Why this room, why this man, why am I still struggling through all this sickness almost 5 full years later?"  

As I lay there on that table feeling defeated, God began to whisper assurance to my heart.  Sometimes, God Himself brings us back nose to nose to the people and events that have caused us pain.  Although as humans, our first reaction can be fear and doubt, God has shown me that we are often back to receive healing.   Often it is God who allows us to come face to face with our fears in order to set us free; to unload our heavy burdens.
See, my fear of that place was overwhelming me, because I felt all the dread of death upon me that had occurred in the past.  I felt the same pain, in the same room, back when I was sporting an oxygen mask.  When I began to pray and whisper the word of God during the test, I sensed that God had brought me back there, not for harm, but for good.  His plans are good, to prosper us, not harm us, to give us a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). Sometimes, we have to deal with our past (both physical and emotional trauma) before God can send us forward.  See, He knows more than anyone where you and I are emotionally. He knows the number of times a memory or trauma plays in your head.  God's word says that He has "bottled" every tear and "numbered every hair on your head."  Is He not powerful enough to take a painful past, whether it be a memory or event, and bring freedom to that situation?  

What painful memory are you dealing with?  One of the greatest weapons of the enemy is to keep us from acknowledging our pain.  You know why?  Because Satan does his greatest work under the cover of darkness, but when you begin to bring a situation to the Lord, you are bringing it into the light.  Once in the light, the very web of that stronghold in your heart will begin to self-destruct.  
Daniel 2:22 says "He reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness and the light dwells with Him."  I encourage you to bring your pain to the light today.  You don't have to shout it from the rooftops or confess it to a congregation, but bring it to the Lord.  If you have someone you can trust that can pray with you and help you get free, tell them about it.  Tell a friend or your pastor.  Most importantly, just acknowledge it to the Lord so that you can move forward in your faith with peace of mind and heart.


karen Jordan said...

Great post, Jessica! I hate facing my fears, too. But you're right--the process can set you free! Blessings, Karen

Kristy K said...

I am the worst at facing my fears! I usually just bury them and then they pop up at the very worst times.

I hope you're feeling okay.

Jessica Kirkland said...

Thank you Karen and Kristy! Well, I probably never attempt to willingly face them either! But, I keep finding that God isn't content to let us live in bondage. He always wants us to remain free; free to love and serve Him (and receive His love back). I'm glad He doesn't allow us to just hide under a rock with fear exalting over us. Thanks for reading both of you!

gami chess said...

Thanks to you and our morning visits I had learned to let go of some of my fears. You will never know just how much you have helped me look at something in a different light. Thanks so much for being there for me.I love our talks in the morning Jess. Love ya to the moon and back

Jessica Kirkland said...

Thanks Susie - our morning talks have really gotten me through a lot of tough times (physically and emotionally). Love you to the moon and back!