Post-retreat

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It’s been a mighty long while since I had time or even made time to write here. All that for several different factors – work, trying to find direction at work, trying to figure what to do for small group retreat, struggles at home, health concerns and alot of physical tiredness and lethargy to go into the lot. I was really looking forward to the small group retreat, despite fretting most of the time about what to do at it. I’m such a worrier. Everything was in His hands already.

Small group retreat was from 22 – 24 Aug, at Pulau Ubin. Never mind the numerous sand fly bites I received from the trip. Most of all, He laid His hands on me and I got refreshed, recharged and renewed in faith. Me, the one with little faith, was put in a place where I had to lean on Him totally.

I went for my blood test and ultrasound scan on 22 Aug because of my medical history of endometriosis. Within 3 months since the last scan, a 100ml cyst has ballooned in my left ovary. 3 months ago, my blood test also picked up tumour activity, as my CA125 and CA199 results indicate, though scans show nothing. 3 months ago, my doctor said I had the option of going for a scope so they can go inside me and see what’s happening, or wait and see, with a blood test again in the line 3 months after. It was disheartening to see something growing inside me again and I had to wait for the doctors to rush my blood test so that I can get the result within the day or next.

In so few but many words, my doctors say that it’s unusual for cysts to form so quickly, even if cancerous. They can only wait for the blood test to decide what it is and what to do next. Of course, they gave me all the scariest possibilities – if it’s cancerous, they will have to cut me up to remove it in whole. If it’s a rapid-spreading cancer, they may even have to remove my ovaries, womb, fallopian tubes and all.

What was my reaction to God? Dear friends have been praying for me. I felt I had the assurance from Him that He will heal me. I felt bitter, anger, and hadn’t the mood to go for retreat at all. I remember LC sharing with me earlier in the week about how a Christian singer could give God glory despite her baby dying 1.5 week earlier. Well I ain’t her! How easy it was for me to forget what a BIG God I have.
I went for the blood test before my retreat because I wanted to give God glory. My faith was really murky then and I hadn’t a clue what I should be feeling anymore.

At the retreat, with difficulty and reluctance, I shared it with my small group. Man, the scoldings that I received :/ And all that went in my head then was “GOSH, they don’t know what I’m going through!! How could they say things so easily when it ain’t easy to do at all?”. So much for sympathy and love. But I realised after, that WAS love. And that was God’s love for me, because after much prayer and weeping, I sensed God telling me that the cyst hormonal (doctor did mention that possibility) and He will take care of it. His Shalom peace was with me and I had to fight off every doubt that came into my mind with His good promises when I went to rest later in the evening.

The next day, in my devotional, these very words comfort me:

14″Therefore, behold, I will allure her,
Bring her into the wilderness
And speak kindly to her.
15″Then I will give her her vineyards from there, (my reproductive system?)
And the valley of Achor as a door of hope
And she will sing there as in the days of her youth, (i was worried about how i can sing after a cut in my tummy)
As in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt.
16″It will come about in that day,” declares the LORD,
“That you will call Me ‘my husband’
And will no longer call Me ‘my master’.
17″For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth,
So that they will be mentioned by their names no more.
18″In that day I will also make a covenant for them
With the beasts of the field,
The birds of the sky
And the creeping things of the ground
And I will abolish the bow, the sword and war from the land,
And will make them lie down in safety.
19″I will betroth you to Me forever;
Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and in justice,
In lovingkindness and in compassion,
20And I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness. (certain a challenge of faith!)
Then you will know the LORD.

from Hosea 2:14-20 (in bold, my thoughts)

Soon after my devotion, mum called. My blood test result showed that tumour activity has gone down (means, not cancerous!). I will need to go for another scan in a month’s time, after my next period cycle ends. I wept again, this time tears of joy. His goodness is not just for me to see, but even for my mum and I really thank Him for that. My mum, who asked me not to worry, reassuring me that she will be with me through it all, probably felt even more scared than I am, while I was grappling with My Rock and Refuge. I hope this will be a testimony to her, an answer to her own prayers and that she will also see how good He is, has been, and forever will be.

Photo of mini victory:
Photobucket
Bruise from blood test, sand fly bite from Pulau Ubin.

Thanks to all who prayed for me, scolded me with love 🙂

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