Recovering after the surgery

As I have posted in my previous blog entry, I underwent major surgery last July. 

It is a week before a month after the surgery and I am better and stronger except with a few and random aches and pains in my lower abdominal region every now and then. 

Sometimes, I would consume one paracetamol tablet a day to ward off the pain. Before I was discharged from the hospital, I was prescribed with mefenamic acid for the pain. After consuming about six of such tablets after I was released from the hospital, I decided I could get by with just paracetamol in my system. Please do not imitate me. Always consult your doctor. What works for some may not work for everyone, ok? 

Being a Type A person, a naturally outgoing and busy type, it has become a bit of a challenge for me to spend my days at home with a routine that was totally not me: eat, watch TV, read books, take afternoon nap, walk around the house, read, eat and retire at night. In the morning, the same goes for me save for a few improvisations to ease boredom. 
Yup, boredom! 
But just as I was tempted to sink in to sadness, I remembered a message I received in my Facebook account just a few days after I.was discharged from the hospital. 

The Promise of the Ministry 

A friend of mine who is living abroad told me she is up for surgery soon. Doctors had to fix a defect in her heart and it had to be done as soon as she finishes her laboratory tests. 
She asked if she could ‘draw strength from me.’ She also asked me to pray for her. 

My friend’s letter humbled me. 
I believe that the surgery, no matter how scary it was at first, definitely gave me somewhat of an authority to give hope and encouragement to people who will go through the knife. I have resolved to regularly send messages to my friend asking her about the progress of her laboratory tests and the schedule of her surgery. Needless to say, we have become closer than ever. It also gave me a sense of purpose even while I was just at home still recuperating from my own medical procedure.


Mental Preparation 

Mentally rehearsing some of the things that I would go through at the hospital also helped me a lot. I remember preparing the list of happy thoughts I would cling on once needle insertions begin. I chose memories of traveling abroad and having fun with friends to block the pain. It worked for me. I was able to tackle the pain triumphantly. It definitely helped because the first two needle insertions were unsuccessful with the nurse declaring ‘Sorry ma’m, your vein collapsed. I will another nurse to insert the needle.’

Recovering well

There are stressors at home and they are inevitable because they are around me and more often than not, it leads to stabbing pains on my wound every now and then. I am still learning to dodge them all and I think I am doing quite fine – though I may be quite slow in it.

I have rekindled my love for blogging and listening to podcasts of Joyce Meyer and Joel Osteen and watching Israel Houghton in Youtube. I also spend a considerable amount of time watching makeup tutorials. By the way, here is a lifestyle website that I maintain if you want to know more about the things that make me happy.

Times like these, I believe it is also useful to have varied interests that would help you curb boredom if being a couch potato is not your style.


If you want to read about the story of my surgery, please click here and share your thoughts with me. Did you go through a similar experience? How did you cope with it? 

**You can send me a private message or you can also tweet me at @I_will_flourish**

Going through a major operation: Overcome fear with God’s word and prayers



We’ve heard it all too often: overcome fear with God’s word and lots of prayers.

But how do we actually apply it on a practical basis especially when it comes to major decisions such as surgery? 

The Challenge

I recently underwent a major surgery at St. Luke’s Medical Center QC that entailed opening part of my abdomen so the doctors could get something out. 
I had a whole year planning about it, thinking, praying and even agonizing about the surgery. Thing is, I have never been hospitalized before and just the thought of needles and the smell of disinfectant on hospital floors made me cringe. Still, I was certain I had to go through it especially after hearing God reveal a promise on a ministry that I would be involved in after the surgery. A gentle whisper from God as I was reading my Bible one night made me sure of three things: God gave me a ministry; He would strengthen the ministry and third, I would have to go through with the surgery.


Delaying and bargaining 

In my heart, I understood I have to go through the pain of surgery to be free from something that has gripped me for quite some time. It was an elective type of surgery which meant it was not an emergency procedure but it had to be done to correct the situation. 
In 2013, I already went through laboratory procedures. But for some reason, I did not get past the clearance stage with the cardiologist. I had already completed all the tests but when I first came to him, I ran a fever so I was not cleared that week. When I came back, he was not in because of a family emergency. After a couple of weeks, I saw him but this time, I had a nasty cough so he did not clear me for surgery. The following week, he had a flat tire, he was not able to come on time. That drama went on for a couple of months and I looked at it as a sign that maybe I was not meant to have the procedure yet. So I decided to defer it. Needless to say, my family and friends badgered me into going through with the operation. I told them I had not given up on it but I just have to wait a little while to ease my anxiety too. Yes, going to the doctor’s office repeatedly stressed me out. 
A sister of mine told me to find another cardiologist next time seeing it also as a sign to switch doctors. 

