Not what we wanted to hear (from the doctor)
When we woke today we were somewhat excited for a trip into NYC. After months of waiting we finally have our appointment with one of the top sarcoidosis doctors in the country. Other specialists in NJ seemed to be “perplexed” with how debilitating kristin’s fatigue and weakness has been, but we figured certainly this guy would have seen a case like hers, if anyone has. And on top of the hopeful appointment, things the last month have actually started looking up. After months of either getting worse or staying stagnant, she has finally started to show signs of progress. She has been sitting up for meals with the family by the table in her wheelchair; she’s strong enough to sit on the couch and color with the girls and she is even taking short walks in the house using a walker. These are all things she didn’t do last month. We were encouraged.
Funny how fleeting encouragement is though. Today it fleeted itself right out of the 5th story window of the NYC hospital as the doctor who is arguably the leading authority on this disease told us that he thinks she has some other serious disease. He just isn’t sure what that is. She has sarcoidosis for sure, but he thinks the bulk of her symptoms right now are actually from a different issue. While her shortness of breath, chest pressure and asthma symptoms are indicative of sarcoid, the debilitating fatigue and weakness at the level she has had, isn’t something he has seen. So he has us visiting a neurologist in NYC to get assessed for a variety of other things. She was really looking forward to some confirmation on her diagnosis and encouragement in her progress. We didn’t get that at all. If I were to be real (and I think I usually am), instead of encouragement, there was a healthy dose of discouragement. She very well might have some other serious medical issue on top of sarcoid.
But not hearing what we wanted to hear from the doctor opens the door for hearing what we needed to hear from God. We needed to be reminded that our faith isn’t in doctors or medicine, it’s in the Gospel; that is, the “good news” that our God reigns. That whatever our present circumstances, we have a hope that God reigns and somehow he is picking up the pieces in the brokenness around us and making something beautiful. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that faith means we “know we are going to be healed” or anything like that. Faith isn’t in a particular outcome in the world – it’s simply a trust in the outcome-maker. We were promised trials and troubles on this present earth, not prosperity, but we also know that God’s heart toward us is good. Even now, we know God is good.