Written in My Heart: Death to Life Experience Part 1 (#11)
Moving on with personal testimony to the second month after I was born again in Jesus Christ. Words cannot adequately express the overall delight in our God and His ways that I felt as Jesus revealed Himself through this painful death to life experience. The experience was most precious!
On or about November 7, 2001, as I was meditating, I suddenly felt a sharp pain in the very center of the top of my left foot. The pain was concentrated in one small round spot about the size of the tip of a small finger. My thoughts turned to Jesus and nails being driven into His feet.
Two evenings later the same thing happened, but, this time the sharp pain was concentrated in one small round spot about the size of the tip of a small finger in the very center of the top of my left hand. Again, my thoughts turned to Jesus being nailed to the cross. Each time the concentrated pain lasted about five minutes, and then went away as suddenly as it came.
At the time, I wondered what Jesus was trying to impress upon me. Reflecting upon this, I know He was preparing me for what was ahead. In a very real way, He was signing on to this experience and making sure that I knew He was there with me through the whole experience. I believe this experience serves as a good example of Romans 8:28. "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose."
On November 14, 2001, three of us were gathered for our Wednesday morning Bible study. Suddenly, I felt an extremely sharp piercing pain in my left side. It was so intense I could not stay seated. I got up from my chair and went outside to try to walk off the pain. As I was standing in the front yard, I said to God this pain feels like I am being pierced with a spear. My thoughts immediately turned to Jesus and His being pierced with a spear as He hung on the cross. I walked around outside for a few minutes. I just could not walk off the pain. When I went back inside, the other two encouraged me to go to the local medical clinic. One of them drove me there.
A doctor briefly questioned me and told me to wait in an examining room. I could not handle the piercing pain sitting down, so again I tried walking. I walked down the hallway and went out the front door and walked outside for a few minutes. When I went back in, they were ready to check me into the local hospital. I believe the doctor thought the problem was a kidney stone.
For about 3 hours the pain was extremely intense. A nurse asked me to rank the pain on a scale of 1 to 10. I hesitated. I wanted to blurt out 10, because I had never before, even during childbirth, experienced such piercing pain. But, I said 9. I said 9 because I could not rank or compare the pain to what Jesus bore while going through the immeasurable suffering and death He willingly experienced for us.
After the 3 hours, I felt pressure as if I needed to have a bowel movement. While trying to relieve the pressure, the piercing pain suddenly dispersed across my abdominal cavity. The nurses struggled to get me back into bed. As I looked at the blood pressure monitor, I noticed that my blood pressure had plummeted. I remember reading 90/37. My hemoglobin plunged too.
The doctor ordered an ultrasound. The results of the ultrasound seemed to indicate something in the center of my chest just below the ribcage. I think everyone was at a loss as to what was going on. The doctor attempted to make arrangements to have me air lifted to Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, but, the ceiling was too low for a helicopter to take off. Arrangements were then made for an ambulance to transport me the 60 miles.
Upon arriving in ICU, work began to thicken my blood so that a CAT scan could be done. I was taking a blood thinner because of a stroke I had suffered in February of 2000. Many hours passed. Around 10 p.m., a CAT scan with dye was finally accomplished.
At 4 a.m. on Thursday morning, a young student doctor peaked in around the curtain and discovered I was not asleep. It seemed as if he couldn’t wait to pronounce the news. According to him, things looked very grim. Preliminary results pointed to multiple masses. He told me they were in all likelihood cancerous tumors. The preliminary diagnosis was pancreatic cancer. What this young doctor was announcing was my death sentence. The doctors believed I was dying. They believed I only had two to three weeks left of earthly life.
Until we come to repentance, surrender our self and give control of our life to Jesus Christ, we literally are under a sentence of death. Sin is very much like a cancer. A cancer, the nature to sin, we are actually born with. We would all die of this cancer without the pure blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ.
A few minutes after the young doctor had made this pronouncement; the nurse came in and apologized over and over about what the doctor had told me saying it wasn’t his place or the right time to tell me such news. Here I was, all alone, no family with me, trying to take in what the student doctor had just told me.
However, I definitely was not alone through any of this. I did not cry. I did not seem to be fearful. For about a half hour I thought about dying. Mostly, I felt confused. My thoughts focused on Jesus and on the ministry assignment He had just revealed to me less than three weeks prior to this event. Part of the assignment revelation was to minister to children, focus on the young for these” little ones” will be” lights” in the darkness, expose the work of Satan, emphasize eternity, evangelistic in nature, far-reaching, five years….
Through the hours of waiting for a guided CAT scan biopsy to be done, Jesus had me hold on to the belief that I still have this assignment to complete for His glory on this earth. He brought a sense of calmness and peace to my soul.
The biopsy was scheduled for 4 p.m. I was calm and ready to face whatever the results were to be. My pastor arrived shortly before I was taken to the CAT scan room. His presence and praying with me were certainly orchestrated by God and just what was needed.
Arriving in the CAT scan room, I was not afraid. The doctor talked with me and referred to a lesion involving the adrenal gland that they were going to snip tissue samples from. What he was telling me sounded different from what the young student doctor blurted out early that morning. As they worked on me, I could hear in the background talk about the samples they were getting being made up of blood and not of tissue. At the end of the biopsy, the doctor told me it was possible these masses were from blood hemorrhages and were not tumors.
Wow, awesome, what a difference 12 hours made. I went from a pronouncement of inescapable death to a pronouncement of LIFE. This whole experience was about the shedding of blood.
Continued next week in part 2.
Personal testimony of
Dorothy von Lehe