November 18, 2016
Being sent out of the doctor’s office with truly no real information on my recent diagnosis of a brain tumor was troubling to say the least. Instead of a traveling journey with a fifth wheel around the United States, I felt I just hopped on Mr. Toad’s Crazy Ride. (Okay I admit I just dated myself a bit with that analogy.) I can only be thankful that my loving Heavenly Father is in the driver’s seat and not me.
I am ever amazed at how God had the ideal schedule planned out for me, even though I was totally unaware. I had plans to visit my sister for a few days and was headed directly there. God knew she was the perfect person to help me process what I just heard. All at the same time she was able to provide comfort, sisterly humor, and an active household to pass the waiting time away. She also was the only relative with a piano, which also provided an outlet for me to think.
The waiting game began. A day passed before I was scheduled for a consultation. “One week away,” I consoled myself, “at least it must not be too serious if they did not call me in immediately.” During this time, I began to experience the emotional cycle a person goes through when beginning a detour like this.
I have found there are times in life where your body has some automatic responses whether you like it or not. Take my wedding day for example. I’ll never forget how excited I felt and yet jittery nervous. I was certain Joel was the man for me, and yet, the shaking nerves made it impossible to eat anything, even at our reception. In fact, we ended up going out to Perkin’s that night for some food. I also remember my body responding automatically when hunting. At hearing the first shuffle in the woods that was too large for a squirrel, the anticipation set my adrenaline flowing. My heart beat fast, rushes of energy flooded my body down through my finger tips. I had to regain control of my breathing again before I was able to get meat to our freezer. Once again I learned more about my body’s automatic responses, this time to disturbing news.
That week was a long week though I tried to keep active while waiting. The thought of any kind of surgery was mind numbing as I have never been under the knife before. I became well acquainted with the automatic stress responses my body kept putting out. I felt heart pounding adrenaline rushes and lack of appetite by day, and sleeplessness by night. My legs and arms trembled when I talked about it. I was surprised at how the sound of a cashier calling my name at a fast food joint triggered my adrenaline and memory of nurses calling my name for appointments. I wanted to cry to allow the stress to escape, but yet, felt silly at not truly knowing what I was crying about.
As I laid in my bed at night, I could only pray to God for peace. I realized my natural fears were creeping in but was consoled to know that my healing is in God’s hands and not some doctor’s. One time while praying I asked God what His purpose was for me in this detour. His answer was so clear. In a sense, I was being deployed on a rescue mission. Sometimes the only way to reach someone is by being in the pit and going through it as well. Perhaps my experience now is for you, my friend, just like when Jesus came down to earth for us. He came to save us from the pain of our wrong choices and knows what it is like to be under such pressure to do wrong. I’m so glad to know Jesus did not cave under the pressure and rescued me from it.
When going through the start of this detour, I felt numb or crippled when trying to pray. It is amazing how certain Bible verses stood out with the words I needed to express. Jeremiah clearly described my same feelings as he wrote in Lamentations 3:55-58, “I called on Your name, O LORD, out of the lowest pit. You have heard my voice, do not hide Your ear from my prayer for relief, from my cry for help.” You drew near when I called on You; You said, “Do not fear!” O LORD, You have pleaded my soul’s cause; You have redeemed my life.”
Likewise in Lamentations 3:22-26, “This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. The LORD’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. ‘The LORD is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘Therefore I have hope in Him.’ The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him. It is good that he waits silently for the salvation of the LORD.” I have already seen in numerous ways how my Heavenly Father is looking out for me. I have great comfort and hope as I see who He is through His lovingkindness, compassion, and faithfulness.
As the week went on, I started calming down a bit. Doctors do not believe it is cancer at this point and I should regain my normal life once again unless some kind of major mistake is made. But even if that were to happen, I do not have a fear of death itself, I just don’t like the idea of pain getting there. I know I’d be able to join my heavenly family and be done with all the troubles of this earth. I have my will set up, the boys are older, and have a fully capable husband to finish that job. I’ve lived a good life and like to believe I have no unfinished business or relationships to set straight.
For now in the waiting time, we just can only pray and then laugh about a bunch of silly comments and mishaps from my condition. At least I know, “It’s all in my head.”
Until we meet again,
p.s. If you want to know more about the hope and comfort I have going through this detour, check out the link or google “Two Ways to Live” or contact me.