When God Rips Off the Band-Aid

God didn’t rip the band-aid off my wounds with one quick yank. He gently eased it off, controlling the procedure and allowing me time to adjust to the discomfort.

The unravelling of my carefully bound heart began while sitting in a gynecologist’s office as I provided my medical history:

“When was the last time you had intercourse?”

“Well, it’s been awhile.”

“A few weeks?”

“Um, well, um….” Thinking if I stall long enough, say enough ums, he might give up on receiving an answer and carry on to the next question. But no, he waits patiently and expectantly for a response. “Ten years,” I nervously mumble directing my answer to my shoes. It is a lie.

A look of confusion crosses his face. He looks down at his clipboard. “I thought you said you were married?”

“Yes. I am.”

This doctor does not have a poker face. Apparently doctors have not seen and heard it all. I wonder what his reaction would have been if I had spoken the truth, that it had been twenty years without sexual intimacy, a kiss, a hug, my hand being held by the man who vowed to love and cherish me. I grow increasingly uncomfortable, feeling my face becoming flushed. My mind is racing, searching for safety, but it is too late to protect myself. This man now knows how terribly flawed I am. I want to tell him that it isn’t my fault. It isn’t my choice to have a sexless marriage. It isn’t because of me.

The rest of the appointment is agonizingly cruel as I place my feet in the stirrups and resist the doctor’s attempts to take a sample from my uterus for a biopsy. My female sexual anatomy is betraying me. Mocking me. Again. First by existing, and now by being defective. My husband has rejected these parts of my body and so have I. The irony is not lost on me.

Leaving my appointment, the shame of my damaged sexuality engulfs me. It weighs as heavily upon me as the prospect of cancer. My thoughts shift back and forth between the two. What emerges is the certainty that I will not tell my husband that I am waiting for test results. The possibility of a cancer diagnosis is scary enough, but the belief that my husband would not care is unbearable. I did not have the strength to face both my health issues and his indifference. Either felt like a death sentence.

Before the week was over, my husband confronted me. My mask was fracturing under the stress. My irritability was making us miserable. I admitted that I was waiting for the results of a biopsy. My husband asked why I had not told him what was going on. I lied. I didn’t want you to worry, I replied. When in all truthfulness it was me I was attempting to protect, not him.

Seated in the doctor’s office a month later, I experience the relief of a no cancer diagnosis. I learn that I will still require surgery to remove uterine polyps and my heart sinks when I am told that I will need someone to accompany me to the hospital. I question if it is necessary for someone to drive me home after my surgery or if it is just a recommendation. The doctor looks at me curiously, and logically asks “Won’t your husband come with you?” I mumble that I don’t know. I feel so alone. Exposed.

My doubts and fears were grounded. I am struck by my husband’s reaction to my surgery, “Will I have to take the whole day off work?” A stranger would have responded more compassionately.

That was the moment the last of the band-aid was torn off, uncovering the ugly wounds of my marriage and allowing the breath of God to alight on my scars. It was now time for God, my Creator, my Jehovah Rapha, to take my hand in His and guide me on an incredible, miraculous, healing journey to wholeness beyond anything I could have hoped for or imagined.

The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life. Job 33:4

6 thoughts on “When God Rips Off the Band-Aid

  1. Your story is so painful. But astoundingly, you are not alone. Henry Thoreau had incredible insight when he said, “men live lives of quiet desperation.” I think the hardest part for me, now that I am on the other side, is knowing it doesn’t have to be this way. Thank you for sharing your story. You are part of the beautiful symphony that is building to show people there is a way to wholeness. You are amazing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much for your encouragement and support! Now that my “quiet desperation” has transformed into a beautiful story of redemption and restoration, I want everyone to know there is hope, but also so much more. There is a way to healing and wholeness beyond what they can imagine. I am honoured that you have included me as a part of this beautiful symphony.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. As I continue to read your blog; I have to constantly look up and make sure its your blog and not mine. You have given me the courage to share so much more of my story. There are so many pieces that are so painful. There is no other way to describe us connecting via a blog post ” But God”. You are a very strong and inspiring woman may God forever bless you for sharing your pain to help others.

    Liked by 1 person

    • God uses so many resources and people to bring us healing. I never expected writing on this blog to connect me to so many other hurting hearts. It is so validating to to find others who “get” it and understand. And in doing so, I have found a healing in sharing my words and story that I never found quite the same in journalling. Just telling someone, hey, I hurt, this is what happened to me, but I am also going to be okay is so freeing. I encourage you to dig as deep as you can in your writing to release your pain into God’s hands and allow others, like me, walking this journey to support and encourage you. You are not alone. Many blessings!


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