I was alone, had just accepted the Lord in my life and the depression that had conquered my past life was on the prowl again. I felt like little red robin hood, making my way through the woods of life. Steering clear of the dangerous places but no matter how fast I ran, or where I went, it still managed to pat me on my back. Sadness. Then, I felt the love of God embrace me. I had never felt that before in my times of lonliness and now it was different. HE was there. And I was able to fight off this sneaky perpetrator. I remember writing a poem and asking GOD to use me. Simply that. Just to use me in a way that I'd help to impact people. I have to admit, that for many years after that I never felt useful to HIM. I thought, "Well, Lord...Are you gonna use me or is this Christian thing just so that I can be happy with myself, by myself?"
On Sunday Feb 7th, HE spoke to me. Actually, HE'S been speaking to me for a couple of years or so since my diagnosis. But that particular day HE gave me the response I had been longing for since I was 16 years old. I got to experience the feeling of actually being a part of something that made a difference. I am so thankful to Crossroads Christian Church and Pastors Chuck, Ronny and Tony for doing such an amazing job. What started out as a funny skit, or spoof on Iron Chef ended up being an emotional and loving testimony of my life and what it's like living with Pulmonary Hypertension.
As I stepped forward that sunday onto the stage, a rush of excitement filled my being. The place was packed and with all the bright lights, all I could see were the echoing shadows of people sitting in the audience. I kept thinking of what I was going to say. The spot light would be on me, afront thousands and I couldn't help but tremble at the thought. My mind was slowly going blank and my thoughts began to ramble in my head. As I began to hear Pastor Tony Wood speak about my life, my battle, my husband and kids, I did the only thing I could do, take deep breaths. One breath in and and another out, slowly and hypnotically calming. I wondered if anyone could see me shivering. Slowly I wispered to myself, "Jehova Shalom, Jehova Shalom, Jehova Shalom."
Then something amazing happened...a flashback. H and I had just gotten home from Hollywood. I had had a procedure done, called a Right Ventricle Cardiac Catheterization. They inserted a tiny wire into my groin area that traveled through the inside of my artery, all the way up into the right side of my heart. This would measure the exact pulmonary arterial hypertension. It confirmed my diagnosis. Once home, I was on bed rest. My mom and aunt helped me up the stairs and there in my room was waiting my aid and comrade, my portable oxygen concentrator. It was a noisy thing. So I put on the nasal cannula and breathed in the cleansed air, laying myself down in bed, as if welcoming an imminent death. H walked in and simply gazed at me in bed, seeing the tubes up my nose. He later confessed that at that moment, he saw his life flash before his eyes. 30 years old, he forcefully braced himself on becoming a caretaker of his sick young wife.
The mic was on me now, the spotlight glared and released what seemed like an emotion of triumphant beams. Almost two years hence, I was on bedrest, on Oxygen 24/7, disabled from work...today I was on stage, as healthy as I'd ever been with thousands of people praising my Lord along with me.
"I am Liz Blanco and that is MY story. Ever since being diagnosed I have realized how important our time here on Earth really is. And I can't tell you what a blessing it's been since giving myself completely to the Lord."
It is by The Lord's stripes, that I am healed. (Isaiah 53:5)