This is a little bit different post than usual, but I feel led to write about what I experienced over the past two weeks. I had some surgery last month, and all went well. My recovery was quick and easy and I was slowly returning to normal life. Then a phone call from the medical clinic. There was concern over something on my chest x-ray from my pre-op physical done 10 days before surgery. I had a couple of choices, either wait 3 months and do another x-ray or have a CT done to see if any further investigation was warranted. Since my mother died of lung cancer, there was no question but to have the CT. I was mildly alarmed, but not overly so. I didn't tell my husband or children about the CT, since there was no sense worrying them when it was going to come out that it was a faulty x-ray.
The CT was on a Thursday and by Tuesday morning when I hadn't heard from the clinic, I figured I was getting a letter that put any unease to rest. No. That afternoon the phone call came; the spot was "suspicious". I won't go into the specifics of the results, but it was enough to scare me. Yet, it wasn't horrible. I was told I needed a CT-guided needle biopsy of my lung, and they scheduled that for me. The thing was, this was a Tuesday, and they couldn't get my biopsy done until Monday. A week was a very long time for my mind to embrace those dark places that come with losing my mother 19 years ago to lung cancer, three months after her diagnosis. Dark, dark places.
So. I had to to tell my family. Greg was wonderful - he understood why I didn't tell him about the CT, and was extremely supportive the entire week. The kids were great, agreeing not to worry until worry was warranted. We agreed not to share with family beyond the kids. No way could I tell my sister and brothers, and no reason to worry everyone until we had answers. In fact, most of them still don't know and will be finding out now, while reading this. Sorry. Yet, I knew I needed to be enveloped in prayer. So I turned to a couple of cousins, some dear friends/former co-workers, and my internet friends. I have a long-time group of friends from email lists who I've "known" for 16 or 17 years now. I asked them to pray for me, for peace and strength and positive results. They stepped up and wrapped me in prayer and good thoughts and support. They sent encouraging messages and texts and I felt very loved. I was also praying and I started to meditate to help relax.
Back to those dark places. When a person cannot eat or sleep and their blood pressure is through the roof because they are so stressed, the mind goes to those worst-case scenarios and makes up all kinds of sad and scary drama. I had a particularly rough evening on Friday when I'd only had 3 hours of sleep the night before. I was losing it when I knew I needed to be calm. So I messaged a friend, one who has gone through the fire of cancer and chemotherapy and come out on the other side. I want to share some of what she wrote to me (with her permission):
" God gave me life and he would decide when he would stop it, not me. It was then I was humbled before God and realized I had no control, it was Him. I gave up control and let each day just be because my fate was decided, it just wasn't the way I thought it would be."
You guys, this is just what I needed to be reminded of. Whatever it was or wasn't was already decided and I needed to give my fear to God. Every time the panic engulfed, I needed to give it to God. Every time those dark places tried to steal my thoughts and fill my head with dread, I needed to give those to God.
So I did. When the fear and darkness and overwhelming sadness threatened, I closed my eyes, took a deep cleansing breath, and chanted in my head, "Give it to God. Give it to God. Give it to God." And He took it. He took the fear. He calmed my heart. He wrapped me in peace. Every time I needed it. And I needed it a lot.
Now I don't usually go around professing my faith to everyone. My faith journey has always been pretty private. I believe some people are called to minister and preach and share publicly about faith and salvation and all of that. Then there are those who live their faith privately, doing good works and showing God's grace through their actions without pointing out that's what is happening. Both ways are okay. I tend to be one of the quiet ones, but like I said in the beginning, I felt led to write this to you today.
So, on Monday I spent the day at the hospital and had the biopsy done. It was unpleasant but afterwards I felt a lifting of the ominous black cloud I'd been shrouded in for a week. There was no more fear, no more panic. I slept all night without waking once. Yesterday morning I awoke feeling healthy and energetic and ready to take on whatever came. By late afternoon, I had test results and am happy to report that they were good. I am fine. Two weeks of stress, but all is well.
I am happy to say that I gave it to God, and He gave back to me.