Praying for a Miracle that isn’t Coming

Written by Ahnya Evinger
 

A verse that God placed in the forefront of my life four years ago this summer is Romans 5:1-5. “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into the grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our suffering, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”

I heard a gentleman deliver a message on the passage at our Indiana Annual Conference, and the words were seared into my heart and mind. Hope does not disappoint.

This is the verse I clung to that fall when I was diagnosed with a heart condition called sick sinus syndrome. Although this syndrome has affected me my whole life, I did not have a name or diagnosis for it. My entire life, I would experience syncope where I would lose consciousness. Every time I woke up, I was confused and tired. I learned how to recognize the signs before I would drop, but I was not always able to prevent it. One Christmas break, I had to go to the emergency room to get seven stitches above my eyebrow because I cut it open when I fell. Doctors throughout my life had different suggestions about why I was passing out, but it wasn’t until I was 28 that we finally had the data to make a diagnosis.

My heart stopped. “Paused” was the word used by medical professionals, but from the flat line on the printout my cardiologist was showing me as he explained what happened, I concluded it meant my heart stopped. Sometimes, it was only part of my heart that didn’t beat, but really, you need both parts to beat in order to stay conscious (and alive). My heart is strong and healthy, but the electric current that runs through it is faulty.

Fortunately, there is medical technology that corrects this problem my heart has. It is called a pacemaker and is actually very common (in people over the age of 28 apparently….not under). Unfortunately, my cardiologist did not want to insert a pacemaker based on the little data he had. He had only witnessed one of these incidents. He implanted a loop monitor to record the data on my heartbeat and instructed me to live life as normal.

Do you know how hard it is to go about life as normal when you find out that your heart has a problem with it that causes it to randomly stop? My mind reeled. Fear gripped me. I quit exercising. I had anxiety about every weird feeling inside of my body which usually had more to do with indigestion than heart palpitations. I tried to focus on work, school, and family, but I was usually too distracted overanalyzing my predicament. I had prayed for a diagnosis and a fix, but God answered it with wait. Wait for the wisdom of the doctor and medical team. Wait for the pacemaker. Wait.

I prayed for the miracle of life. Joe and I had been talking about children, and I wanted to be a mom so desperately. With the diagnosis of sick sinus syndrome, my doctor was very stern about pregnancy prevention. My cardiovascular system would put the baby and me in danger. Wait. Wait until we figure out the severity of the heart pauses. Wait until a pacemaker is inserted. Wait.

The following spring, enough data had been collected for a pacemaker to be inserted. My doctor cleared me of any restrictions except scuba diving too deep and shooting a rifle left handed. (Who knew the perils?) That was over three years ago. It feels like an eternity to me when you are praying for the miracle of life and the miracle isn’t coming.

Waiting is hard. Waiting has turned into four years. Waiting has become a rollercoaster of hope and disappointment every month. Waiting has turned into frustration and tears. This is so contrary to the verse I whisper over and over again, “Hope does not disappoint.” I am afraid to hope because the disappointment is so hard to face. Hope. Wait. I’m tired.

“But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31

Lord, I continue to pray for miracles, but I realize that my hope is not in this life but rather the eternal life you provide. May I put away my selfish ambitions of this world and be renewed in You for Your purposes. Lead me. Direct my path. Comfort me in my waiting. Equip me to serve you. Please let me not lose faith in your miracles, and may I recognize your miracles each day. Amen.

 


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