During the time of ‘waiting’, I bargained to God and asked him if he could just supernaturally remove the lump inside me and make me a miracle case. But deep within me I know His answer. I know surgery was going to happen. 

I came to a point when I could really feel God’s voice inside me asking me what  is it that I am waiting for and why I have not returned to the doctor yet. He said everything that I have asked for prior to the surgery are already in place: my car, my monetary resources and the people who would pray for me are already present. ‘What are you afraid of? What else do you need?’ I felt God ask me intuitively. 

Fear 

In truth, I feared for my life. I was afraid I would lose so much blood on the operating table, I was afraid something could go wrong. I was afraid of things that I know would never happen because God had already promised me that something beautiful would happen after the surgery. Still, I felt afraid. 
It took a lot of prayers and spiritual warfare before I was able to overcome this. I read a lot of scriptures, I listened to a lot of teachings from my favorite pastors and I asked friends to cover me with prayer so that I could defeat the work of the enemy in my mind. 

I knew I already had the decision that I would go through with the procedure and something inside me said I should not wait longer lest I want the season of grace to expire. 

Still, I did not go back to the doctor because I didn’t have the time for it. 

I was too busy with work and it occupied my mind day and night. Heck, there were days when I would forgo lunch just to beat the deadline. That eventually took a toll on my health that resulted to a high fever one weekend. I had to take a sick leave for two days until I was well. 

The Right Timing 

Despite the nagging feeling inside me urging me to go through with the procedure, it seemed I could not find the time to go to my doctor - until something unexpected happened. 

It wasn’t until I remembered aaking God to propel me into the procedure in His own way that I enabled me to make peace with what happened to me at the office. 
Despite my hardwork, I was unfairly treated at work and was even accused of abandoning my responsibilities. The supervisors wrote a rather discriminating letter to me and my ‘neglect’ on my duties.  This totally caught me off guard because never in my entire many years of service have I intended to slack off from my duties. I had been give time off of a week from work and during that time, the most logical thing for me to do was to back to my physician and re-take all those laboratory tests in preparation for the procedure. Come to think of it, I finally have a week for my health. Still, my heart cried out to God. ‘Lord’, I said, ‘Please hear me out. Vindicate me. Bring justice to me. You have placed me in this career, you are the rightful judge of my labor. Please do not let your daughter be treated unfairly.’ 
After a week, I came back to the office and presented to my superior, my doctor’s letter ordering my hospital admission scheduled on the next day itself. 

One of my superiors even quipped ‘So it was providential,’ referring to the supposed ‘punishment’ meted out on me. 

"Remember the gift you gave me two years ago?" my superior said. "It’s a booklet that said everything happens for a reason. I read that and I committed it to memory." 

When I heard that, my heart warmed. In my own little way, I have ministered to her and I felt joyful. I praised God in my heart. 

The unfair situation actually worked to my advantage. 

It brought to mind one of my favorite verses: 

"You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." Genesis 50:20

For the Lord will vindicate his people and have compassion on his servants. Psalm 135:14 ESV 

So this explains why throughout the week, my flesh was agonizing but my spirit had this certain peace that told me to wait on God. A calm, small voice reminded me incessantly that God is in control and He is my vindicator. 

This verse anchored my prayer to God during that week of trial: 

"May the Lord judge between you and me. And may the Lord avenge the wrongs you have done to me, but my hand will not touch you. 1 Samuel 24:12


The Day of the Operation 

 I’d like to say that I woke up really early for the 8AM schedule but in truth, I didn’t reallt sleep at all. Anxiety was there the whole night not to mention the room visits by two nurses and one doctor that effectively interrupted my sleep. Before I was wheeled to the Operating room, I said a quick prayer thanking God for the beginning of my healing season and asking for forgiveness for all my sins - the ones I am aware of and the ones I am not aware of. I told God that I am honored that He used me as a conduit of blessings to other people and I thanked Him because I know that He will use me more after the operation. 


I was still a bit nervous as I waited to be taken inside the OR itself but that sense of peace knowing that everything is according to God’s plan consoled me. I held that peace before everything went black.

Waking up to a brand new start

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I made it through the procedure! The first two days were difficult as it was marked with nausea, fatigue, lots of pain and discomfort but it was fun too. Many of my friends came to visit me and showered me with gifts and food and prayers. 

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After three days, I was served solid food! Two days of IV fluids and soft food, I was excited to taste real food again.

 image


I suddenly realized I have friends who actually care for me. They made the whole experience easier and many of them reached out even while I was at home recuperating. 

