Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Patience (08/21/08)
TITLE: The Sculpting of Maturation
By Larie Norvell
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God gave us a four-bedroom home just three blocks from our previous residence. He moved us in two days before the arrival of my in-laws! By the third week, it became apparent that I was not adjusting to the changes. I was tired and angry all day-night-week, etcetera. Daily routines were interrupted, the grocery bill reached beyond legitimacy and I was not being respected by my mother-in-law as my husband’s wife and my daughter’s mother. And adding insult to injury, my husband’s work schedule “suspiciously” changed; it appeared that he was leaving earlier, but returning later! Instead of talking to him about it, I concluded that he wanted to stay away from the madness in our home, leaving me to deal with it, ALONE.
Feeling stressed, and not liking who I was becoming, I prayed. After a couple of weeks, nothing seemed to change; therefore, I cried out to God, “Why aren’t you answering my prayer? I need _______________!” That night I shared my prayer request with my husband, he replied by putting his head down, chuckling and saying, “I can’t believe you did that.” Puzzled, I asked, “What?” And he replied, “Nothing.”
The time came when my in-laws had to leave. They’d been in the country beyond the allowed ninety days for visitors and the process of making them dependants had been denied, twice. Two months later, our son was born. When he was four months old, my gallbladder was removed, a month later; a goiter was removed from my thyroid, which turned out to be cancerous. This prompted another surgical procedure two and a half weeks later, removing my entire thyroid.
My mother arrived three days post surgery. She would care for our children while my husband was working and I was medically aero-evacuated to a U.S. territorial island to receive radiation therapy for cancer. My son had to immediately stop nursing before I could begin treatment. I had to endure this “alone,” I was gone for three weeks.
Back at home; I was having a hard time accepting that I was no longer whole, physically. My energy level was low, my body had to produce hormones synthetically, and the medication had to be taken with care. I was given Levothyroxine as a hormonal supplement. If it is taken too soon after eating, vomiting and/or diarrhea will occur, causing a loss of appetite for the remainder of the day. However, taking the medicine first and not waiting at least one hour to eat, stimulates the same results.
To prevent residual tissue growth, my TSH, (thyroid level) has to be maintained at a suppressed level. Therefore, every thirty days, blood is drawn from my small, rolling veins, and tested. Based upon the numerical results, the Levothyroxine will be increased or decreased. A whole body scan, which requires a small dose of radioactive iodine to be injected into my body, has to be done twice a year for seven years before a declaration of cancer free can be proclaimed.
My saliva ducts became clogged, inducing tears and pain. This was a side effect of the radiation treatment. And as a result of having synthetic hormones, my serotonin levels are out of whack. So, depression settles in and a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, a.k.a. anti-depressant, is added to my medicine cabinet, suffocating my pride. “Why me Lord, what did I do?”
I had prayed for patience. Poignantly, I prayed for the very thing that requires itself to be obtained! “For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” (Matthew 23:12 NIV) Now, in familiarity of this, I should be able to ask, “Why not me?”
“How do you know that you have faith if your faith has not been tested?” (Stated to me by a treasured Sister/friend during my test)
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:2-4 NIV)
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