During this time of the Corona Virus we are experiencing a frightful time and because of this circumstance it causes me to draw closer to God for comfort.
A lot of us fall into the medically fragile category and sometimes we think about what happens after we die. I am feeling so hopeful about my future. My hope for you is that your spirit is full of hope and peace as well.
Please let me unapologetically share my testimony.
This winter, 2020, during a class called Rooted https://www.experiencerooted.com/product-category/rooted/ at South West Church https://southwestchurch.com/ in Palm Desert, California, I was asked to write out my testimony to the conviction I have of being a follower of Christ.
Humbly here it is.
The Spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit, who can bare?
“We are all faced with great opportunities that are disguised as unsolvable problems.”
For thou has possessed my reins: thou has covered me in my mothers womb. I will praise thee: for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
I was born in Salinas California on June 16, 1954. To say that I have had a charmed life is an understatement. I always had an abundance of food and love. I was taken to church every Sunday and had the privilege of being baptized, confirmed and married with the same Lutheran congregation.
I always knew, from an early age that Gods love was real and Jesus dies for my sins. Jesus answered very specific prayers for me as a child and I always knew that he cared for the smallest details in my life.
In high school and college I was involved in Young Life and Campaigners. I had my wild times and God even then protected me from my indiscretion.
When I was a student at Washington State University I participated in a study abroad program in London, England I met the amour of my life, Randy Lake. We were married June 16, 1976.
Along the way we have had bumps and grinds, We had to place a daughter in rehab, raising 2 adopted children from Colombia with significant issues. I mostly enjoyed raising my children. We had a busy home with a lot of affection and devotion.
I feel loved and supported by by husband. He always asks me, “What can I do for you? How can I make you happy?” He makes me really happy.
So for my testimony time I would like to share with you an incredibly difficult time in my life and how God helped me through it at the beginning, and how he continues to support me through the challenging times.
For years I experienced terrible abdominal pain. I was told I had irritable bowel, was checked for appendicitis. I learned to live with it until I woke up one morning and found out the cause. I had neurogenic bladder and bowel. Perhaps this was caused by back troubles and surgery or perhaps by a vaginal hysterectomy I had in my forties. I do not know the why, other than to truthfully tell you that God has truly blessed me through this curve ball.
In the beginning I was shocked, embarrassed and confused. At work in the educational world and in daily life, my success had to do with accessible toilet facilities.
I had this secret for years. God was my confidant. My outlet was a secret blog I started TrudyTriumph.com I had the pen name Trudy Triumph and even tough I wrote and wrote, I did not tell a soul. It was a secret
Online I unloaded. I tried to find solutions. I met others from around the world who had similar problems. A young woman that had just given birth that had lost all bowel control, another who had a spinal tumor causing bladder and bowel trouble. A newly diagnosed neurogenic bladder patient that had her husband cath her because she was afraid to use an intermittent catheter herself. A man that wore diapers because of a war injury, who wanted to know, when in a relationship he should tell his intended. There was a man from India who wrote and asked if there were others in India who had neurogenic bladders. Imagine how lonely and humiliated this dear man felt? This letter made me cry. I was isolating myself too but I did not connect the dots back then.
Imagine having a problem so big, so common, yet so very humiliated by the situation you are afraid to talk to others, even doctors?
The silence dam broke for me when I met my dear friend for lunch. My blog was humming along, I had a book about to come out and still I felt so embarrassed by my situation that I did not tell some of my closest friends and family members. Just God. Bladder and bowel problems are a forbidden topic, why would I make people squirm? Well I am here to tell you that our bodies are fearfully and wonderfully made and God cares about all of our working parts and by keeping silent I missed the opportunity to help some of those closest to me.
During a lunch date my friend told me of her husbands horror, when as his body was ravaged by Lou Gehrig disease. He lost all bowel and bladder control. Here I was, one of her close friends, while she was going through the hardest time of her life I could have offered solutions; a hoyer lift, products, emotional support. But I was to prissy to share that I was living the very thing she that her husband wanted to keep secret for the from others remainder of his life. My embarrassment broke at that point. A flood of shame filled my heart and we cried together.
I was forever Beyond Embarrassment.
Currently I have had setbacks. I have third stage kidney failure due to the constant bladder infections I suffered and continue to have. That translates to antibiotics for the rest of my days. My body cannot handle pain meds when my back goes out. I have dry skin, and a constant metallic taste in my mouth. Because of my neurogenic bowel I can not take long hikes with the hiking club due to probable accidents. I will forever need to use an intermittent catheter, so I always need to be diligent to cleanliness and needed supplies.
GOD HAS GIVEN ME SUPORT AND EVEN HIS WORD TO OFFER SOLUTIONS
Luke 8:43-48 King James Version (KJV)
43 And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any,
44 Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched.
45 And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?
46 And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.
47 And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately.
48 And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.
For 12 years this woman repeatedly tried to find help for her hemorrhaging condition.In her society, women who were bleeding were ostracized, outcasts, considered unclean. Rather that giving up she sought Jesus because she heard about the miracles he performed. She risked public rejection and humiliation. This passage tells me that there is no part of our bodies that is off limits to what God is concerned about. I need to be an open vessel about this to help others find the solutions, we all need to live our productive God given life.
Too often we feel isolated. God gave us an example of a woman in the crowd who trusted God more than her risk of humiliation.
Tips from the woman in the crowd;
Reach out for help
Do not stay home and brood
Be brave and bold
Take a chance
I am here to testify that God cares for me, every part. He cares for you too. During this time of being isolated we can remember that we are truly not alone. Together we have a big God. The Corona Virus will pass. Our future is still bright.