More importantly,  I have become a deeper, more mature person deep inside. 

Indeed, I am willing and ready for the ministry God has promised me. 

Because of this experience, this I know for sure: 


"Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed;
He will answer him from His holy heaven
With the saving strength of His right hand.” Psalm 20:6 (NKJV) 



**Are you up for surgery too? How do you feel? You can reach me at twitter @I_will_flourish**


"My worth and value comes from the Lord…As long as God sees my heart and he knows my hardwork, I am at peace…He placed me where I am today and I will stay here for as long as He wants me to. if it’s time to move on, I will know it in my heart…this, too, shall pass."
That was my Facebook status last June 6. It was a really rough day for me, capping off a similarly rough week.
This was a day before I had to deal with high fever that made my bed a refuge for two days.  
Sometimes, things don’t turn out the way you want them to. Sometimes they turn out better, sometimes, they don’t. 
One thing is for sure, Jesus is still my Lord and savior and I know that He is on top of everything. He knows how hard I work and I know that He will  bring vindication for me.    

"My worth and value comes from the Lord…As long as God sees my heart and he knows my hardwork, I am at peace…He placed me where I am today and I will stay here for as long as He wants me to. if it’s time to move on, I will know it in my heart…this, too, shall pass."

That was my Facebook status last June 6. It was a really rough day for me, capping off a similarly rough week.

This was a day before I had to deal with high fever that made my bed a refuge for two days.  

Sometimes, things don’t turn out the way you want them to. Sometimes they turn out better, sometimes, they don’t.

One thing is for sure, Jesus is still my Lord and savior and I know that He is on top of everything. He knows how hard I work and I know that He will  bring vindication for me.    

(Source: xorme.com, via windycitymissy)

I am blogging this a couple of days after I got sick supposedly from overfatigue. I couldn’t believe I had to stay in bed for a couple of days until the high fever died down. I rarely get sick. But a few days before that, I knew my body was telling me I had to slow things down but I did not heed it thinking I am invincible. Obviously, I’m not. Now, I know better but to listen to my body, for warning signs that I need to slow things down and recharge. 
Moral of the story: You are not superman. Your body needs to be recharged and to be healed. 

I am blogging this a couple of days after I got sick supposedly from overfatigue. I couldn’t believe I had to stay in bed for a couple of days until the high fever died down. I rarely get sick. But a few days before that, I knew my body was telling me I had to slow things down but I did not heed it thinking I am invincible. Obviously, I’m not. Now, I know better but to listen to my body, for warning signs that I need to slow things down and recharge. 

Moral of the story: You are not superman. Your body needs to be recharged and to be healed. 

(Source: rosyabigailxx, via exquisite-lyz)

Sharing this devotional from Joel Osteen with you today, labor day 2014: 
“You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace…”
(Isaiah 55:12, NIV)
TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
God knows what’s best for you. He knows what you need and when you need it. He knows how to put you at the right place at the right time. He knows where the danger is and where the good breaks are. You have to learn to trust that inner peace, that inner prompting that leads you.
Even if the odds are against you, if you feel good about it in your heart, move forward. On the other hand, if there is unrest or uneasiness, if you don’t have peace, then wait. Don’t ignore the promptings, the impressions, the knowings. That’s God talking to you.
Always remember, God wants to help you in your everyday life, not just in the big decisions, but even in the small things. He wants to pour out His favor on you and release your frustrations. If you will be sensitive to His leading, if you will follow His peace, He will lead you into the blessing and victory He has prepared for you!
-
This is very true. 
I remember one time when I really wanted something. I badly wanted it that I went to great lengths just to get it. I wasn’t a Christian then but I felt all these promptings within me that something is terribly wrong and that what I want isn’t right for me. 
Still, I went on and claimed it for myself. 
I ended up getting terribly hurt in the ordeal and if it were not for the grace of God, I would probably still be in that dark pit wallowing in pain and regret. 
I’ve learned that God communicates with His children in various ways: through His word, through other people, through circumstances and through promptings in the spirit. 
That experience has taught me never to disregard His message ever again.
If you are like me and you believe you know what is best for you, start re-assessing your life and ask God which areas He does not approve of and what He wants you to do about them. 
Ask God to give you the grace to allow Him to make changes in your life. 
Trust me, your life will happier and you will feel more fulfillment. 

 

Sharing this devotional from Joel Osteen with you today, labor day 2014: 

“You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace…”

(Isaiah 55:12, NIV)

TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria

God knows what’s best for you. He knows what you need and when you need it. He knows how to put you at the right place at the right time. He knows where the danger is and where the good breaks are. You have to learn to trust that inner peace, that inner prompting that leads you.

