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I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease at age 16, and struggled with my disease off and on for years. Things took a turn for the worse in February of 2016. My Crohn’s Disease symptoms worsened, and a large majority of my days were spent hospitalized or sick in bed.
A few months later in May, I met my colorectal surgeon. I will never, as long as I live forget the day I heard the words, “Amber I am going to have to take your colon out, all of it. Then you will have to wear an ostomy bag.”
My life was going to change so much. I saw a future controlled by embarrassment and depression. I begged my surgeon to give my body just a few weeks to heal. I wanted to try to eat better, take my medicine more faithfully, ANYTHING that might save my colon.
The rest of that evening in the ICU I didn’t want to be touched. I didn’t speak. I only got out of my hospital bed if I needed to get sick. I was mourning the loss of the happy care-free girl I had once been.
Two months passed. I made little to no improvement. I was now hospitalized again not only because of my Crohn’s Disease, but because of an infection I had in my GI tract. The pain medicine didn’t touch the level of discomfort I was in.
I couldn’t eat. I was losing more blood. I was having 20-25 bowel movements a day. I was a skeleton, a pile of bones in a shell of a body. I felt hollow. I was running out of time. I had been put on a 48 hour time limit. If I didn’t turn a corner and make improvement, I was going to have to have my colon removed. I was 24 hours in.
That’s when God led me to a life changing moment. I was in the bathroom of my hospital room. I barely had the strength to lift my head, and right there I surrendered myself 110% to God. I was giving up control. I was totally putting my life and faith in my Savior.
God spoke to me right then and said, “Amber you need to have this surgery. You are going to be okay.” I wasn’t scared anymore. I wasn’t afraid of ostomy bags, how my life would change, the things I was going to have to give up. I had hope in my Savior to heal me. An overwhelming sense of peace flooded my spirit and body.
My surgeon scheduled me for the next morning. I had the surgery. It was a huge success. The surgeon expressed to me that it saved my life having the surgery when I did. Had I waited another 24 hours my colon would have likely ruptured, and sent the infection throughout my body. I would have been too weak to fight it.
Thank God for allowing the timing of my surgery to be perfect. I now live life with an ostomy bag. I am also the happiest and healthiest I have ever been.
For everything I selfishly didn’t want to give up, God replaced with something far greater than I expected. He sent the best friends and support system. He changed the desires of my heart, and I don’t miss the things I was so desperately holding on to.
Sometimes we have to be broken down so God can rebuild us into something better and more beautiful than we ever imagined. I will forever be thankful for that moment of brokenness in the hospital that night.
It led to the next moment, the best moment of my life, the moment I surrendered my heart and God healed what was broken.
Psalm 147:3 – He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.
Here’s my spoken-word testimony, if you’d like to know more.
I’m Amber! I am living life to the fullest post colon surgery, with Crohn’s Disease and an Ostomy bag. God’s grace saves me daily. I’m just a southern girl who loves Jesus and queso dip. Visit me on Youtube or Instagram!