On Wednesday, even before I met with my surgeon for the biopsy results, I was thinking that I wanted to start this post with "glory to God" whether the results came back benign or not. Why? Because I want God to be glorified either way!
My daughter Leah and I had a precious conversation in the kitchen before we left for my appointment. "Mommy, if God's fought cancer twice," she said, "He can do it again." Then she added, "I was going to say, 'If you've fought cancer twice' . . . but I read this morning about how God fought Israel's battles, and He always wanted them to give Him the glory."
Meeting with the surgeon this time felt all-too-familiar, but different, too. I think I was calmer. Proverbs 3:5 had come to me so strongly the day before: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding."¹
Then a friend sent me a passage from the book Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions for Kids: "If you learn to trust Me--really trust Me--with all your heart and soul, then nothing can separate you from My Peace. I can use all your problems--even huge ones--to train you in trusting Me. . . .Don't be afraid of what this day--or any day--might bring. Put your energy into trusting Me. Remind yourself that I am in complete control, and I can bring good out of any situation."
"Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart." "Put your energy into trusting Me." Ahhhh! Those words carried me through Tuesday, the day before the verdict.
But I still greeted Wednesday with trembling. Why? I had hoped this time was going to be different, that my faith would be stronger.
And then I realized: you can be scared and still trust.
Have you ever ridden a zip-line? I well remember the first time I rode one at camp. I was terrified to do it ~ but still, it intrigued me. And the counselor assured me it was perfectly safe. So I let him strap me into the harness and hook it to the cable. Through my fear, I stepped off the ledge, and zipped safely to the opposite hillside. It was exhilarating! I did it again, and again ~ soon feeling brave enough to step off the ledge backwards.
I've ridden many zip-lines since then ~ always terrified beforehand, and always thrilled when I'm flying through the air, completely dependent on the harness and the singing wire above me.
|My first zip-line at The Wilds|
I realized yesterday that this appointment was just like a zip-line. It's normal to be nervous. It's possible to feel afraid, yet still have complete faith that the harness will hold you.
Sitting in the exam room, waiting for the doctor to come in, was the longest 5 minutes of this entire week of waiting. Greg and I made small talk, tried to prepare our responses, looked at the wall, the floor . . . finally I heard footsteps approaching the door. "Here he comes . . . " I whispered. Then I heard his voice even before I saw him: "I was right!" he boomed, as he flung aside the curtain and came into the room. "Fat necrosis!" I thought he was going to dismiss us with a quick, "Adios!" But he sat down to discuss the good news and what it meant. "There is absolutely nothing that worries me about this," he reaffirmed
My pathology report reads: "Fibrous scar, fat necrosis with foamy histiocytic reaction." How do you pronounce that?!! But what I really cared about were the words: "Negative for malignancy." Whew.
There's a line that I love from the movie Princess Diaries: "Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something is greater than that fear." For me, that's God.
Glory to Him! Truly. I hope that those who have prayed me through this will rejoice in a positive answer. "He saved them for the sake of His name, that He might make His power known."² That's what I want to do, no matter where this journey takes me.
¹The Bible, Proverbs 3:5 (NASB)
²The Bible, Psalm 106:8 (NASB)