It's Not Over Until It's Over

Sometimes when you think you are finally nearing the end of a trial you find out it isn’t over yet.  And that’s what I found out this weekend. After a difficult week recovering from my ectopic pregnancy and the treatment I had been given my husband were headed out of town on a much needed getaway with our Adult Bible Class from church. I had had a big part in organizing this overnight trip to Branson and was really looking forward to it.  I felt like it would be the perfect ending to my week and just really help me clear my mind. It took us much longer than I had anticipated just to get on our way - I had a morning appointment at the lab for some more blood work, we dropped our daughter off at my mother-in-law’s house, we decided we wanted to eat lunch before we got on the road, and then of course we had to stop at Quik Trip because everyone knows you just don’t go on any kind of road trip without a frozen cappuccino from there! I suppose we finally left Tulsa around noon.  About an hour into our drive as we reached Miami, Oklahoma  it started again. Pain shot through my lower right abdomen. It started pretty intensely and within five minutes was unbearable.  I knew what it meant. This wasn’t over. The dangerous ectopic pregnancy was not resolved and my tube could possibly rupture at any moment. We stopped at a gas station and my husband called our insurance hotline to find out if we were covered there in Miami or if we needed to try to get back to Tulsa. We were three miles from the Miami hospital and found out that we would be completely covered there. Already I saw God’s protection. Had we left as early as we had originally planned we would have already been in Branson and our insurance would have only covered 80% of my treatment. In Oklahoma I am 100% covered. God had waited to allow the pain until we were very close to a hospital. Had we still been in Tulsa I would most likely have waited more than an hour to be seen.  In Miami they took me straight back to a room - a real room, not a dreadful tiny room with a curtain right next to the noisy desk. Before long I was given something for the pain and was extremely grateful for that. (It took three doses of morphine before I could relax!)

God, it hurts!

I know child, but I am here with you.

But I’m so tired.

I will give you rest.

I’m not sure I can go through this again.

I will never give you a burden that I don’t also give you the strength to bear.

I’m afraid my tube will rupture. I’m scared for my health.

I am the Great Physician. I will heal you.

I am emotionally exhausted. How much of this can I endure?

Lean on me. I will carry you. Trust me. I love you.


Of course in the emergency room no one acts as urgently as you would hope. I knew to expect a long wait. There was a blood test, an ultrasound, and a consult with the doctor. Of course by now I knew what all of the results and conversations would be before they happened. The methotrexate shot I had last week had not resolved the pregnancy the way they had expected and it had continued to grow in my fallopian tube. My tube was now extremely swollen and at risk for rupturing. The doctor in Miami suggested surgery and we agreed with her. The trouble was that there was no OB/Gyn on call in Miami that weekend. They decided to transport me back to Saint Francis Hopsital in Tulsa. The doctor in Miami consulted with the doctor in Tulsa and over the course of the next hour I learned that the doctor in Tulsa did not want to rush me into surgery right away. She wasn’t sure it was necessary. At this point a little bit of panic set in. Last week when they discussed the methotrexate treatment with me I felt really uncomfortable with it. I just knew in my mind that it wasn’t the best answer, but when the doctor recommended it and said surgery wasn’t necessary I simply followed her advice. Now they were discussing giving me a second treatment of methotrexate - a drug that takes days to work. I knew it was a bad idea. And honestly I was really surprised that any doctor would consider taking such a risk with an 8-week tubal pregnancy. Regardless, I was given two choices. I could go home and see if it resolved on it’s own or I could be transferred to the hospital in Tulsa for overnight observation. It was a no-brainer. There was no way I was going home to simply wait for my tube to rupture.

In the hour-long ambulance ride to Tulsa I thought a lot about the story in Mark 4. Here are verses 36-41:

And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!”And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

I also thought of an excerpt I had read from Days of Heaven upon Earth in my Streams in the Desert devotional last week:

By faith Abraham... obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. (Hebrews 11:8)

“This is faith without sight. Seeing is not faith but reasoning. When crossing the Atlantic by ship, I once observed this very principle of faith. I saw now path marked out on the sea, nor could I even see the shore. Yet each day, we marked our progress on a chart as if we had been following a giant chalk line across the water. And when we came within sight of land on the other side of the Atlantic, we knew exactly where we were, as if we had been able to see it from three thousand miles away.

“How had our course been so precisely plotted? Every day, our captain had taken his instruments, looked to the sky, and determined his course by the sun. He was sailing using heavenly lights, not earthly ones.

