The Vanishing Act

The minute we crossed west over the California border I felt it.

Dread. Exhaustion.

Coming home from our trip meant coming home to decisions. What to do with the endometrial-looking cyst in my only ovary. What measures to take for fertility. And the question in my head: How much longer can I do this?

New Year’s Eve was fun, but January 1st brought a massive pain spike and another wave of depression. Maybe 2018 had heard my mental taunt to “come at me.” Or the overconfident “I dare you” that looped through my head every time I glanced at the calendar.

The New Year rose to the challenge. Right out the gate. I spent most of this week in dead-eyed melancholy, waiting on test results.

Encouraging phrases like “rest knowing that God has you” are sometimes hard to hear when your body won’t let you rest. The reality is, I can’t do this for much longer. I’m beat. So beat, the only thing I have strength (emotionally) to pray lately is: “God, you know I’ll roll with whatever you do. But I’m tired now. I’m ready for this to be done.”

Recently, I reread Psalm 6:1-9. It’s never resonated with me. But this time it’s like it came straight out of my mouth:

O Eternal One, don’t punish me in Your anger or harshly correct me. Show me grace, Eternal God. I am completely undone. Bring me back together, Eternal One. Mend my shattered bones. My soul is drowning in darkness. How long can You, the Eternal, let things go on like this? Come back, Eternal One, and lead me to Your saving light. Rescue me because I know You are truly compassionate. I’m alive for a reason —I can’t worship You if I’m dead. If I’m six feet under, how can I thank You? I’m exhausted. I cannot even speak, my voice fading as sighs. Every day ends in the same place —lying in bed, covered in tears, my pillow wet with sorrow. My eyes burn, devoured with grief; they grow weak as I constantly watch for my enemies. All who are evil, stay away from me because the Eternal hears my voice, listens as I cry. The Eternal God hears my simple prayers; He receives my request.

Yesterday morning I woke up to a notification on my phone. My Health Online – New test results available. I held my breath while I opened the app, my eyes darting across the message from my doctor scrounging for keywords.

“Good morning….your cyst……gone.”

Gone?

Gone.

It took hours to sink in. But when it did, I remembered my mom praying over me a few days back. She was asking God to heal me and I was sitting there zoning out, trying to keep it together, not really sure what healing meant to me anymore.

Gone.

She asked God to meet me in my discouraged state and speak to me the way only He could. He did.

In a loving vanishing act, He erased the thing at the top of my hit list. That stupid cyst.

And it didn’t happen because of any steadfast belief on my part – certainly not because I asked. Remember, I’ve just been throwing my hands up and telling Him I’m at the end of my rope. I never asked for the little freaky thing to disappear. I didn’t pray for peace.

But here I am, 2 days into breathing easy for the first time in months. One scary thing on the list gone. Spoiler: God listens. Even when you can’t speak.

Today I thought back to the end(ish) of Psalm 6 and put my story in it. Highly suggest trying that. Highly suggest slapping it on a post-it too.

You are heard. Believe it.

Every day ends in the same place —lying in bed, covered in tears, my pillow wet with sorrow. My eyes burn, devoured with grief; they grow weak as I constantly watch for my [disease]. [Fear], stay away from me because the Eternal hears my voice, listens as I cry. The Eternal God hears my simple prayers; He receives my request.

10 thoughts on “The Vanishing Act

    1. Hi Love, No wonder gramps and I have been praying for you so much. PRAISE THE LORD!!! He hears and answers! We believe you have more really good news coming! Love you to pieces!
      Granny

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  1. I’m on my break at work and can not stop the tears after reading this. I started following you and your hubby for the beautiful pictures and my love for Yosemite. Finding out it was so much more what brought me to follow you. I needed psalms and I needed to read your words. ❤️

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    1. Wow, thanks so much Megan. That’s so encouraging to me. Always humbled / stoked to hear when Jesus encourages people through this stuff 🖤 have an awesome rest of your shift and week!!

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  2. Hannah, thank-you. I was feeling so very hopeful that a new year would mean a new me… and then today I’m having a very painful and discouraging day and just happened on your instagram post. I guess this Psalm is for me right now as well, as I struggle with my “new” chronic condition since August (IC). Pain is SO so hard; like you said, it won’t let you rest. Thanks for sharing the truth and passing on some hope.

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    1. Oh man I’m so sorry to hear that, Lydia. You’ll be in my prayers – I know how dang difficult chronic pain is. 🖤 I’m so glad to hear this was an encouragement to you as you’ve been so encouraging to me over the years. Love you lady! Praying each day Jesus drops a love note in your lap – specific to your needs – that brings you joy your pain can’t touch (even if it’s only a little) 💕

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