There’s a saying that “Forgetfulness is the enemy of faith”. If I could add to this, I think that forgetfulness is also the enemy of gratefulness. As soon as we find ourselves in the midst of a trial or a tough situation, we forget where God has brought us from or the miracles He’s performed in the past.
When I moved to Seattle after getting married, I began evaluations with a new medical team. As I went from one doctor appointment to the next, all I kept hearing was “Wow, you look great” and “You look amazing”. If I needed a confidence booster, I was certainly getting it. I definitely didn’t think that I looked any better than the next person, and I certainly didn’t feel like I had reached some medical milestone. But, then they started going through my post-transplant medical history and things started getting clearer.
Doctor: “Mrs. Bennett, it looks like you had a rough time after your transplant.”
Me: “Yea, it was pretty rough.”
Doctor: “I have noted here that you had multi-drug resistant E. coli sepsis. Does that sound correct?”
Me:” Umm, I honestly can’t remember. I just know I was really sick.”
Doctor: “OK. It looks like you also had HHV-6, progression of pulmonary nodules, peripheral neuropathy, venous occlusive disease…”
As she continued ticking off one complication after another — “kidney failure, liver failure…” — it took everything in me not to start praising God right in the hospital room. After giving me a full history of everything I’d been through, she looks up and says, “Wow, you were really sick. So what caused it to turn around?” I looked at her completely baffled. This doctor with multiple years of medical training was asking me, the patient, what turned my condition around?! I looked at her squarely and answered with one word “God!” There’s really no other way to explain it. Just with the venous occlusive disorder alone, you have about a 20-30% chance of surviving. But, God sent prayer warriors to my hospital room who didn’t care what the statistics were because they serve a God who is 100% a miracle worker and His record speaks for itself. I am a living witness that prayer changes things! If He did it before He can do it again.
When I was fighting the woes of depression after my transplant, I remember being so focused on all of my limitations that I couldn’t see myself any better. But, when I started thinking about all of the things I did have (my hearing, my sight, my family, my friends, just to name a few things), I began to heal. No matter what I may be facing today and despite how difficult things can be at times, I must remember how far I’ve come. When I begin to remember, I become overwhelmingly grateful. When I am grateful, I don’t have room to feel sorry for myself, get upset with my circumstances or complain.
There’s so much to be grateful for, we shouldn’t have time to complain. Yet, we seem to find all of the things to complain about and not enough to be grateful for. If you are struggling to find the good out of your situation, I challenge you to take out a note card or a small sheet of paper and list everything you have to be thankful for. Fill the entire sheet/card. Post it on your wall at work. Sit it on your desk. Post it to your bathroom mirror or on your refrigerator. Put it somewhere you can view it every day and when you feel the seeds of sadness or complaining try to enter your mind, look at that piece of paper and say, “Lord I thank you for…” Never forget how blessed you truly are.
P.S. Please consider supporting the Leukemia Lymphoma Society in their annual Man & Woman of the Year Campaign by clicking this link http://www.mwoy.org/pages/in/indy15/lscott. Any amount will help in the fight to end blood cancer. No donation is too small.