A few weeks ago I wrote about my mammogram and my colonoscopy. I confused a few of you because I said that the colonoscopy didn't hurt at all, but yet the day following it, I was in extreme pain. That is because on the day after the colonoscopy I returned to the doctor's office to get a biopsy. I am still to this day trying to figure out why they put you to sleep to shoot some air and a camera up your backside but leave you awake to go inside a body cavity and cut a little piece of it out to examine.
I didn't mention the biopsy because the term is always the first thing you hear before you hear the word "cancer", and since I hadn't received the results, I really didn't want people worrying over me when there probably wasn't anything to worry about. I don't believe in worrying about something when there is not yet anything to worry about. I also don't believe in worrying when there is something that you could legitimately worry over. Worry is just sinful and a lack of faith in the provision of God, so I very rarely allow myself to participate in it. Not that I'm not ever tempted. I'm human, but there are scripture verses for this condition as well! :-)
I was right. There is nothing to worry about. I have been officially declared "normal"-something that makes my husband laugh hysterically.
But I have to be honest. The day I was called by the doctor and told that I needed to have a biopsy and the sooner, the better, it caught me off guard. You see I have dreams of growing old with my husband and traveling to every shooting range in the United States, dreams of being out of debt and able to do some things that up until now have been limited by finances like buying clothes for my kids because they see something they like and not because they can't possibly get them zipped or buttoned one more day, dreams of playing with my grandchildren and filling them with sugar and stockpiling them with toys, dreams of writing a book that someone might actually want to read, dreams of inventing something useful like grocery bags that walk themselves from the car to the kitchen, dreams of all the souls I want to see saved-the list keeps getting longer, dreams of all the books I want to read by the great soul winners through history, dreams and aspirations that my last years on earth will be my best and most productive for the Kingdom of God--dreams and plans and hopes and aspirations--I have a few.
For several days, I kept it to myself. It was the week before my oldest daughter's wedding. I didn't want to hang a cloud over the day. It was hard though because it's already an emotional management miracle to actually stay sane the week before the wedding of your first child. You're okay as long as you're so busy you can see yourself coming and going but then everything just hits you like a ton of bricks falling on your heart. And it's always at an inopportune time. Just sayin'.
So I did tell one or two close friends because I was battling fear in a big way. In fact, I was struggling more with it than I did 10 years ago when I was told that I actually did have cancer, which was not life threatening, but cancer just the same. If this test came back positive, I was looking at a life threatening illness. They prayed with me and for me throughout the time between the doctor's call and the wedding. It helped to know that I was not alone.
I love the Word of God. I love how if you have hidden it in your heart, just the right verse pops up at just the right time in every situation. You see, worry is a sin and scripture tells us specifically to not let our hearts be troubled, and that especially holds true when there is actually something that would try to trouble us. That verse of scripture kept running through my head- "when I am afraid, I will trust in you". What a comfort it brought to me. David didn't live without fear. He just didn't worry. He trusted and so I put myself in the Lord's hands and when some negative or terrifying thought would raise it's ugly head, I would say to it, "when I am afraid, I will trust in the Lord", and my heart would settle back down and I'd go on my way.
But those few weeks that I waited for the results, to know if I was going to travel down the cancer road were ones of extreme life examination and evaluation.
Life is so unpredictable. We really never know what a day may hold.
When you realize how short and unpredictable life can be. How do you handle it?
It has surely changed me. It has changed how I view others. It has changed how I deal with others. Coming so close to facing a life threatening disease has really made me realize how precious life is. It's kind of like the difference between head knowledge and knowledge by the the revelation of the Spirit of God. We all know "life is short", "we're not guaranteed tomorrow", "things are always subject to change". It's so cliche. It takes the little jolts in life to really convince us that these things ARE true and are worthy of some thought.
This experience has challenged me to be more intentional about all the things I do. Even the little things. When I tempted to retaliate to injustices, I don't. When I think about what my day will contain, I'm careful about what I plan and do, and I've taken a very long look at my list of priorities-refining, eliminating, and adjusting. I choose to not get involved in things that really don't concern me. I choose to not let things bother me that used to. I live one day at a time. Frankly, it's all that I can handle. A wise man once said that "anyone can believe God for today". I fall into that "anyone" category. It simplifies my life in such a way that I can actually enjoy it.
I didn't like the scare. It's not the first jolt I've had in life. It wasn't even the most severe jolt I've had in life but I sure like that it jolted me enough to make me stop and take a look-see at where I was, what I was, and where I'm going. I'm believing God for some good changes and I love this new and improved way of looking at life.