When I saw the doctor last Wednesday, he said there was a possibility that my biopsy would be back on Friday. So at about 5 minutes after 2 on Friday I called to see if it had come in. The receptionist said that it had. I asked to speak to the doctor, but she said he had already left. She said the reports had come in just minutes before I called, after he had left for the weekend. I don't begrudge the guy taking off early on a Friday, but why last Friday?? I got to spend the whole weekend knowing that my report was sitting on his desk, and that the receptionist knows what I have, but I don't. I imagined maybe my friend and I breaking in to the office, and making a copy of the report for myself. But when I picture that scenario in my head, it looks like a Laverne and Shirley episode, so I decided to just let it go..... The doctor does surgery on Mondays, so I don't know if I will hear from him at all today. I will probably just have to wait until my appointment tomorrow (have I mentioned that I am extremely impatient and a control freak?)
I have to admit that when this all began, I would characterize my faith as "weak." I knew ultimately that God would take care of me, but my fear was that things wouldn't turn out the way I wanted them to. While God always holds us in the palm of His hand, some people do not get physical healing. My fear was that I would die much earlier than I had planned.... My fear was that God taking care of me would entail me having peace with my premature suffering and death (I really do have a very active imagination, I know.) I never asked myself "Why me?", it has always been "Why not me?" Why shouldn't I be the one to get cancer.... sometimes bad things, terrible things, happen. I just don't want them to happen to me, but I recognize that they very well could. (notice how many times I and me appear in this paragraph- I have hilighted them for you, just in case you didn't notice. Could it be that my focus on myself, and not on Him, is the problem......)
The day that I got a bad test report and went to the church in the middle of a breakdown, the lady praying with me was first praying for me and my family to have peace. And I remember thinking- No, no! not peace! Healing! Pray for healing, because I do not want this thing that I fear so much. Of course, then she did pray for healing for me. But isn't it funny (and very human) that we want our pain and suffering to be taken away, instead of just asking God to use it! I lean on the works of the apostle Paul, who said:
there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:7-12)
Oh, to be like James, who wrote: Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything (James 1:2-4)
Oh goodness- does he really expect me to consider my trials a joy, because they develop perseverance and character!? What I really want is just to live a simple life, free from pain and drama.... I just want to go on with my plans for my life.... Really, is developing perseverance and character that important.... can't I just skip that part....
The first week or 2 of all of this, I was paralyzed with fear. People were telling me that these tests are often wrong and don't mean anything. I have to admit, that made me angry- because even though that may be completely true, when it is happening to you, it is terrifying, and you don't want to feel like maybe you are overreacting and being irrational. And no matter how many people rally around you and support you and pray for you- you still know that ultimately you are alone in it. No one else can walk through it for you. I realized early on that this was just gonna me and God walking through this one together..... Even though I leaned on God and trusted Him..... my human self was just terrified, and even though people were telling me that God had me in the palm of His hand, it was hard to believe, many times I just didn't feel it. I mean, I believed and had faith, but I didn't really believe and have faith. Does anyone understand what I mean? It's like I had it in my head, but it took a while to work down into my heart. Like the father of the possessed boy who said to Jesus- I do believe! Help me overcome my unbelief! Mark 9:24. We believe, we think we believe, but there is always another level of faith that we strive toward.
So about 10 days ago, I guess all the prayers that people were praying for me to have peace actually kicked in. Suddenly, almost overnight, I felt better. I still had to have the biopsy, I still feared the surgery itself. But I have no longer been paralyzed by the fear of the outcome. Somehow, I really know that I am going to be OK. I have been able to move on with my life and enjoy my family and enjoy the holiday season. I have somehow been able to "look past the curve" (I will explain that one later- this post is already too long.) The only explanation I have for how I went from terror to peace is a miraculous work of God on my heart, an answer to the prayers of so many.....
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7.