“Genuine faith also looks up and sails, by using God’s great Son. It never travels by seeing the shoreline, earthly lighthouses, or paths along the way. And the steps of faith often lead to total uncertainty or even darkness and disaster, but the Lord will open the way and often makes the darkest of midnight hours as bright as the dawning of the day.”

As we made the journey by ambulance to Tulsa I talked with God some more.

God, I feel lost. I can’t see where I’m going.

You are not lost child. You are on the path I have set for you. You are following the course I have charted.

But I can’t see the path. I can’t see the shoreline. Is there no end in sight?

I can see the path. Just follow my lead and you can never go wrong.

But where is this path taking me? I’m scared and lonely and bruised and hurt. Could I just see the map for a moment?

If I showed you the map, you wouldn’t follow it. Not all of the stops are pleasant. But all of them are necessary for you to become the best version of yourself, the version I want you to be.

But the waves are high and the storm is strong! I am afraid I won’t make it to where we are going. This is as scared as I have ever been. Don’t you care that I am perishing?

Kristi, I am right here in the boat with you. Don’t you know who I AM? I will never leave you. I will never forsake you. I am the Creator of all there is including you and your boat and these waters of your life. I allowed this storm for a reason. Nevertheless, peace, be still. I will calm this storm for you and I will be right by your side during this and every other part of your journey. I love you and I am refining you so that I can better use you.

Help me to trust You Lord! I need You more than I can even begin to understand. I will lean on You and seek your will in all parts of my life. But I need your help. Be with me.


By the time we reached Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa I felt very tired emotionally, but I knew that God was with me. They took me upstairs to the same area I had stayed last week - the old post-partum wing. I knew to expect that. What I didn’t expect was to be wheeled past the most beautiful little newborn baby with blonde hair and bright eyes. My emotions came crashing down harder than they had before. Once I was settled into my room the door was left open and I could hear that baby making sweet noises and then crying. It was more than I could handle. I was alone - my husband had not yet made it up to the room - and I lost it. I wept like I had not yet wept during any part of this pregnancy loss. When my husband arrived he just held me as I yet again mourned the loss of this child that was still growing inside of me despite all of the drugs and treatments I had already had. I loved this baby that I could not keep.

Of course the doctors at Saint Francis did not trust the doctors at Miami. The tests were all repeated and revealed the same results. I was given the choice between another shot of methotrexate or surgery. The doctor said she would come by in the morning to see what we had decided. I had already known in my gut that surgery was the right thing for me. If they had done the surgery last week like I wanted I would not even be here right now. I prayed about it. My husband prayed about it. We agreed that I would have surgery. Still, I asked God for a clear sign so that I could feel completely certain about this decision. A sweet lady who was working at the hospital provided that sign for me. It was a great risk for her to even discuss it with me - she could get in trouble for sharing her opinion. She simply told me that she had seen many women after methotrexate treatment whose pregnancies had continued to grow. She told us she was not a fan of the drug and that she was sorry I had to go through this. Our decision was confirmed.

Saturday morning I finally had the surgery that I probably should have had over a week ago. I had really hoped they would be able to save my tube, but the doctor said there was no way to clear it out and save it so it had to be removed. Prior to my surgery she had told me that a woman who has one ectopic pregnancy is then at a 40% risk for having another one. A woman who has had two runs an 80% risk of having another after that. By removing my dangerous tube we were able to greatly reduce my risk of future ectopic pregnancies. My left tube is in great shape and I am trusting the Lord that He will use it to give me a child!

I would like to tell you that I have come to some great realization or have become enlightened to some new truth this weekend after all I have been through. But honestly, I learned nothing new. Instead God just gave me this reminder. I will not always understand why things happen. But I don’t have to understand because my God is sovereign. He is in charge and that should be enough for me. I am not meant to know all that He knows. Sometimes the point is simply that I need to need Him and lean on Him and trust Him - even when it doesn’t make sense to me. I need to see that He is with me in good times and bad. He is molding me and shaping me into what He wants me to be.

Lord, please help me not to waste this experience! Help me to use it. Make me a better person for going through it. Let it strengthen my faith in You. Let it make me a better blessing to those you place in my path. And let it remind me not to take for granted the blessings you have already placed in my life. I love you Lord!



Have mercy upon me, O Lord, for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly.
- Psalm 31:9

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
- 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Comments

  1. I would like the Lord to show me His map sometimes, too. :) I trust the Lord will open your womb again and give you another child. Stay encouraged, stay in His Word, and praise Him. Joy

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