Liberty Graduate Relies On Faith To Cope With Medical Diagnosis

While at the gym with friends, Colton Lee was finishing up one of his last exercise sets when suddenly, he felt a rushing sense of pain in his head. The pulsating pain lingered for a few hours, but his friends convinced him that he was probably fine. 

During the next few months, Lee experienced headaches while lifting at the gym. He scheduled a visit at Duke University Hospital and waited three months before he was seen. After conducting a magnetic resonance angiography (MRA), the neurosurgeon gave Lee his diagnosis. 

Lee had an internal carotid artery aneurysm in his brain, where a weakened part of the arterial wall bulged out due to extreme pressure and exertion. The neurosurgeon explained that aneurysms of this vessel are extremely rare and usually genetic. It was unusual Lee had one, since no one in his family had ever experienced such a problem.  

Unfortunately, Lee had to stop participating in any sort of exercise and physical activity to reduce the pressure on the aneurysm. He tried to incorporate lighter jogs and workouts, but the headaches still persisted. 

Lee, who graduated from Liberty in 2021 with a degree in biblical studies, considered working out an essential part of his life and one of his favorite things to do. During his time at Liberty, he worked as a personal trainer and enjoyed working out when he wasn’t helping others. 

“It was really hard to not be able to do the hobby I loved most,” Lee said. “It was one of the darker periods of my life. I felt like it was one thing that I loved being stripped away from me. But this situation gave me much less of an entitled outlook.”

The transition from being very physically active to inactive was difficult for him. Life felt a lot less guaranteed, and the incident caused him to ask a lot of questions about faith. But even through one of the darkest times in his life, Lee turned to God.

“I started to ask myself how I could look more like Jesus in this situation,” Lee said.

However, Lee knew this situation was sharpening him for his work in ministry. He kept preaching to himself, trying to believe that God was in the middle of his situation somehow.

A few months passed, and when he went in for another scan, it seemed the aneurysm had gotten worse. This was the opposite of what he had hoped for, and it once again made him question where God was.

A month later, Lee decided to undergo a follow-up scan. This time, the neurosurgeon informed Lee there was no sign of an aneurysm and, on top of that, it was the clearest imaging the doctors had seen in all the scans they’d ever done. 

“When tough circumstances, particularly medical stuff or personal life stuff, arise, the enemy wants to use the circumstances just as bad as the Lord does,” Lee said. “But the Lord works in our trials to shape us in his image. The enemy wants us to doubt the character of God.”

Lee said there is a slight possibility the aneurysm was a misdiagnosis, but he chooses to believe that God supernaturally       healed him. 

“His provision doesn’t always look like a healing,” Lee said. “People say to expect a miracle, but what we should expect is God to be faithful to his word. Sometimes it’s easy to be blinded by the cloud of your circumstance, but you have to believe he is sovereign.”

It took Lee a few days to realize he could return to living as normal. He was overwhelmed with gratitude towards God and the people who had prayed for him.

“Sometimes, there would be days where I would feel really down, and I would read the comments on social media,” Lee said. “The Lord reminded me of the love I was surrounded by. I was brought to tears thinking about the fact that God’s people were praying for me.” 

Lee had a simple message to others facing similar situations when their faith is wavering.

 “Keep preaching to yourself the promises of God,” Lee said. “Your belief in his promises doesn’t change the faithfulness of his promises.”

Ferree is a feature reporter. 

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