Even if the odds are against you, if you feel good about it in your heart, move forward. On the other hand, if there is unrest or uneasiness, if you don’t have peace, then wait. Don’t ignore the promptings, the impressions, the knowings. That’s God talking to you.

Always remember, God wants to help you in your everyday life, not just in the big decisions, but even in the small things. He wants to pour out His favor on you and release your frustrations. If you will be sensitive to His leading, if you will follow His peace, He will lead you into the blessing and victory He has prepared for you!

-

This is very true.

I remember one time when I really wanted something. I badly wanted it that I went to great lengths just to get it. I wasn’t a Christian then but I felt all these promptings within me that something is terribly wrong and that what I want isn’t right for me.

Still, I went on and claimed it for myself.

I ended up getting terribly hurt in the ordeal and if it were not for the grace of God, I would probably still be in that dark pit wallowing in pain and regret.

I’ve learned that God communicates with His children in various ways: through His word, through other people, through circumstances and through promptings in the spirit.

That experience has taught me never to disregard His message ever again.

If you are like me and you believe you know what is best for you, start re-assessing your life and ask God which areas He does not approve of and what He wants you to do about them.

Ask God to give you the grace to allow Him to make changes in your life.

Trust me, your life will happier and you will feel more fulfillment.

 

(Source: themountainlaurel, via heyprincesss)

Mad over Nori
I called it unusual because I used to take Nori for granted whenever I encounter it on my plate. I used to regard Nori as an additional spice on my cup of rice or ramen but I’ve never really treated it as an tasty snack until a colleague showed me how Nori can be enjoyed as a snack.
Think chips but with a healthier take.
Ever since that day, I must have already bought 20 packs of Nori in different brands and different packaging. I’ve been putting a generous amount of it on my rice, my soup, and of course, as a welcome snack after a day’s work.
Call it temporary insanity but I don’t think I’ll get over it soon.

Mad over Nori

I called it unusual because I used to take Nori for granted whenever I encounter it on my plate. I used to regard Nori as an additional spice on my cup of rice or ramen but I’ve never really treated it as an tasty snack until a colleague showed me how Nori can be enjoyed as a snack.

Think chips but with a healthier take.

Ever since that day, I must have already bought 20 packs of Nori in different brands and different packaging. I’ve been putting a generous amount of it on my rice, my soup, and of course, as a welcome snack after a day’s work.

Call it temporary insanity but I don’t think I’ll get over it soon.


 God’s gifts
Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8: 10


Last year, God gave me an opportunity to pool together a group of people with big hearts to help a sick boy have a new orthopedic bed.
We gathered our resources and set forth to bring joy to a kid we’ve never known before. In our hearts, we knew God called us to bring his blessings and we simply answered God’s call.
Because He is mighty and powerful, God not only made it possible for Lemuel to have his orthopedic bed, God made sure there is enough money for his medicines and for his little brother.
Our hearts were filled with overflowing happiness having been used by God to bless others.  We were contented by that act of faith knowing that we have put a smile on a young boy’s face.
But God is so good and gracious that He made sure we get our reward too.
This year, I received a journalism award and I was able to buy a car.
A friend of mine received a fellowship grant abroad.
Others also experienced milestones and breakthroughs in their lives that only God can bring.

Thank you Lord.
Bracing for more opportunities to serve and be blessed in 2014.

 

 God’s gifts

Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8: 10

Last year, God gave me an opportunity to pool together a group of people with big hearts to help a sick boy have a new orthopedic bed.

We gathered our resources and set forth to bring joy to a kid we’ve never known before. In our hearts, we knew God called us to bring his blessings and we simply answered God’s call.

Because He is mighty and powerful, God not only made it possible for Lemuel to have his orthopedic bed, God made sure there is enough money for his medicines and for his little brother.

Our hearts were filled with overflowing happiness having been used by God to bless others.  We were contented by that act of faith knowing that we have put a smile on a young boy’s face.

But God is so good and gracious that He made sure we get our reward too.

This year, I received a journalism award and I was able to buy a car.

A friend of mine received a fellowship grant abroad.

Others also experienced milestones and breakthroughs in their lives that only God can bring.

Thank you Lord.

Bracing for more opportunities to serve and be blessed in 2014.

 

(Source: mannaforjenny)

Second Place, Best News Story. Burgos Jr. Journalism Awards for Biotechnology. 
Century Park Hotel Ballroom. November 28, 2013
All Glory and Honor Belong to God.

Second Place, Best News Story. Burgos Jr. Journalism Awards for Biotechnology. 

