SOMETIMES GOD DOESN’T CHANGE YOUR SITUATION BECAUSE
HE’S TRYING TO CHANGE YOUR HEART.
This exact image above, changed not only my perspective in life but my
eternal life as well. I found this picture November 23, 2013.
My life had hit rock bottom at the beginning of September 2013, leaving
me completely and totally broken, devastated, bitter, angry and hopeless.
That was just a few months before I happened to find the picture that would
ultimately change my life, emotionally, mentally, physically and
spiritually. I lived my whole life thinking that I was a good person
and a Christian until I found this picture and wept. I wept for hours.
This picture changed my life. I realized that I had never fully accepted
Christ into my heart, and never trusted my life in the hands of God.
Sometimes it takes the most terrifying and horrible situations in life
for us to make a change that will forever change our lives. Trusting God
and letting Him see you through the worst of times. I know now,
that God didn’t change my situation, because He was trying to change my
heart, the same heart that I never realized needed changing until
that evening of November twenty-third of 2013. Below, I am
going to copy the first testimony I had ever written. It
was written while I was going through the worst time of my life.
(I am working on completing my full testimony, but I wanted to
share this for now, because God put it on my heart that
someone out there, somewhere needs to read it today.)
Hi, my name is Jenny Hinton and I am a greatful believer and follower of Jesus Christ. I never would have imagined myself in such a situation where I can proclaim that God has been and always will be working throughout all of the events of my life, not just the isolated ones; to bring miracles, blessings, serenity, and healing to me.
This has led me to a new understanding of Romans 8:28. (NLT) “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.” Now I am able to read into this verse with more depth and understanding of it’s full meaning. God works in “Everything”–not just isolated incidents–for our good. Evil is prevalent in our fallen world, but God is able to turn every circumstance around for our long-range good. It is never God’s will to harm us in anyway at all. However, because we were born in sin and seek worldly things other than just seek Him, things happen to us, that he never wanted to. However, he can take a mess and turn it into a message.
Over the course of the past five years, I have felt critically ill with many sicknesses. I felt mentally, physically and emotionally drained all the time. Fatigue consumed my life. I saw my primary physician numerous times, only to be given rounds of antibiotics after more rounds of antibiotics, too many steriod shots and steriod packs to count, as well as too many shots of Rocephin to count. To no avail, none of this worked. I am almost certian that I am completely antibiotic resistant at this point after taking I’d guess 150 rounds of various antibiotics over the course of a few short years.
I was referred to doctor after doctor, and then referred to specialst after specialist. The neurologist ran all kinds of tests on me included MRI/MRV/MRA of the head and brain with and without contrast. He also ran a little bit of bloodwork. He said my problems stemmed from migraines and low blood calcium levels which led to me being very deficient in vitamin D. The next specialist I was sent to was an ENT. He told me that I suffered from chronic sinusitis and a deviated septum. So, at the advise of my ENT, I had a Septoplasty done in November of 2012. That was suppose to alleviate all that ailed me. However, it didn’t. I continued to suffer from multiple arays of symptoms from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet. People began to treat me as though I was a Hypocondriac…even my own family. I then, began to question whether or not they were right.
Finally, I had to switch primary Physicians as my doctor was moving out of state to be closer to her family and begin practicing there. The night before my appointment with my new doctor, my (now) husband urged me to make a list of all of my ongoing symptoms thus far, to get my new physician up to date. I hesitated and didn’t want to, but I did it anyways. I started writing and when I finished, it turned out to be three pages of symptoms….YES THREE PAGES!
I remember my new doctor coming in and saying to me, “I see you have something for me.” I handed her the three pages and explained that I was aware we weren’t going to get all of that covered in one visit, but I just wanted to get her up to speed on my health issues. She looked at me and said, “Three pages of symptoms? Really…come on that is ridiculous. I’m not going to read that. You can pick your top three and we will talk about those today.” I was mortified and humiliated. Had I not already paid my copay, I would have gotten up and left. I can’t even remember the top three symptoms I picked that day because I was so angry, hurt and embaressed. The doctor was even treating me like I was crazy. She told me I was due for annual bloodwork and that I had three months to get it done. I believe I went to the outpatient lab two weeks later to do my bloodwork. A few days later, I got a call to set up an ultrasound for my liver and to run more bloodwork because I was so young and my levels came back really high. I did as they asked and had the ultrasound done and the bloodwork done. I then got a phone call to schedule an appointment for my lab results. I went in alone, nervously. It was early in the morning. The nurse took my weight, blood pressure, pulse, temperature, etc. and said the Doctor would be in with me shortly. I sat there waiting, alone, frantically. I played on my cell phone to try to entertain myself and keep my mind from worrying. Then I began to hear the nurse through the closed door in another room calling to make a referral appointment for a patient that was diagnosed with something very serious, and I thought, “hmm…that has to be just a coincidence.” Then I heard her give my Date of Birth and MY first, middle and last name. I was frantic. Crying, blowing my nose, pacing the room, texting my (now) husband and telling him I already knew what it was. I went through all of the box of tissues in the room and then began to dig in cabinets for more. This went on for about 15 minutes. My doctor then opened the door and said, “How are we doing today?” Then she saw my face and I told her that she didn’t have to tell me anything. She could save whatever speech she had prepared to give me, because I didn’t need it. I heard everything from her nurse in another room. All I can remember asking her was, “Is this way I’ve felt so junky and like crud for all of these years?” She answered with, “Absolutely.”
