It was late in the afternoon of October 17, 1996, that I felt a sharp pain in the lower right side of my abdomen. I ignored the pain, hoping it was due to exhaustion after a day's work and that it would clear up after a rest. Fortunately, the pain did subside during the night, and I woke up the following morning looking forward to another day's work. By midmorning, however, the pain had come on again, but I managed to get through the day.
On Sabbath morning I woke up and began to get ready for church. Suddenly the pain returned, gripping me so hard that 1 felt nauseated. Faintly suspecting that it could be serious, I asked my husband to drive me to our local health center. After examining me, the clinical officer voiced his suspicion: appendicitis? I got scared. To me, appendicitis was synonymous with operation. The clinical officer assured me that the appendicitis might clear with medication, so he sent me home with an antibiotic and a pain killer.
Prayer for a miracle
From that day, I started praying for a miracle—that the Lord would clear the appendicitis so that an operation would not be necessary. Unfortunately the pain persisted and I began vomiting. After four days, I was referred to the local hospital and admitted for treatment. The doctors put me on IV fluids for the vomiting and gave me stronger antibiotics, hoping to clear the inflammation.
For one week, I received dextrose and saline by intravenous drip. During that week, I experienced chills that would leave my body exhausted and my legs sometimes numb. All this time, I continued praying for the miracle to happen, but the pain and the vomiting continued.
Prayer not answered
My prayers didn't seem to be answered. The miracle didn't happen. Finally, on October 28, the doctor came and told me of his plans to operate the next day to remove the appendix. l felt depression set in. I couldn't understand why the Lord had not answered my prayer. By that time I was feeling weak from vomiting and not being able to eat for a whole week. I didn't think my body would stand the operation.
As I lay there on that hospital bed questioning the Lord, I felt impressed to recite Psalm 23: "Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil..." This part of the Psalms comforted me and helped lift my spirits. I acknowledged that the Lord was still in control and that Ile was allowing me to go through the operation for a purFose. On the day of the operation, I felt calm and at peace. The operation took place at 8:30, and the doctors found the appendix swollen.
Recuperating from the operation hasn't been easy. There have been times when I have felt betrayed by my own body. Instead of feeling stronger, I felt very weak, helpless, and in pain. At such times God has seemed far away. Yet Philippians 4:4 and 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 have been a source of strength. I have found that there is healing in rejoicing in the Lord. Many friends and my family were constantly praying for me, and I know their prayers sustained me even at times when I felt I could not endure the pain any longer.
I have learned a very big lesson in this experience. All we need to do is surrender our lives to the Lord. He did answer my prayer and performed the miracle of healing me. As I continue recuperating, I know He is with me. I thank the Lord that I belong to God's family.