Greetings, 34 DGZ Family!
I trust and pray you have been well. I know we have not given an update in quite some time, and that is because the site admin (moi, Malaka) has been out of commission for some time. For those of you who are moms on here, you know how it is. Even though everyone in the family thinks it’s a marvelous idea to get that dog/take that vacation/start that family blog, yours becomes the sole responsibility for making it all a reality and breathing life into it on a continual basis.
If you are a reader of my personal blog – Mind of Malaka – you may know that I discovered in early February that I had a meningioma. It was a non-cancerous brain tumor that had grown to the approximate size of a golf ball. One doctor estimated that it had been growing undetected over the course of 10 years. Evidently, meningiomas are fairly common and doctors perform hundreds of operations every year to remove them. That’s a pretty scary thought, actually….
It was a trying time for the family, naturally. The kids didn’t understand why I was so lethargic all the time and I didn’t understand why I was less able to tolerate their noise levels. The constant headache was a monster to deal with. And while it was a relied to discover the cause of my anguish, the diagnosis was incredibly frightening. You hear the words “brain” and “tumor” and confidence (or in our case, faith) shrinks considerably. It’s sad to admit, but it’s the truth. As Christians, I believe we like to think of ourselves as spiritual leviathans, and oftentimes it’s easier to have faith for someone else in the midst of their trial than it is for yourself. When someone else is being challenged with health or finances, we can smile and offer platitudes in ready abundance. The flow of blessed assurance is not so steady when you’re forced to turn it inwards. Or at least that was true in the Grant family’s case.
Marshall and I were apprehensive about telling the kids the gory details about my diagnosis and the procedure to follow, but the kids were fine. Better than fine, in fact. After describing how the doctor would have to slice open my head and remove the tumor, they made sure to pray for me every time we spoke on the phone. (I left South Africa alone in order to go and get treatment.) Then they had their friends at school pray for me as well and waited impatiently for me to return home. My husband, Mr. Cool Water Pastor Grant, didn’t handle it quite as well. LOL! His faith was in a different direction. His expectation was that based on his prayer and hope – frankly – that I would go for my scheduled MRI and that the tumor would be miraculously removed. That turned out not to be the case, to his admitted disappointment.
That’s what I meant when I said faith was a challenge for us in our house over the previous 2+ months. In our ministry, it seems we are always looking for the Big Win. We expect the supernatural to work in our lives because we serve the God and Creator of the known and unknown universe. But as far as I was (and still am) concerned, those sorts of miracles are not for Believers. We have the word of God and the Holy Spirit, and that ought to be enough. Personally, I have always been wary of harboring after the Big Spiritual Win because of what I read in Matthew many years ago.
Matthew 12:38-40 says:
38 One day some teachers of religious law and Pharisees came to Jesus and said, “Teacher, we want you to show us a miraculous sign to prove your authority.”
39 But Jesus replied, “Only an evil, adulterous generation would demand a miraculous sign; but the only sign I will give them is the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights.
Do I think it’s perverse to look for a miracle? No. But I don’t think that my walk as a believer should hinge so heavily on it, to the point that if it does not come to pass exactly as we imagine it that it becomes a hindrance to your faith. My prayer was that the doctor would do his job and that he would prove himself worthy of all the glowing reviews he’d racked up on Google.
At the end of the day, both the surgeon and the master architect who designed my brain set everything to right. And now I a fantastic testimony to share. The best part about it is that it’s not my testimony alone. So many people globally were praying for me and by virtue of the fruit of their lips, I am walking and still in my ‘right-ish’ mind.
Now that I’m on the mend and re-united with the family, we can get back to sharing with you all the awesome work that’s being done in the ministry, as well as the quirky aspects of living in Plett. There’s a lot that has happened since February and I hope I can catch you all up!
Thanks for hanging in there with us as we serve the Lord to the best of our abilities in this grand experiment. We love you!