Century Park Hotel Ballroom. November 28, 2013

All Glory and Honor Belong to God.

Traveling and God’s grace

I love traveling. It is my ultimate stress-reliever. 

Every year, I look forward to traveling to a place I’ve never been to. It gives me a bigger view of the world. It drowns my worries because I am reminded of how vast God’s creation is and that nothing is permanent except change and God’s grace. 

This year, I have opted to postpone my traveling schedules because my sister entered medical school. As a dutiful older sister, I help finance her expenses and I am pinning my hopes on her to become a compassionate and intelligent doctor someday.

One night, I silently told God that I am sad not having any travel plans this year but I am surrendering it all  to Him. 

In that prayer, I cast all my cares upon Him and I never gave it a thought anymore. I went on with my life just as happily. 

But God is so good and He never runs out of good surprises.

He gave me free travels soon after that prayer. In one of those travels, I was able to turn an old friendship stronger and in the second one, I saw how intricate human relationships are and the tremendous amount of grace He has given me to understand it. God gave me the protection that I needed in one of the most confusing situations I’ve ever been to. He made me see how strong and mature I have become over the years but I also felt His instructions on what I should do next. 

 ”Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

Traveling and God’s grace

I love traveling. It is my ultimate stress-reliever. 

Every year, I look forward to traveling to a place I’ve never been to. It gives me a bigger view of the world. It drowns my worries because I am reminded of how vast God’s creation is and that nothing is permanent except change and God’s grace. 

This year, I have opted to postpone my traveling schedules because my sister entered medical school. As a dutiful older sister, I help finance her expenses and I am pinning my hopes on her to become a compassionate and intelligent doctor someday.

One night, I silently told God that I am sad not having any travel plans this year but I am surrendering it all  to Him. 

In that prayer, I cast all my cares upon Him and I never gave it a thought anymore. I went on with my life just as happily. 

But God is so good and He never runs out of good surprises.

He gave me free travels soon after that prayer. In one of those travels, I was able to turn an old friendship stronger and in the second one, I saw how intricate human relationships are and the tremendous amount of grace He has given me to understand it. God gave me the protection that I needed in one of the most confusing situations I’ve ever been to. He made me see how strong and mature I have become over the years but I also felt His instructions on what I should do next. 

 ”Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

(Source: 500px.com)

Friend or foe? Examining your friendships

Do you have a friend who makes you feel uncomfortable with her remarks or jokes making you feel like she’s purposely putting you down in some way? It hurts doesn’t it? It hurts even more especially if you have that ‘friend’ in your inner circle.image 

I have been too busy since I can remember so I did not really have the time to think about this sensitive topic until recently. 

I just came back from a beach vacation (thus, my blog photo) and I had quite a few hours to listen to my spirit and digest some of the things that it is telling me. 

One of the things that struck me was the way this friend has been treating me for the past few months. I love this friend. I have her in my inner circle. We have known each other for quite a long time and we’re really close. But lately, I realized, she’s been dishing out some hurtful comments masked as jokes every time she gets the chance to do so.  

…And she did it again recently. TT_TT

At first, I felt like I should come up with a strong answer against her exaggerated statements. I felt that I should tell her right there and then that I am feeling ridiculed and that she is getting way out of line. 

But I waited…I took a deep breath and in true Jenny fashion, I let it go. 

In fact, I sort of laughed along with her.  

I contemplated on that episode during my vacation. I wanted that negative emotion to leave me because I love her. 

So I prayed…I poured out my heart to God. 

And last night, here is what He told me: 

"Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse." Romans 12:14

After meditating on that verse, I suddenly remembered that my friend has flaws too. She may be jealous of me because of the good things that are coming my way recently. When I thought about that, I felt compassion for her. I suddenly had the heart to understand her even more.

My favorite preacher Joel Osteen said something about not having all our friends in the way we’re supposed to go. When we move forward, not all friends will understand us. In fact, some may even try to discourage us thinking that our choices may not be the best for us.

Painful as it may seem, some friends will really not understand how you are changing especially if the change is strongly from within. 

I still love that friend but I realize now that there has to be some changes in our friendship in order for me to really grow. 

Surrendering my life to the Lord is the best decision I have ever made in my life and if that friendship is making me doubt all the strides I have made since that day, I believe I have to choose what my spirit is telling me. I love her and I will always treat her as a close friend but I think it is time to loosen up the strings so I could fly a bit higher than before. 

"The mark of a mature relationship is that you can relax if your friend is moving away. In all our relationships, we move together and apart." Pastor, author and counselor Alan Loy Mc Ginnis