A Doer Learns to Trust

March 11, 2024

{Pictured is Kim with her husband Lee on one of their trips to Jefferson, in Philadelphia, PA, for her treatment}

When a whooshing sound and the sensation of a heartbeat began in my left ear a few years ago, I had no idea it would lead to a spiritual awakening in my heart and mind that would bring me closer to God through Christ Jesus. 

My spiritual journey is like most with periods of highs and lows and some arid plateaus in between. But when I received the news from my doctor that I had a benign brain tumor (a rare condition called a vestibular schwannoma) back in February 2023, my immediate thought was, “How can someone like me glorify God?” I had never had a medical crisis of any kind. I knew as a Christian, I was supposed to bring God glory through this situation, but I had no idea how! I asked Lenny Spitale, a mentor to my husband and me, and he encouraged me to just hold onto God’s hand moment by moment, day by day. 

That advice was just what I needed. Trust had always been hard for me to understand and to give because I’m a self-sufficient person, a doer. Trust felt like a task I had to accomplish, but I couldn’t get my hands or head around it. This confusion led me to initiate a Bible study on the topic of trusting God with some friends. But in God’s wisdom, he answered my question in a very different way. He canceled my plans and instead planned  his own Bible study for me. It was called a brain tumor. 

The treatment for this type of tumor was 26 days of small-dose radiation, requiring daily visits to Jefferson’s Neuroscience Hospital in Philadelphia. Fear crept in as I pondered the effect this would have on my husband’s health, our business, and our finances. Before this, I had always been the rock with my husband Lee’s complicated health issues. On top of that, I was a key part of our family business by taking calls, making appointments, and managing details. My responsibilities affected our income. How could any of this go on without me?  

But in God’s patience, he took me by the hand and said to my heart, “I will show you how to do this. Just trust me.” I realized that trusting God was less about me and more about God. Somehow, in this trial, a sense of peace and calm just flowed from God into my heart. I have no other words to describe it. It really did surpass all understanding (Philippians 4:7). 

My practical fears were short-lived as our Community Group rallied around us with love, meals, and offers for rides each day. By God’s grace, I replaced my fear with trust and found yet again that God is faithful. I was learning, step by step. 

Then came radiation, which required that I wear a very tight, restraining mask that was molded to my head. This claustrophobic mask was my greatest obstacle. It was a hard piece of plastic with not even a centimeter of space between it and my face. I couldn’t even open my eyes.  Fears crept in again: What if I needed to cough or sneeze while getting radiation in the mask? What if I couldn’t breathe? 

Once again God met me by placing beautiful people on my team. One of them was a Christian woman named Cindy who played worship music for me from the time I walked in until my treatment was over. Cindy would sing quietly in my ear as the mask was put in place, which was so meaningful. We were all hugging each other after the first week! 

I learned that trusting God is not about doing a physical task, but instead depending on who God is and what he has done. When I was put in a position where I couldn’t do anything, he did everything for me. He showed me that I don’t really have control over anything, but I can rejoice that he does. And I’ve learned (and am still learning) to trust that everything he allows is truly for my good. The “study” he planned for me about trusting him was exactly the one I needed. 

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