Triumphing over Trauma!

In my last blog, I mentioned a book signing event that happened at Lotus Books in my home city, Cranbrook BC, a short while ago. Today I want to tell you the story I told at that event.

It was two years ago in June that I began sorting through the many hundreds of messages from God that I have recorded in my four decades of journal writing to find the 366 that now are in Glimpses of God’s Heart.

Nasty Medical Diagnosis

Well! No sooner had I begun this project, when I received a nasty medical diagnosis: polycythemia rubra vera or PRV for short. This is a rare cancer in which the bone marrow makes too many red blood cells. The problem with PRV blood is that it is viscous or thick and gluey and prone to clotting.

To receive the big “C” diagnosis was a trauma for sure, but I endured the treatment that involved getting rid of blood to thin it down. Then, because I wasn’t experiencing much in the way of symptoms, I went into denial about the whole thing and resumed work on my book.

Heart Attack and Brain Bleed

My denial was rudely interrupted half a year after the diagnosis – last year on March 18th – when, thanks to the clotting factor in PRV blood, I had a heart attack! Thankfully, it was a mild one.

Before I had a chance to recuperate from that heart attack, I began having the worst headache of my life – this was happening last year in April. When that headache refused to abate, I checked myself into the ER again, had a CT scan, and learned that I had developed a brain bleed from the blood thinners I was put on after the heart attack. It was a subdural hematoma, bleeding between the brain and the skull.

I was hospitalized, and that brain bleed kept getting bigger and bigger. My brain was severely concussed – there just wasn’t room in my skull for all that blood. I was air-lifted to Kelowna where my heart started acting up and they decided my case was too complicated for them to handle there, so I was air-lifted to Vancouver General Hospital.

Being Dead Looked Appealing

For several days I lay in that hospital bed, waiting for the cardiologist to decide that my heart could handle the surgery. I was enduring excruciating pain and losing most of my mental and physical functioning. I remember thinking, “I am being reduced to nothing.” Eventually I didn’t even know where I was. The pain was so bad that being dead began to look appealing. All I could do was to pray, “Jesus, help me!” over and over while my family helplessly sat by, waiting for the cardiologist to give the okay for the surgery.

Finally, I had the surgery: two burr holes drilled in the side of my head to drain the bleed to relieve the concussion on my brain. Truly barbaric! But what a blessed relief!

So then I was faced with the challenge of recuperating from all that medical trauma: the near-death experience, having holes drilled in my head, the heart attack, the concussed brain, all that physical pain…

Triumphing over the Trauma

I did what I always do – I ran to God for comfort and reassurance and guidance and healing. Over the years I’ve learned that it is the love of God that enables me to triumph over trauma. So, I did all the things that I have discovered over the years to help me experience the transforming love of God: I spent time with God, I meditated on the scripture verses that were most empowering, I surrendered my life into God’s loving care, I converted my worries into prayer requests, I made gratitude lists, and so on.

Some of the things I sensed the Spirit of God say to me in the quiet time we spent together in the aftermath of my medical crisis made it into Glimpses of God’s Heart. I’d like to share two of those.

Hearing from God

Four days after the surgery, when my body was too weak for me to walk to the bathroom and when my mind was too weak to easily draw the face of a clock, this is what I heard:

(November 6 in Glimpses of God’s Heart.)

Ah my treasure, my love:

Here we are in this sacred space once more –

this space where we commune,

where we experience the wholeness and contentment

that derives from our oneness.

My treasure,

I have been closer than your heartbeat

through this entire experience.

I surely carried you

when you were too weak

to even know where you were.

This water of adversity has not swept you away,

but rather is being used to do a sorting and a sifting

that will bring positive change.

The truth is that nothing can separate you from my love,

not physical pain or disorientation

or loss of physical or mental or emotional function.

When you cried out to me for help,

that cry was the breath of my Spirit within you,

interceding for you with groans too deep for words.

I am answering those prayers, my love!

Two weeks after the surgery, when I was feeling utterly shattered by the experience and not knowing how I would carry on, this is what I sensed God say:

(December 22 in Glimpses of God’s Heart.)

My treasure, my love:

You are tackling the challenge

of picking up the pieces of your life

after this monstrous medical miasma.

Remember that nothing of importance has changed.

I am still your life and your life still is hidden in me.

You and I will continue to walk together on this earth

until it is time for you to join me

in the place I have prepared for you.

Simply enjoy what each day has to offer

as you do what I motivate you to do.

Take time to sense the warm embrace of my love.

Six weeks after the surgery, I woke up one morning feeling great. In my journal I wrote, “I feel strong and normal. I am going to put away all my get-well cards and resume my former life as best as I can. I am going to work every day on my book and get that done.”

Well, I certainly wasn’t 100% better – I’m still dealing with that PRV! But I followed through on my resolution to get the book done. By August, the writing was finished, and the book was published on December 14th.

A Walking Miracle!

So here I am, one year after that monstrous medical miasma. I think I’m a walking miracle! The experience has left me with huge gratitude – I walk around in a state of gratitude most all of the time. I am utterly grateful for how my relationship with God is helping me triumph over that trauma!

Glimpses of God’s Heart is a book that records how God’s love has carried and guided me through my life. I am so delighted to be able to share it with the world because I hope that reading it will help every reader to experience the incredible love of God. God absolutely adores every one of us! I also hope that reading the book will help my readers to triumph over the traumas in their lives.

I’d love to hear what you have to say about my book, the website, or any of these blogs.

If you want to share your reflections with others, click on “Comment” below, type what you would like to say, and then click on “Post.” If you want to talk to just me, leave a message on the Contact page.