25 September 2008

faith vs. science~

Okay, so I'm not an all or nothing kind of girl. I believe God is our Healer, whether that healing comes through the miraculous, or through the blessing of advanced medical science. But these last few days of prescribed bed rest has gotten me thinking. Where is the line? Is there a line? How do we make the decision between trusting man and trusting God? I don't think there is a black and white answer. In fact, I'm pretty sure there's not. But how does one figure it out?

I have asthma. One time, eight years ago or so, Glen and I were deciding whether or not to join Samaritan Ministries. It is a marvelous ministry, one we have been blessed to be a part of for eight years now. The only real factor in deciding whether or not to join was that my asthma would not be covered as it was pre-existing. During the course of praying about what to do, I felt like the Lord was telling me if we trusted Him and joined, that He would heal my asthma. Okay, cool. So we joined. I packed up all my asthma meds and put them in the attic. Guess what. I was fine. I went from using my rescue inhaler almost daily to not at all. For months. Then bam, one night, I woke up, couldn't breathe, and dragged my panicky, wheezy body up the attic stairs.

What was that about?

I should add that I have never needed our Samaritan Ministries coverage for anything asthma related, so the Lord really has been faithful in taking care of me. Even my pneumonia last year was not "asthma related" so it was covered. But still. Did my faith run out? Was it a fluke? Obviously, I was wrong or I misunderstood, or even better, my healing is coming, but regardless, I didn't hear God as accurately as I had thought.

It's not a huge deal, I rarely think about it, but for someone that goes to a church that very much believes in healing and has seen blow your mind kind of miracles, my faith in the miraculous healing department is pretty weak. I guess I usually fall in the camp of that kind of healing is for other people, not for me. At least in the "miraculous department." I have plenty of faith for regular, every day healing, the kind that often comes through medicine and doctors, but when it comes to miracles, I believe in them, I thank God for them, and I just have to trust that He's God and what He does is best.

Then there's also the side that we live in a fallen world and sickness and disease came along with sin. And frankly, I don't know how it all ties together and if there really is a one size fits all kind of explanation for why and how God does things. But I know he loves me, so I'm okay.

So anyway, what I've been thinking about. The whole bedrest thing.

I should back up and say, first of all, I really believe God gave me those verses for a reason. I hope, and believe, that I am understanding the application and interpretation correctly. I do know it was a God thing.

Secondly, if any of you have ever heard Vange Johnson's Tiveria Testimony, it is powerful. She is a good friend of mine, and to witness the whole thing in person was memorable. It was one of the first things I thought of when I started bleeding, and when I received the diagnosis. Her hemorrhage was enormous, and she was completely healed. Another friend at church had a similar diagnosis, Vange prayed for her, and she was instantly healed.

So I've just been thinking about it. I've never asked her specifically, but from hearing her talk about it, and knowing that it went on for several months, and mainly, just knowing Vange, I seriously doubt she did much resting. I've been meaning to listen to the story again as that's a detail I didn't have much reason to pay attention to before, and not that it would tell me what "I" should do, but it's just given me pause.

I believe that God is Sovereign.


1. One that exercises supreme, permanent authority

I believe He is the Creator and Sustainer of Life. I believe the days of this little one were written in His book before one of them came to be. So who am I to think that a doctor, or even myself, could do one thing to change God's Sovereign plan?

On the other hand, I believe it is my job to protect my children. I don't let them play in the street or drink poison and expect them to be fine. So where is the line?

I know I've talked some about how helpful my family is and how impressed I've been at the abilities of my children, and it's all true. But it is hard. It's not very much fun. Sure, it's great to have an excuse to lie in bed and read all day, napping when wanted, and have someone else taking care of every. single. thing. anyone. needs. but it's taking its toll on all parties. I also have a lot of guilt because I suspect that the people helping us out, which do so graciously, with a smile and nary a complaint, have secret thoughts that my body is worn out. That I shouldn't get pregnant so often. That each pregnancy has been a little harder and I've needed more help.

