The Lord brought healing to Stephanie’s life during a difficult season, and changed her mindset about community.
Like most working parents, Stephanie How found it challenging to balance between working from home and looking after her children last year. The family was also going through a transition when her husband left his job to start his own IT business. Things were very difficult when she had to be admitted to the hospital suddenly in September 2020.
Stephanie had a pre-existing condition called Adenomyosis, in which the inner lining of the uterus breaks through the muscle wall, resulting in abnormally heavy menstrual bleeding and painful cramps. She was previously taking medication to relief the symptoms and had changed doctors a few times before. This time, the gynaecologist (gynae) had advised her to opt for a hormonal intrauterine device (IUD) called Mirena, which would provide a longer-term solution to the problems. She agreed to go ahead with it, as the medication she was taking earlier had caused weight gain and hormonal issues. The day before the procedure for insertion however, the doctor mentioned to her that there was a 1% possibility that the Mirena could fall out of place and cause complications.
“The Holy Spirit told me, 'Don't do it, it will be flushed out.'”
“The Holy Spirit told me, 'Don’t do it. It will be flushed out,'” said Stephanie, adding that she eventually did not heed the still small voice, thinking that it might be overthinking on her part. Besides, everything had already been arranged for the procedure the next day.
Everything was going fine for more than a month after the procedure. But on the 5th of September, the IUD was flushed out in the middle of the night, leading to heavy bleeding. Even though the blood clots were as huge as the size of a tennis ball, she thought it was a normal part of her menstruation that would go away. “With every movement, the blood clots would be released. It was uncomfortable but I felt normal so I didn’t think we needed to see the gynae.” Together with her husband, Joshua, they prayed for healing, but kept the matter from others. It was only after 11 days of heavy bleeding that they felt the need to call the gynae as Stephanie had become very tired.
She needed to go to the hospital immediately. Her blood count was half the count for a normal person, and her life was in danger.
At the gynae’s clinic, Stephanie did her blood sample and the doctor told her to return home to rest. “I was told the bleeding had stopped, but I just felt that it was going to come back,” Stephanie recounted. Her husband came to fetch her, but it was shortly after that she kept vomiting and felt faint. “I felt so weak, as if I had loss so much blood that I was going to die.” Upon returning home, they received a call from the clinic and was told that she had lost too much blood and needed to go to the hospital immediately. Her blood count was half the count of a normal person, and her life was in danger.
By now, Stephanie was running a fever but she was initially refused admission because the hospital wanted to put her under observation for Covid19. Thankfully, the intervention by her gynae prevented a further delay and allowed her to receive the needed medical attention. “We are thankful that even though we disobeyed, God still sent people to help us, and I was admitted in less than two hours.”
Joshua updated the Cell group on her condition, and the community immediately started praying for Stephanie. After two bags of blood transfusion, Stephanie woke the next day, feeling slightly better. However, it was. uncertain when the blood clots would stop emerging.
The bleeding had reduced but the end did not seem in sight. There was also no assurance from the doctors and nurses, and all they could do was pray.
With the transfusion and medication, the bleeding had reduced but the end did not seem in sight. There was also no assurance from the doctors and nurses, and all they could do was pray. For four days she waited in uncertainty before the bleeding reduced further, and her blood count rose to an acceptable level for discharge.
The gynae had now discovered a 9cm blood clot in her uterus that could not be removed. Although Stephanie was discharged, she was told that she needed to remove her uterus if the blood clot remained. The Cell group continued to stand with her in prayer, reaching out to lend the family support through this difficult time.
Bernice, a member of the cell group, visited Stephanie when she was recuperating at home and shared a vision she had of the number 7 while praying for her. She did not understand its significance but released this to Stephanie, believing in the healing of God over her life. Unknown to Stephanie, her husband had seen a vision of the number two at about the same time, but did not disclose it to her.
Stephanie returned for her follow up visit at the gynae’s clinic and she was amazed to find the clot had shrunk by 7cm, and it was now only 2cm.
Two weeks after discharge, Stephanie returned for her follow up visit at the gynae’s clinic and she was amazed to find the clot had shrunk by 7cm, and it was now only 2cm. The gynae was taken aback and could not explain what had happened. It was no longer required for Stephanie to remove her uterus as God had done a miracle. This good news inspired faith among the Cell members and they continue to pray and believe for complete healing, with whomever may have a need.
Another week later, the clot had disappeared completely. Stephanie’s menstrual bleeding also went back to normal, and there were no more clots. It was so wonderful to know that God had healed His daughter.
This broke many things in us, and we have begun to see that community is so important. It is really great to be part of a cell that you can rely upon in good times and bad.
Through this episode, both Stephanie and Joshua experienced the beauty and warmth of being in a Cell community. “We usually think that we should not go and disturb others or trouble them with our problems,” Stephanie shared. “This broke many things in us, and we have begun to see that community is so important. It is really great to be part of a cell that you can rely upon in good times and bad. When my husband sent a message and I saw others coming forward to pray for me, it felt really good to know that I was not alone. Community can really build someone up. You are there not just to share joys, but also sadness.”
Grateful for the opportunity to meet others in person now, Stephanie feels that the human touch is especially important during a time where Zoom meetings have become the default for all things work and play. She is now able to share her story to build someone up, and hopes that this will open doors for her to be a blessing to other women in similar circumstances.
Even though her gynae has asked her to consider removing her uterus in case the problem returns (there is no known cure for Adenomyosis), she has the inner witness and faith not to do it.
If He can heal then, He can heal now. Nothing is impossible with him. I want to trust Him.
Another cell member and her husband had also prayed and reminded Stephanie of the woman with the issue of blood in Matthew 9:20-22. This was the same passage that God had brought to her mind earlier on.
"Your name is in the Bible. You are the woman that touched Jesus cloak. The Bible recorded this historical account so that you can claim it in the present and for your future as a living testimony. He is going to be your healer and deliverer," she was told. These words brought much encouragement to Stephanie's spirit, causing faith to rise up within her.
“During my stay in the hospital, I felt this peace, a knowing that God will heal me. I am not extremely worried or anxious or anything. I just know God will heal me,” Stephanie added. “If He could heal then, He can heal now. Nothing is impossible with him. I want to trust Him."