#8. A Second Chance

 Photo by Erin E. Photography

I am a doctor and the chief of Pediatric Critical Care at a large university hospital. In 2014 I was heavily involved in medical missions to Haiti, and I felt that God might be calling me to leave my position and go elsewhere. I interviewed all over the country but learned that I would not be able to continue mission work if I started a new job.

After I made the decision not to leave my job, I thought it would be a good idea to explore life insurance and disability insurance. All the usual tests were done. I was told that I couldn’t get disability insurance and that life insurance would be expensive because I had liver issues. I had never been diagnosed with liver issues and did not have symptoms of liver disease. I wasn’t concerned initially and didn’t follow up, but my wife encouraged me to see a doctor, and finally I did so.

I had the tests done on a Friday. The doctor told me then that although my diagnosis would have to be confirmed by a radiologist, he thought I had primary sclerosing cholangitis, a rare liver disease, affecting only .01 percent of the population. They don’t know what causes the disease, and it has no cure, no treatment, and is very unpredictable. I would likely need a liver transplant but could get sick and die before that happened. I held onto the chance that the radiologist would not agree with the diagnosis.

Over the weekend, the church elders prayed for me. On Monday, the radiologist came to get me while I was working in the pediatric intensive care unit. She wanted to tell me face-to-face . . . she confirmed the diagnosis. I sought out second opinions with multiple doctors at different facilities, but each confirmed the diagnosis.

A friend once told me, “You never understand it until it happens to you.” This is so true. My biggest fear was for my family. I wasn’t afraid of death, but I was afraid of disability and how that would impact my wife and our four children. This was a rethinking time. For months, I prayed that God would take care of my family and help me understand what to do with this diagnosis. I became more intentional in spending time with my wife. We began traveling more together, including renewing our vows on the beach in Hawaii. I laughed more and lived more fully than ever before.

Having this disease redefined my life in a very good way. It changed the way I look at people and patients. In September of 2015, I went to the doctor for more tests, including an MRI. After reviewing the results, the doctor told me that there was no evidence of disease—NOTHING, NO DISEASE. How could this be? The doctors had absolutely no explanation. This was as surprising as the first diagnosis.

God healed me.  I don’t understand why and I feel like there is more to the story. God gave me a second chance. I think about it every day. God taught me through this experience to be more intentional in prayer, in love, and truly living. It really was the best thing that ever happened to me. 

A Million God Stories is a Christ-centered ministry which offers a platform for Christians from all streams of Christian faith to give praise for how God has worked in their lives. Christ heals in infinitely creative ways and we acknowledge that His way of helping may differ from person to person.

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