For months I considered my diagnosis a part of my story that I wasn’t sure I would ever want to share with everyone. However, in light of recent events, I had come to realize that we are never promised tomorrow and that carrying this burden alone was more than I could bare. I had been so afraid to open up and share my story because I know how cruel and judgemental the world can be. Stigmas and stereotyping are so often placed on certain illnesses and I hadn’t been ready to face that. However, my story is just that, MINE and if anyone is going to tell it, it’s going to be me. At first this was very hard for me to do, but now I know that because I share my story, my voice can speak for so many others that are too afraid to let their stories be heard. So I urge everyone, no matter what your story is, Don’t be ashamed to share it, because it will inspire someone!
In September of 2013 at that doctors appointment I mentioned earlier, I learned that I have Chronic Hepatitis C. I had been so afraid to let anyone know for months because I know the stereotyping that is associated with a diagnosis such as Hepatitis C. Such as, “Oh, she must be an addict, a needle junky…she a drug user.” The first question everyone asks you when you tell them that you have Chronic Hepatis C is, “OH my Gosh! How on earth did you get that?” followed by somewhat judgemental glares. I am here to tell you, you don’t have to be a drug addict, a needle junky or a dirty person to get this illness. You can get it numerous ways, such as needle stick injuries, blood transfusions, dental procedures or even manicure procedures in which the implements haven’t been properly steam autoclaved to sanitize and disinfect them. It can come from a number of things. It happens to average people, like you and me. Infact, is has and still is happening to me and I am living with it everyday of my life. So now I will answer the first question everyone usually asks, “How did you get that?”
Not many people know this because I am a very private person. However, in March of 2006, here in Murray, KY, I was drugged, kidnapped, raped and restrained against my will, and was injected exactly 87 times, leaving me with exactly 87 tract marks. I remember having to show my naked body to the detectives, so they could photograph each tract mark and get a total count. Pathology reports that the Commonwealth ran afterward showed that this man injected me with methamphetamine, cocaine and 7 various narcotic pills crushed up. Thankfully, first and foremost, I survived. Secondly, I never had to go to trial to testify, as he accepted a plea bargain and plead guilty to a lesser offense. Of course this saved the judge and jury time and money, but he didn’t get near the time he should have for such a violent crime. Infact, I still have the article the Murray Ledger and Times ran regarding this horrible event of my life. I asked to not be named, so instead they reported than an unidentified female had been drugged, kidnapped, raped, and injected with drugs against her will. Well, a week later, the good ole’ newspaper reran the article with my first, middle and last name.
I remember Chris Garland instructed me to have bloodwork and tests run for any bloodborne pathogen and or STD 6-12 weeks later. In his words, “If a junky is going to kidnap you and inject you with drugs so brutally as he has, I’m sure he’s not going to worry about using a clean needle everytime.” So six weeks later, I went to the Health Department and informed them of all that had happened to me and requested to be tested for everything. Results all came back non reactive/negative. I was relieved, so relieved.
Fast forward 7 and a half years to the here and now, I received the worst news of my life, that I have Chronic Hepatis C. Immediately after, I had to have more lab tests run to find out things no one usually ever hears of, such as Genotyping, HCV RNA tests to detect an absolute number of the viral load that is in my body, as well as many other tests that i couldn’t even comprehend at the time. In a desperate attempt to pinpoint exactly when I contracted it, I went to get copies of all of my labs and bloodwork I had done in the past seven years. I went to the Women’s Clinic, Western Baptist, Murray Hospital and the Health Dept. I suspected maybe it was from my Septoplasty that I had done in November of 2012. I just knew it had to be it, because I was negative for everything and given a clean bill of health in 2006 per the Health Department. The last place I went to get my medical records was the Health Department. The lady acted as though she was mad that I was asking for copies of all of my medical records from 2006 forward. While I was flipping through the pages, I saw everything else but a Hepatitis C Screen. I asked her, “Where’s my test results for Hepatitis C?” A pit sank to the bottom of my stomach when I heard the words, “You were tested for everything but Hepatitis C back then. The test was just too expensive and we didn’t have the funding to test for it then. However, we’ve recently received a grant to fund testing for Hepatitis C now.” The poor messenger that delivered that shocking news to me didn’t deserve the colorful language that fell out of my mouth and directed at her. I’m well aware of that now and how I reacted to her wasn’t the best. However, I was so hurt and angry. I felt the system had neglected and failed me. I blamed them. Not just the Health Department, but the Commonwealth of Kentucky that we are suppose to entrust will give us justice. Within 4 weeks of this man being incarcerated, the prison knew that he was Hepatitis C positive with the same very very rare Genotype 3a, just like I was just diagnosed with. We, the tax payers paid for his treatment in late 2006. Where was the justice in that? The justice we deserve. I’m sorry, but I still don’t feel like I was given the justice that I deserve.
