Charysse’s Story

charysse-testimonyMy journey began in February of 2004. I was driving home after dropping some stuff off at work with my then one-year-old. I began to feel a weird sensation, so I pulled over. That’s the last thing that I remember until I woke up at home in bed that night. Somehow I had made it 20 miles back home and put myself and my son to bed.

After we had figured out that I had a seizure, they did some testing. I found out a couple of days later that I had a rather large brain tumor. Surgery followed soon after that.

The surgeon was only able to remove part of the tumor. The tumor remained stable until I was able to find another surgeon the following year who was able to remove the entire thing. At that time, we were told that there was an 87% chance that it would not come back in the next ten years. Well, I lowered that statistic by having it recur two years later in 2006. I’ve had a total of three surgeries since then.

Am I grateful for this journey that I’m on? Absolutely. God’s grace has been so amazingly sufficient in every little circumstance (2 Cor. 12:9 » But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.). I’m in awe when I think about the way that he’s shown himself to us during this journey. It’s the little things that constantly reminds us that I’m in his hands (Deut. 31:8 »The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.).

Based on all of the seizures that I’ve had since my diagnosis, and what transpires shortly after one, getting home after that first seizure nothing short of miraculous. I have never been hurt as a result of a seizure, nor has anybody else.

We were able to find an amazing surgeon (Dr. Linda Liau) that performed the second through fifth surgeries, who we happened to see on Dateline one night, a show we rarely watch. I don’t believe this was just pure luck; God worked that out. There are so many stories like this that reveal His hand in our lives.

One day, a woman that didn’t even know me came over to pray with me. At the end of our time together, she kept saying how inspired and encouraged she was by my testimony. After she left, I just kept thinking “Why Lord? Why me?”. Why have you chosen me to touch so many people’s lives? It is such an amazing privilege, and one that I will never take lightly. It’s a responsibility that I’ve been given, and I wouldn’t change it for anything. I’m not sure who is blessed more, those that feel blessed and inspired from my story, or the joy that I receive when I watch them be blessed and inspired. I think that I win on that one.

Through this trial, I have learned that it has to be a daily choice to lay it down at his feet. This is a very difficult task for me. I’m a planner, but it’s obviously not in my hands or my plans. And it’s not in the hands of my doctors. They don’t have much hope that I will live a long life. But, I don’t find my hope in my doctors.

My hope is in Christ alone. He knows my needs better than I do…better than they do. He has been my provider all along, so why should I not trust that he will continue to carry us through this journey (Jer. 29:11)?

This trial has tested me in “Do I believe that God is who he says he is, and will do what he says he will do?” My answer? Yes, I do. He is faithful. Always.

ourlifeThis journey isn’t about me. It isn’t about a brain tumor. It’s about the reason that we are here on this earth. (Is. 55:9)

We’re his vessels. It’s the Holy Spirit’s job to knock on hearts; it’s our job to be obedient vessels to do whatever God asks of us. The only way we’ll know what that is is by remaining obedient, softened and close to Him.

If we keep that perspective, and I can assure you it will take almost every ounce of grace he offers, it can be an amazing ride that is full of blessings.

—Charysse Hesse, 2008