Today I realized that an area of shame in my life was clarified and removed from my life through my daughter’s recent surgery. In 2004 she was incorrectly diagnosed as having an ovarian cyst. It was just one of the many things we were dealing with at the time because she was also dealing with major depression and an eating disorder. We’d already spent $60,000 trying to get her the help she needed in an inpatient facility miles away from our home. It was all so stressful and I was extremely raw. I was usually just doing the next thing and trying to keep my head above water. During this time many well-meaning friends were trying to offer advice and care for us and one of those friends was strongly encouraging me to take my daughter to a prayer ministry in Georgia. She bought a book from the ministry for me to use to “help” my daughter by recognizing the Biblical dysfunctions going on in our family etc. I brought the book home and looked into it.
The book’s author insisted that every illness we face has a spiritual root. It listed many illnesses and one of those happened to be an ovarian cyst. As I read the page that addressed this issue it said something about how it was the result of a bad relationship with the mother. I could hardly believe it. It wasn’t enough that our local psychologist kept telling me that it was my emotional responses that were causing Hannah to make the choice to purge, suddenly it was the BIBLE telling me that I caused this ovarian cyst! Honestly, it was so painful that I nervously took the book back over to my friend and wrote her a letter expressing myself. I believe I did that very poorly but I was crushed.
Fast forward to June 24 when I hear the ob/gyn tell me that when she and the other surgeon actually made their way into my daughter’s pelvis, they discovered a massive amount of fluid encased in adhesions and therefore unable to dissipate through the normal tissues, in addition to that they discovered that her fallopian tube was actually twisted in a tendon and it too had been encased in adhesions. The adhesions were from a series of life-saving surgeries that began in her life when she weighed just 3 lbs! Her pain and her dysfunction had nothing to do with EITHER of us! I had no idea I still carried the suspicion that this author might have been correct and I’d just blown it with my daughter. I had no idea that buried down deep in my heart was this cavern of shame connected to her pain much of it coming directly from this man’s material. My rational mind told me long ago that I did not cause this but my heart had absorbed another interpretation of the event.
When someone is ill we want so desperately to fix them and I completely understand that my friend’s intentions were just that. But in order for this “teacher” to come to the conclusions he did, he had engaged A LOT of speculation about what the Bible means. I have come so far in my thoughts about the Bible and now wouldn’t even open the cover on a book like this author’s…well, I hope I wouldn’t. I’m finally free of this because it is clearly…ever so clearly that a life-saving surgery left behind adhesions and as my daughter grew they left their mark on her fragile body. She is so strong and resilient. She pursued doctors and help for this as an adult and found it. Thank God I had never shared this information with her.
I only hope that I can learn from this and be a lot more careful about the friendly advice I share with others.