This is my last week of guest posters! I hope you have enjoyed getting to know some new people around the blogosphere as much as I have loved introducing them to you. Today my guest writer comes to you all the way from Johannesburg, South Africa! Sanelle shares her story of faith in God when all of her plans go awry. Her trust in God and willingness to follow despite the circumstances is inspiring!
I Have Seen Him Who Sees Me
I’ve always had a plan. To that the journals I’ve kept since I was 15 can testify. My plan was to finish High School in 2009 then go on and study Law in Australia, be a great lawyer, marry a lawyer, be a motivational speaker, have babies and live happily ever after.
Well, I’m sure we all know life rarely turns out the way we had planned.
In 2008 just after I had finished my AS level it was decided that I was to go to University the following year. I got a place at the University of Johannesburg (South Africa) to study Accounting. Pause. That was NEVER part of the plan. And as if that was not enough, that same year I got into University I was diagnosed with Primary sclerosing cholangitis.
I went from broken to ruined in 3 months. All that I once believed, knew for sure was deflated. The ground beneath my feet had shifted without a warning. Life as I knew it ended as I took on another path, the very unfamiliar path of living with an incurable illness. The kingdom of me was shattered.
Everything else that once mattered to me did not anymore. All I wanted was for God to spare my life. All of a sudden I stopped making plans, quit dreaming. What use was it to dream when I wasn’t sure I would live long enough to fulfill those dreams?
I spent most of my days crying, pleading with God. During that time I felt in all of me that my whole life depended on God. If that truth was ever clouded in my mind, it was during that time that it was demystified. I sought God with all my heart. My whole being was desperate for God. It really felt like I was clinging onto the hem of Jesus’ garment desperate for him to heal me.
The days went on as I continued to take my medication which I was told I would have to take for probably all my life OR until I got a liver transplant. I hate medication so more than anything I wanted God to heal me just so I could stop taking the pills. My parents cried and pleaded with God daily that He would heal me. You have to understand that I am the youngest child in my family so this hit my parents real hard as I was still “their baby.”
To cut a very long story short, in that journey of seeking God daily to heal me there is a day that stands out for me. It was 3 months after the diagnosis. My mum and her friend [both of them in Botswana] were fasting for me. That wasn’t the first time anyone had fasted for me. I was at school, in the middle of a lecture when I started trembling uncontrollably. I felt really cold like there was a very strong wind blowing only towards me. I don’t remember all the details except for the trembling but I also remember that I walked out of class before the lecture was over.
I spent some 30minutes trying to make sense of the incident. When I felt calm enough I called my mum and told her what had happened. I remember telling her that if the heavens had ever been shaken by anyone’s prayers it must have been on that day. I knew I had been healed. Months of seeking God had refined my faith. I just knew I had been healed. As they say, when you know you know. So, I just knew.
I stopped taking my pills that same day [although I would never encourage anyone to do that. My mum is a nurse and I’m told daily that pills should be taken according to the doctor’s orders/instructions]. My prayers changed that day from begging for healing to thanking God for healing me.
I went for reviews every 3 months and the doctors were somewhat surprised by the significant improvements in my health. By the way, only one cousin of mine knew I had stopped taking my pills. I’ve been going for reviews till now and my last review was on March 31 this year. On that last review the doctor told me that, in her own words, “I’m making them scratch their heads.” All my blood test results and the last scan that I did show that I’m perfectly fine! I will be going for the last review on April 28 when I will be discharged.
The doctors think it was either a misdiagnosis or a rare case of a miraculous healing. I know it is the latter because I am the one who had the yellow eyes, whose whole body was itchy (including my scalp, palms and beneath my feet), I am the one who shaved her head as I couldn’t handle the itching, I am the one that got blisters on my toes each time I scratched, I am also the same person who saw 9 doctors and counting hoping one of them would be able to help, I am the one who had exorbitant amounts of bilirubin in my system and as a result my skin got darker apparently that was burning my skin, I am also the same person who spent most of her days in bed tired all the time, suffered from diarrhea, nausea, lost so much weight and spent 3 months before the diagnosis scratching and not knowing what was wrong with me. I lived with the pain, the itching oh the itching! and the despair of not knowing.
It’s been 2 years now, and I must say now I know for sure that I am not forgotten and although I don’t necessarily have a plan anymore, I know God has a plan not only for the whole world but also for me as an individual. Also this whole experience has taught the importance of having your own faith. Sometimes God speaks to you and you just know! We don’t need anyone to believe us, justify what we know or approve of it. When you know you know, without seeking proof or evidence and that to me is what faith really means.
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
3 For I am the LORD your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior… ~ Isaiah 43:1-3 [NIV]
She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” ~ Genesis 16:13 [NIV]
UPDATE 4/28/2011: She got discharged and is perfectly fine!
Sanelle Ndebele is a 20-year-old woman from Johannesburg, South Africa. She is in her 3rd year of University, and still doing Accounting. She is living an “unplanned” [on her part] life but trying to embrace God’s plan for her. She has dreams and has since begun dreaming with God. She is discovering more of Him each day and desperate for Him to have His will in her life. You can read more at her blog, Depths of My Soul.