One titanium plate and eight screws later... I am
...another surgery
...number four
...all within a five year time frame.

So let's recap. In the past nine years: I've had 4 surgeries; 6 ER visits; 5 colonoscopies and endoscopies; 4 hospital admits; multiple biopsies of my stomach and esophagus; one biopsy of skin and muscle (from my thigh); one biopsy of my liver; countless MRI's of my brain and spinal column; multiple CT Scans, sonograms, x-rays and other procedures; one MRA of my brain;  a cholecystectomy due to sepsis; partial hysterectomy due to enlarged uterus with polyps and menorrhagia; lumbar surgery with a double discectomy and spinal fusion; cervical spine surgery with triple discectomy and spinal fusion.

Neck brace that keeps me safe.
Over the course of these eight years I've been diagnosed with: NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease); hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol and high triglycerides); eosinophilia; RA (rheumatoid arthritis), but only for three years because the Lord chose to completely heal me of that disease overnight; kidney stones; torn calf muscle due to a 3.5 hour charley  horse; torn masseter muscle in my left jaw; torn tendon in my right elbow; severe Vitamin B12 and D deficiencies where my body no longer absorbs, stores or metabolizes these vitamins through foods and sunlight (vitamin D) in a usable form for my body to function normally. All this prevents my organs and soft tissue (muscles, tendons, discs, etc.) to be weak and easily worn or torn.

I have to get my blood drawn and tested every three months (or sometimes more often whenever I get "sick"). I also have to daily take large dosages of vitamins, enzymes and prescription medications and make sure I get a lot of rest in order to keep me alive and functioning as "normal" as possible. I exercise regularly and eat well, and all my doctors (I have many) have told me that there's really nothing more I can do to help my situation. This is just the way my body works...or more accurately...doesn't work.

My bride of Frankenstein scar.
Multiple doctors have told me multiple times that they were afraid I as going to die and there was nothing they could do to stop it because they can't find the cause. This is when I tell them that I know I'm dying...and so are they. I may die sooner than some, but we're all going to die one day because every human being who has lived, is living, or will live on this planet (except for Christ) is infected with the most deadly and nearly incurable disease—sin, that is, the inability to be holy by perfectly keeping and obeying God's law and meeting His standard of perfection.

We live in a sin-filled world because it's inhabited by sin-filled people, with some who are aware of this deadly disease, and few that have come to know the one and only Cure; faith in Jesus Christ, the only Son of God.

Throughout this journey of health crisis, I've learned more about God's grace, mercy, immeasurable love and compassion and His exceeding kindness toward the least deserving and most wretched person I

Some have said this isn't fair and others have asked why God would allow such horrible things to happen to me.

To say this isn't fair or to question God's allowance for what we deem to be "bad" or "evil" is to assume two erroneous thoughts:
  1. That I'm a good person and deserve good things (Rom 3:10);
  2. That God owes me (Job 41:11).
But neither are true. I am most certainly not a good person (morally pure; perfect). And if we're all honest with ourselves, I don't think any of us would claim we're morally perfect, that is, completely undefiled by sin. The second assumption is that God owes me. God owes no one...anything. He is God, we are not. He is the Creator. We are the created.

God created everything we see, feel, touch and even those celestial beings and things we can't see, hear or touch. God alone owns everything since He made everything, therefore He doesn't owe anyone anything. But in the converse, we owe Him everything: the air we breathe, the food we eat, any love, kindness and goodness that's shared with us. But more than that, we owe Him our lives, love and devotion because out of His grace and mercy He gave us His one and only Son; to leave His heavenly throne and come to earth as a humble babe; to live the perfect life so that He would be qualified to make the perfect sacrifice for the sins of many; to save our souls from what we all deserve, what we earned for ourselves—complete rejection, the wrath of God, and eternal damnation in Hell (Rom 6:23, Eph 2:8-9).
Hallelujah! 2 weeks later, my brace is off!
The scar will remain for about a year or so, but
I hear every good soldier has battle wounds. :)

But because God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him, shall have eternal life. And because God is more kind than I could ever understand, I am one of those whom He chose to grant eternal life through faith in Christ Jesus the Lord; the only Way to the Father; the only Way to Heaven; the only way to be forgiven of all my sins.

We all live in a broken world with broken bodies. And I understand that well.

But because of God's great mercy and grace, neither this broken world nor this broken body is my home. My Home is with God. My life is hid in Christ and so while I live in the same world as all of you, and I live in a body that causes me great pains, because my soul (which is eternal) abides in Christ, I am not broken...I have been made whole, I have been declared righteous (1 Peter 2:24).

Though at times, throughout this journey I have been depressed, frustrated and just plain tired of it all, I give thanks to God my Father, that I He has made it so I don't live in these temporary emotions, but He has made it so that I live, I abide in the one and only living God; and in Him, I am strong, I am perfect and I am well (2 Cor 12:9-10).

The challenge in this life is to remember that everything, our joys and sorrows are all as temporary as this world and is daily passing away. So hold loosely to all that is here and cling tightly only to Christ Jesus.

Daily I have to choose to think on all that is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent and worthy of praise (Philippians 4:8). And you know what that intentional choosing to captivate my mind (2 Cor 10:5) rather than allowing it to captivate me does? It always brings me right to my Lord Jesus, because He alone qualifies for all that is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent and worthy of praise. And instantly my heart and soul are lifted to the eternal good lavished on me by my Father God in Heaven.

Though there are times I succumb to the natural human emotions of trials, I do not live in them, because my Lord Jesus made me a new creation and I am now free to live in Him and the supernatural richness and fullness of His glorious grace (Ps 84:11; Eph 1:18-19, 3:16; Rom 8:32)!

One titanium plate and eight screws body is still broken, but my spirit that's been united with Christ, has been healed and it is strong.

"So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal."
~2 Corinthians 4:16-18