The Miracle Behind The Mass

In January 2017 I was diagnosed with an endometrioma on my uterus, 4.8 cm in size. I, along with my awesome community, believed for a miracle: complete healing. A follow-up with an award-winning OB/GYN told me what we hoped for: the mass was no longer there. I took a step to share this miracle online, even with a lingering suspicion that it wasn’t truly gone.

But as of today, May 12, I’ve got news.

The mass is back.

It’s decreased more than 50% in size. Still, shame crept in. This isn’t the first time I announced good news, only to retract it for a different reality. And with news of its decrease in size—good, no doubt, but not the miracle we expected—the question remained:

Even when circumstances scream otherwise, is God still good? 

Why Isn’t God Answering My Prayer?

Tonight I sat deleting old emails when I stumbled upon one from author Lysa TerKeurst about the waiting process. She highlighted Hannah in 1 Samuel whose anguish from infertility was so intense she stopped eating.

“There’s a common thread that weaves through Hannah’s story, and yours and mine. We can all be found desperately wanting something we see the Lord giving to other women. We see Him blessing them in the very areas He’s withholding from us. We look at them and feel set aside.

Why them? Why not me?

Then the seemingly unjust silence from God ushers us from a disturbed heart to a bitter soul. And we start to feel something deep inside that contradicts everything we hold true: If God is good, why isn’t He being good to me in this?”

The Weight of This Mass

This endometrioma to me is more than just a benign mass; it represents the curse of infertility and illness that’s plagued my family:

  • It’s threatened my life from the start. My mom failed to conceive for 9 years until doctors discovered, and removed, the overgrowth of tissue outside her uterus, called endometriosis.
  • It brings to mind miscarriages from my family’s past
  • It adds onto two weeks of newfound diagnoses, from allergies to my favorite foods, to my first two cavities
  • It bristles my biggest fears: that I waited too long to get married, pushing the “optimal” age to have children.

When Fear Floods In

Follow-up appointments, dietary rules, and worst case scenarios shrieked in my head. Scenes from a gory dream replayed: a motorcyclist’s bloody limbs strewn on snow, representing the fear I held as my boyfriend drove to Zion overnight.

The lies assaulting God’s promises of vitality came flooding back:

  • What if I can’t have a healthy baby?
  • Even if I do, what if my husband dies and is no longer around to take care of us?
  • I’m doomed to miss out on more trips like Zion because my health holds me hostage.

In that moment I empathized with Hannah, whose hope rest in a promise she wouldn’t reap for years. Lysa’s wisdom continued.

A quote from Lysa Terkeurst about when we feel set aside. "What do we do when we feel set aside? We do what Hannah did. We keep pressing in."

“What do we do when we feel set aside? We do what Hannah did. We keep pressing in.” -Lysa TerKeurst

I sat on the dust mite-infested rug (apologies to my allergist), tears streaming down my face. Then, I heard two words.

Psalm 128.

I whipped out my Bible and read:

Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in obedience to him.
You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours.
Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table.
Yes, this will be the blessing for the man who fears the Lord.
May the Lord bless you from Zion; may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life.
May you live to see your children’s children
peace be on Israel.

Defining the Miracle

In the midst of despair, God directed me to the perfect passage—His promises of fruitfulness, flourishing, and even a shoutout to where Michael is, today*.

The jungle surrounding our living quarters on a YWAM missions outreach in Thailand

The lush jungle surrounding our living quarters in Thailand

The fear, doubts, and tears fled, replaced by a memory from this month last year on mission in Thailand. Sitting outside on a typical dry, hot day I cried out, asking God why our team wasn’t seeing the supernatural miracles the others had experienced—healings, breakthroughs, or extra provision. At that moment, the reeds before me bowed down to a rare gust of wind. The peace and giddiness I can only explain as familiar to the presence of Jesus filled me. Questions made way to complete wonder, and in that moment I knew:

Jesus is the miracle.

There’s nothing natural about the acceptance, mercy, grace, and perfect love he offers for nothing in return.

There’s nothing natural about a deity meeting us where we’re at, to hang with us; talk with us; to simply spend time with us.

There’s nothing natural about the removal of guilt, shame, and condemnation, even if that’s what we feel we deserve.

I was hoping so much for a result—a healing; a breakthrough; the softening of hard hearts—that I had missed the only miracle that endures.

I have a mass on my uterus. It’s 2.2 cm in size, down from the original diagnoses of 4.8. It could shrink, and it could even disappear. We’re believing for that.

But even if it doesn’t. Even if good news continues to soar, or bad news decides to pour, I know one thing for sure:

I already have my miracle.

*Zion references a literal and figurative place in the Bible, but God is not a God of coincidences. Simply seeing the word showed me He’s covering Michael where he is.

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