Sharing this is going to be giving an insight into my previous struggle but I need to, to glorify the work of God in my life. Anyone who has a deadly incurable disease knows how close to death it makes you feel. You are torn between living wild and scratching off items your bucket list, to preserving your life as much as you can. Brace yourself, this is going to be longer than my typical posts. “Ephesians 2 vs 8 – 9.”
At age 14 in ss2 (senior secondary, class 2), I was diagnosed with hepatitis B. I may have had it for longer but that was the first time I got to know I had it, I can’t trace the disease to any starting point. My school invited a medical team to test us and educate us on hepatitis B. I was tested and the doctor in charge of my case literally said: “you are going to die soon”. Somehow, my result was leaked by a student who had access to everyone’s information. A lot of people immediately ostracized me.
I went to a boarding school and was a bit popular, and in that kind of environment, news spreads fast. My parents, siblings and entire support system were back home in Lagos. I had about 3 people who weren’t afraid of talking to me so it was difficult.
I also had to deal with a lot of rumours but what troubled me the most was dying. I started losing focus academically because I saw no use in studying. I told my parents when I got home and we started going to the hospital. Hospitals, more like it. I even went to LUTH. I knew it had no cure but I just wanted something, anything. I was then placed on viral suppressing drugs.
I constantly lived in fear. Fear of dying, fear of infecting other people, fear of being a burden. This also meant I had few friends, especially from secondary school since I was bullied for the disease. I told a few friends when I entered the University mainly to protect them and make them aware of certain risks but I was always careful not to infect anyone. I only did well in university because I partially thought it would be pleasant to remember me by after my death.
During the decade long of having the disease, I prayed, I fasted, I took drugs, stopped eating a lot of things; I did everything. Sometimes I would feel like dying, sometimes I would question God, other times I was numb. At some point in my life, I just accepted it (since I didn’t die). I was extremely grateful for each birthday because it meant another year alive.
I used it to drive people away, if I didn’t want a friendship or relationship, I would let it “slip” that I had it. So I had very few friends and was mostly single. Those who accepted, stayed and those who were afraid, rejected me.
Then came my husband. When I told him, he said: “I’m not going to leave you neither will I accept this, we will fight this out together”. I was exhausted and upset. I told my mom and we both agreed he was being dramatic. My friend and I even measured his faith with education because it is incurable after the first 6 months of infection. I thought it was a breakup tactic so I stopped talking to him. He would reach out first and encourage me to pray. After a while, his pleas got to me and I started praying. I love him and decided to try at least. My mom and his mom joined in the prayers. Then other members of our family and some pastors. We are all praying and my husband started having dreams about my healing. When he told me I took it half-hearted because I wasn’t experiencing it first hand. My closest friends thought it was ridiculous, after all, I had prayed before.
I remember praying and telling God: “If this man is my husband, please heal me. Let it serve as a confirmation he is mine”. Marriage is such a huge step and I wanted to be sure God approved. The prayer was motivated by the book of Tobit (deuterocanonical book) when God used Tobias to deliver his Sarah. One night, I had a dream. In that dream, people were in a queue to collect different things from God. When it got to my turn, I picked new blood and liver (Hepatitis B infection is a viral infection so it occurs through blood contact and it can eventually lead to cancer of the liver). I started singing in the dream and woke up singing and slept back. Up to date, I can’t remember the song I sang.
That day, I went to do a test and it came back negative, I waited for about 10 days before doing another test and it came back negative too. I waited for about a month before going to a big hospital and it was negative again. Three times and I had stopped taking the viral suppression drugs for years because they are expensive and not subsidised like that of HIV. I have shared my healing testimony in a few churches already because I really want this to encourage people. No matter what you have gone through or currently going through God is there with you, you just need to trust Him and in His perfect timing, He will reveal Himself to you. I will end this with one of the Bible quotations I used in praying, Romans 8 vs 37-39.