Mon | Oct 19, 2020

Chantal Richards’ word from God saved her life – Part II

Published:Sunday | September 20, 2020 | 6:31 AM
Chantal Richards made a decision which saved her life.
Chantal Richards made a decision which saved her life.

Having had one of her ovaries removed during an operation, which she believed would have only seen the removal of a tumour in the area, Chantal Richards was left weak, disheartened, and extremely angry with God.

She had found out about the tumour months before, after heeding a supernatural nudge that something was wrong within her body despite feeling and looking healthy.

Depressed and angry, Richards, who admitted that she had kept the experience mostly to herself, told Family and Religion that she felt as if she was continuously taking hit after hit.

“Looking back, I do wish that I had talked about my feelings rather than go through this process and completely isolate myself. I did not speak about it because I did not want anyone to feel sorry for me. I did not want anyone to look at me as if I was broken. I just could not understand how a person could feel completely normal about losing an ovary. It made no sense - and it still doesn’t make sense. No one taught us about these things. No one tells you about the harsh reality of endometriosis, fibroids, miscarriages, infertility, PCOS, and so forth. We were only taught that we should have our periods every month and you are supposed to feel some pain,” she said, adding that there is need for more education on issues such as these faced by women.

She continued: “They are real, and they come without warning.”

Richards, who, after years of dealing with her reality by herself, found the courage to share her story with the hope of spreading awareness and sensitising people about female reproductive health.

“I am a very private person, so talking about this is way out of my comfort zone, but I have this urge to share my testimony, and I hope it helps someone out there who went through something similar, someone who is going through it currently, or someone who is going to go through it. When I went through it, I did not speak to anyone about it thus causing myself to slip into a depression, and I truly don’t want that for any other woman.”

Words of encouragement

Her words of encouragement were heavy with empathy as she said: “I pray for every woman out there who is going through any reproductive issue. May you find the physical, emotional, and mental strength to cope with it. I would not wish any of this on any woman. I pray that you will know that you are enough. You are not broken, you are not deficient, and you are not less of a woman. You are not your diagnosis. You are beautiful. To every single woman who reads this, please get your annual check-up. It is important! Tell your mother, sister, aunty, niece, cousin, wife, girlfriend, and/or friend that I said to go get that check-up.”

And she had a word for men, too: “We need your support. You are fathers, brothers, uncles, cousins, husbands, and partners. We need you to understand that your support matters. Just because you are man doesn’t mean you can’t help us.”

Acknowledging that her situation could have been worse, Richards concluded by expressing gratitude towards God and another inspiring thought.

“God is so faithful, and in Him will I continue to put all my trust. We are all humans and we go through things. Do not ever take for granted the things that you are blessed with. Every day you wake up and get to live is a blessing. Please understand that just because you see someone smiling, it doesn’t mean they are okay. Be mindful of the things you say and the things you do to others.”

familyandreligion@gleanerjm.com