Late in July 2010, it started. My breathing had become noticeably short and shallow. Since reaching senior status, aside from moderate exercise, mall walking and vigorous praise and worship participation, I didn’t do much to exert myself. But that’s when the symptoms were most apparent. Two - three minutes into praise and worship, I was struggling to catch my breath and feeling for the seat behind me. Generally active and having never before experienced shortness of breath, I was caught off guard. My normally exuberant praise was reduced to a slow, flat footed sway, back and forth, side to side.
I ignored the symptoms, confident they would pass. When August rolled around and symptoms persisted, I made an appointment with my general practitioner for a complete physical. X-rays revealed a shadow in my lungs. Blood work exposed elevated liver enzymes. The astronomical numbers, four times higher than they should have been, required further investigation. Referrals were setup with specialists.
The pulmonary doctor ordered additional X-rays and inserted a scope down my esophagus to get a closer, more thorough look inside my chest. Sedated, I still heard the examination team talking and clearly recall wrestling to free my arms as they held on to keep me still. A couple weeks later, I went to see the liver specialist. He proceeded to say, “We suspect you might have can…”, but before he could complete his sentence, the Holy Spirit rebuked him. Unconsciously and without effort on my part, the words “I rebuke that.” came out of my mouth. Immediately, the scripture, “when the enemy comes in like a flood” came to mind. I realized the Holy Spirit had interceded on my behalf, in my flood experience.
The hard part was waiting for test results. However, during this time, God gave me that “surpasses understanding” kind of peace. When friends shared their worry, I reassured them that I was neither worried nor afraid. If my savior decided to take me, it would simply be a transition to my eternal home and I was okay with whatever He decided. But as long as I was here, I would stand on His promises to deliver me from all my afflictions (Psalm 34:19); comfort me in my trials (2 Corinthians 1:3-4); give me peace when I prayed (Philippians 4:7); and to work out ALL things for my good (Romans 8:28). What a comfort to know that God could not lie and His promises were mine.
My husband accompanied me on return visits for test results. He sat bravely and held my hand as we waited on the doctor to arrive. Love, prayer and scripture that encouraged my heart and increased my faith surrounded me during these difficult times. The pulmonary doctor told us all the things it “should have been” based on symptoms, But no disease was found. The liver doctor reported the organ function was normal. Elevated enzymes could be brought into normal range and managed with medication, but there was no cancer.
Of course, we had a But God praise break right there in the office. After all, when the doctor said no, Jesus said yes! He had done just as He had promised. Now, my praise is even higher than before and I never have two feet on the floor at the same time during praise and worship.
What do I know for sure—God is faithful and His promises are true. Hold on!