Again, no one says anything, but I feel guilty. I feel like my decision to "trust God" is creating hardship for others. That they are living with the consequences of my choices.


So I believe God is Sovereign, and has a plan for this little life. If I decided to fold some laundry, could my decision change God's plan? Did I hemorrhage because I decided to mow the week before? If I wanted to make Glen a birthday dinner so he didn't have to find food to throw together for everyone and make a cake for Moriah could I be circumventing God's plan?

Where is the line? Did God give me those verses so I could trust that everything would be fine and I could go about daily life and not worry about anything, or should I be thankful that there is so much knowledge in this time and listen to my doctor, considering it my duty to treasure and guard life?

What if I'm wrong?

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Wendy said...

aside from science, there is also the question of one dr's opinion...

i had a hemhorrage w/ joe that they monitored monthly, and it shrunk little by little. not once did my dr mention bedrest.

i had another (good sized one) w/ zivah, and my dr talked about the danger of a detatched placenta, but the baby was a good size, and she never mentioned bedrest. she sent me to get a follow up ultrasound a few weeks later (and it had completely disappeared!!)...

obviously, my OB tends to be the laid-back, not-out-to-make-you-worry sort. my PED, on the other hand, was hinting at potential surgery w/ Zivah's hip that is totally fine now...

so i wonder how much of it is a dr being ultra careful... maybe you should ask your midwife her opinion? and go with what God gives you peace about...

Rachel Lee said...

Shyla, I really enjoyed reading all your thoughts. I was also relieved to hear you say it's not much fun - I have often wondered that about you! Thanks for your transparency and for giving voice to that ever-difficult faith issue, to which I can certainly relate.

I have been wrong before about hearing God's voice, and at the end of the day I don't think it mattered one bit either way, because ultimately God's plan always wins, and our perceptions of God's plan (the true and not as true) are so small, because they come from our tiny brains and hearts. He always turns it out the best for us in the end, and always has our best interests at heart! The only way it did matter that I was wrong was how trying it was in my heart to hold onto the promise.

NOT that I think you are wrong... I guess this is a tangent sparked by that last question that I have asked many times of myself. :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your heart. It's such a difficult series of thoughts that I know at times, I have thoughts similar thoughts and questioned the same.

I will be praying that You hear the Lord and will know His plan for you.

I felt comfort in my bed rest since I had met several mommies (through an organization called Sidelines) who had lost their babies with a sub-chorionic hemorage and encouraged me to stay down. I found comfort in their encouragement, through my prayer time to do that...but I also heard of a few that did have healthy babies that didn't do the complete bed rest.

I do believe that sometimes we do have results for our actions, but in no way, am I saying that it is our place to judge one another, etc. I only share since you brought up some really good thoughts. Similarly I don't believe that God's plan is for an unwed teenager to get pregnant; however, as a result of a human sinful action this is possible and can result in a blessing.

I openly admit siding with the extreme side of caution for me because I have faced loss 3 times (unrelated to the hemorage)...so I am VERY extreme sometimes and therefore maybe more cautious than need be.

I will be praying specifically that you find peace in whatever you decide and that HE will guide your thoughts, prayers and offer the encouragement you need during this trial.

In His Love,
Mrs. Cuddles

Serene said...

Hey - I understand where you are coming from regarding the faith issue and the guilt issue :( And I have no answer either.

I had eczema for years and was suddenly healed of it after praying for at least 2 yrs. But with this pregnancy. It all came back with a vengeance. I was like - hey! what happened?!?! Did God take back the healing? What?!

Guilt - yeah. I hate imposing on others and like you, I can't help but feel that I am also "creating hardship for others".

Praying for you!

Lori said...

This is such a beautiful, transparent post. Wow, Shyla. Thank you. I do want to say that God designed us to need each other and that it's a product of our culture that we feel guilty asking for help. I pray for continued peace, joy, rest, and health for you and your whole family.

"How can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about arithmetic, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No; a woman’s function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute. I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness." ~GK Chesterton

2012 November

2012 November