My gift

This blog (and probably the next few) aren’t for the faint of heart or the overly modest. I thought I’d better warn you.

Today the Lord gave me a gift. At least, that’s how I see it.

I had to have a mammogram and an ultrasound today because I noticed a lump in one of my breasts. Over 10 years ago I had a lump removed. It was very scary and traumatic, but it was benign. But it had also come back. When I went to my doctor, she found 2 more lumps that I didn’t know about.

As I walked out of her office last week with the referral in my hand for a mammogram and possible biopsy, I felt like my world was standing still for a moment. For anyone reading this who has had a traumatic experience, or walked through a crisis that is completely out of your control, you know that moment I’m referring to. My mind races with all the possibilities and scary scenarios, yet my body feels numb and my heart just aches. The world around me is still functioning and moving along, but my world is immobilized by this one crisis.

I have some women in my life whose worlds stood still at one time in their lives too. I’ve watched them closely and they know Who sustains their lives. Each one of them told me, “Everything will be OK.” And I believed them. I really did. Because they’ve walked where I was having to walk today. And they survived. And they know about this gift I was given today, because they have received the same gift during their time of crisis.

My scariest moment today was when my mammogram was over, but after reviewing the pictures they decided they needed more imaging. I had a terrifying 15 minutes having another mammogram and then waiting to also have an ultrasound. I almost feel like I lived a lifetime in those 15 minutes. I tried not to think of what I would write to George if I had breast cancer and couldn’t live to watch him grow up. I also tried not to think of how Shane would handle such a loss. I refused to think of my parents, my brother, my sister Dawn, Shane’s whole family….on and on my mind was going crazy. I finally just started singing a worship song (which one of the above mentioned women had suggested that I do).

Passersby probably thought I was nuts, but I sat in my stupid white mammogram exam robe, and sang.
“You are my shield, my strength, my fortress, deliverer, my shelter, strong tower,
my very present help in time of need.”

And I sang until I believed it. By the time they took me in for the ultrasound, that sweet, unearthly peace that passes all understanding had returned. My very present help had arrived.

But poor Shane. While this was happening to me, he was in the waiting room. A very nice, well-meaning husband of another woman getting a mammogram approached Shane. He gave him a pamphlet entitled, “How to cope when your loved one has breast cancer.” My dear husband was reading this and suffering terribly in his heart. It was terrifying for him. When they brought him into the ultrasound room, he was as white as a sheet. I could see that he was trying to be strong for me, but that he was truly suffering.

And here’s where the gift arrives. We were left alone for a bit after the ultrasound was finished. We had seen the tumors on the screen. It was bad. As scary as it gets. And we had no idea what the doctor would say when she arrived to give us the results of all the imaging. Our worlds were standing still again. In that moment, I think the Lord gave us an incredible gift.

Its the gift of right perspective. We had nowhere else to look, but at Him. Who can help at that moment? No one. Except the Almighty God who created us and has every hair on our head numbered, and every tear bottled. His ways aren’t our ways. His thoughts aren’t like ours. But His love for us surpasses knowledge.

Shane and I looked at each other and we knew that we were being held in the Everlasting Arms. Our perspective on each other, or on life will never ever be the same. It can’t be. Not when you look something like this in the eye. Not when you’re part of the league of people whose worlds have stood still.

The doctor told us that they are all probably benign. But of course I need a biopsy. I’ll have it in a week.

In the meantime, I intend on cherishing this gift. I hope to blog about it more this week. Right now all I really want is some popcorn with butter, brewer’s yeast and a little cheese on top. šŸ™‚ Then a nice long sleep.


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