At first, I was so angry and bitter and wanted to scream WHY ME GOD??WHY?? Then I came across a quote that changed my life forever. It read, “SOMETIMES GOD CAN’T CHANGE YOUR SITUATION BECAUSE HE’S TRYING TO CHANGE YOUR HEART.” That pierced right through me. I had lived my whole life thinking that I was a Christian, when in fact I really wasn’t. It took me getting something as serious as Hepatitis C to learn that. Instead of Web MDing, I started digging into God’s word and attending Church. We began attending Riverwoods Church in Benton, and one day I felt the spirit tell me, it’s time. I asked Pastor Darrin if he would baptize me and he was more than happy to do so. Had it not been for Hepatitis C, I’m not sure where my salvation would be. I’m not sure that I would have been a very good mother and raised my children to know who God is before the world tried to tell them otherwise. So many blessings have come from my sickness, that I no longer fear it. I know that God has a plan for me and it’s a Good One! I’ve read the book and I know in the end HE WINS. We WIN!
For the past three months I have been participating in a program called Celebrate Recovery. It’s not just for alcoholics, or drug addicts, it’s for anyone who has ever had a hurt or hang up in their lifetime that wants to Celebrate Recovery and lead to Healing! It wasn’t until participating in this program that I realized that God didn’t will this on me. At first I had come accept that it was always part of God’s plan for me to have Hepatitis C. I was fine with that. When I was sharing my story with a Leader at Celebrate Recovery, he corrected me. He said, “God didn’t will this on you. It was not part of God’s plan for you to have Hepatitis C. He doesn’t will anything bad on us, his will is for our good and nothing but that. However, this sinfilled world can bring things like this upon us. God uses these times, to work in your life and turnaround the negatives into positives.” I’m so glad he told me that. I have learned so much from the Leaders at CR and I know I have an ARMY of GOD praying for total restoration of my health. I’m currently on the Standard of Care Treatment for Hepatitis C, which is Pegasys Interferon which is the same chemo they use for Melanoma patients as well as Ribavirin and 20 plus other oral pills that I have organized in my little “Granny pill box that divides the AM and PM.” Treatments have been rough, but my attitude and my faith in the Lord has made it so much easier. I’m sure of my Salvation. I’m not afraid of Death, because when it comes, I will look it in the eye and say I hope you brought help!”
Looking back now, I see God’s footprints in my life. My husband and I built a salon attached to our home in May of 2013. God pushed us to do that, because he knew that I would be diagnosed in September and start treatment in October. There’s no way I would have been able to continue to pay $105.00 booth rent every week because there are many weeks I don’t feel up to working much. I would have had to quit my job and lose all of my clients, but I didn’t….God intervened. Also, the same day I found out I had Chronic Hepatitis C, I found out that I didn’t have any Health Insurance. My private health insurance had been dropped. My husband and I weren’t married yet, but planned on marrying the next spring. I had already spent $700.00 invested into my dress and veil. I laughed like a crazy person when I got the news later that day that I had no Health insurance. I remember saying outloud, “Well isn’t that grand…I have Hepatitis C and need chemo and I have no Health insurance..” giggling outside my carport all by myself. I’m sure I looked crazy. My husband’s insurance was about to close it’s open enrollment to add any changes to his insurance, so we acted quick. We got married September 11th 2013 at Owens Chapel Church with my Dad and Stepmother there, as well as my inlaws and my children. I had to pick them up from school early and check them out. I didn’t get to wear my dress because it’s not one that you can get yourself in to. I did however wear my veil. I’m sure I looked crazy walking into the school offices wearing a black dress with lace on the neck, sleeves and bottom hem and this big beautiful veil on…but I didn’t care! It was a short but sweet service and the “In sickness and in health vows really meant something”. Look how God used my diagnosis to fix something that was wrong in my life immediately. My husband and I had been living together in sin for 6 years, we even had a now three year old child. God turned around something that was wrong in my life. How amazing is that?
I’m sorry for this being so long, but I just typed and typed until I felt the Spirit tell me it was enough for now. I’m sure later on, I will have more to add to my testimony.
I’ll close it with this bible verse: Isaiah 43:1-3 (New Living Translation)
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.”