When I was 19 years old, I had an invasive procedure to find out if I had endometriosis. Up until this point, I’d never even heard of it, although the symptoms were far too familiar. Vomiting – check, numb legs – check, exhaustion – check, fainting- check, severe debilitating pain – check!
It’s a consistent battle of the head, heart and body that has taken its toll too many times to count. It has seen me miss days of work, lose my joy, cry uncontrollably, feel numb and lifeless and taken a part of me that only God can heal. PTSD, anxiety and depression came as a team that I didn’t want to be a part of.
When the doctor first sat me down and told me that I wouldn’t be able to have children, I don’t think he realised that he was shattering a dream I had held for so long.
To say I was crushed was an understatement. It was around the same time that God had called me into Children’s Ministry. Oh, and it was the year everyone in my church was getting pregnant and I was invited to their baby showers. Not going to lie, baby showers were the worst. I had this internal battle tearing at my soul. On one hand, I was genuinely so excited for friends but felt completely despondent on a personal level. It felt like emotional torture.
4 years after that initial appointment, my doctor decided I needed to see the leading specialist for Endo in Sydney. I was sent to Sydney with pictures captured from my latest operation due to the severity of Endo in my uterus. Like good mums do, my Mum decided that we were going to make it a positive and fun trip, so she booked us tickets to Hillsong Colour Conference while we were down there. At this stage, God and I weren’t the best of friends as I was disappointed, frustrated and angry at this dud body he had given me.
So off we all went, mum, me and my dodgy uterus down to Sydney for another invasive surgery. When we got to Colour, I found it hard to worship, I found it difficult to praise God and difficult to acknowledge His goodness as the women on stage preached passionately.
I found it hard to trust that God was for me when everything in life seemed to be against me, even my own body didn’t like me.
As I was standing there with my eyes closed during worship, I felt God speak to me. It was literally the clearest I had ever heard His voice. To be honest, I tried to ignore His voice and got a little annoyed that it was a such a simple question.
He simply said, ‘If you never had children, would I be enough’?
Me: “Come again?” Like, why did you give me this desire, if you didn’t want me to have children.”
Here I am fighting with Jesus, meanwhile my mum is next to me full eagle wings, spread out singing at the top of her lungs.
Me: “Like, probably not! If I going to be honest.”
God: “If you never have children would I be enough.”
Me: “Why are you asking me again, I said no.”
God: Do you trust me?
My heart sank, deep breaths, tears running down my face.
In that moment, I made the decision that it was all or nothing. I had to trust God whole heartedlly! I had to make a decision to surrender every part of me, fully. Even if that meant my desire to be a mother.
Right there and then I made a decision to surrender my agenda, surrender my desires, surrender my life over to him and trust that He is sovereign and in control.
I’ve heard of a broken heart before but in this moment, I felt my heart physically break as the thought of never having my own children raced through my mind. Deep down I knew if God was asking me to trust Him, then He had a plan that I couldn’t see.
I decided that if I professed to be a Christian and believed that God was who He says He is, then TRUST was my only answer.
I was no longer on the fence, angry at God because despite the outcome, children or not He loved me and had my back. Over the years this long-term illness has been a back and forward of surrendering control. Kind of like handing a ball of string over to God and then always trying to search for the end and reel it back in.
Effectively, God was inviting me to not do this journey alone and I had to accept the opportunity to ask for help.
During this worship moment, I had a warm sensation make its way down my body from my chest and over my uterus and before my head could catch up the words “God has healed me,” came out of my mouth to my mum.
The next day we went to the specialist’s offices to discuss an operation in 6 months time as he was so booked out. In this consultation the doctor got a phone call and walked out of the room. My mum jumped to her feet and started to pray for a cancellation and sure enough, the doctor came back into the room saying, “I’ve had a cancellation, you can have the operation tomorrow!”
Long story short and a whole lot of bowel prep later, the surgeon came into the room post op very upset mumbling angry words. Note: I am high on strong drugs, also note; not a great time to laugh in his face!
He proceeds to say; “I have no idea why your specialist has sent you to me, there is nothing wrong with you! You are a perfectly healthy young women and there is no endometriosis present! Our jaws hit the floor.
I thought getting back it would be a sky of continuous rainbows and life would be all sparkles, yet the journey ahead wasn’t smooth sailing. It was more tests, more operations, more disappointment, more pain to the point where my doctor put me on a steroid to stop my cycle. My doctor couldn’t believe the result from the operation and still to this day says, “There was definitely Endometriosis present when I sent you to Sydney!”
This all continued until one day I was feeling so sick, I went to my local GP. He said to me, let’s just do a pregnancy test to rule it out, because if it were, it would be an ectopic pregnancy, so don’t get excited, we would need to book you into hospital.
I took a breath and prepared myself for the worst and if it was a positive result that I would need to figure out my Uni / work schedule to take time off for the operation. In no way did I prepare myself for the joy of having a baby!
And there it was, the result came up positive, but my demeanour was not positive at all, I was discouraged and put out by the information given prior because it meant my body needed to go through more trauma.
The Dr ends up sending me to the sonographer for a scan and of course I took Andy for moral support and again not both filled with excitement but positioning ourselves to deal with what was next. I lay on the bed again with a beating heart and counting the lights above my head.
BUT WAIT, this time was different!! The lady said with excitement in her voice, there is a strong heartbeat, there is your baby in your womb!
Om my gosh! I’m having a baby! So many tears, so many thoughts; would my body carry the baby full term, would I miscarry, will they say, “just joking”, you need to have another operation. So many questions flooded my mind!
Ryan David Kirk was born 2 weeks early, healthy via C-section. A miracle and testimony to the goodness and faithfulness of God, who loved me at my weakest, who held me when I was broken, who didn’t turn his back on me when I was swearing at the sky and who walked with me making sure I was never alone.
I’ve gone on to have 3 handsome, strong, loving boys. All miracles too! My Endo came back in full swing after each pregnancy again more operations, more pain, more opportunities to share of the love and faithfulness of God with women struggling to have babies. More opportunities to pray with women who have become weary from this journey in their own lives. I choose to see my life as an opportunity for God to be lifted high no matter the outcome.
God uses every situation to turn it around for His goodness and I wholehearted believe that despite the odds, which may seem against you that he is working without you even realising!
Still to this day and in fact, just yesterday I saw my specialist and we both still marvel.
I think his words sum up this whole journey when he said, “despite everything you have gone through Christie, it’s hard to believe that there isn’t a God!!”
My battle with endometriosis has been a wrestle. Full of ups and downs, highs and lows. But it has also opened my eyes to God’s infinite goodness and His ultimate faithfulness even in the middle of the struggle.
They said, “I’d never have kids.” But God had other plans.