December 15, 2016- January 1, 2017
It’s been around a month since the day of my brain tumor diagnosis, though it seems as it was only a week. I do not believe I will ever forget the words, thoughts, and feelings that circulated around that first week. On the other hand, I would have to look at a calendar to try and figure out which day exactly it all began. November sometime. But does it really matter? Does that day have to still live and thrive in my memory? I choose to not let it. It was not that day’s fault. Time never stopped for those around me, nor should I allow it to stop for me.
At that point in time, all plans were put on hold, cancelled, or postponed at best. All I knew at that point in time was it was most likely not cancerous, but I needed brain surgery. Though people were around me, I still had to process this alone. I felt so instantly crippled physically, mentally, and spiritually within a matter of minutes as the shock began to set in. I felt I did not even know how to begin to pray about the situation, though I never thought of myself as a stranger to the praying idea.
Within an instant I felt so much weaker and tired. The puzzle pieces of symptoms were coming together. Just a few days earlier I had so much energy, cleaning, organizing, and socializing non-stop. Now, a fear to move fastened my body down and only shear will-power would snap those cords. I reminded myself I was not in physical pain yet, so do not concern myself about it until it came. I was amazed at how physically the stress of such news affected me.
Besides the physical condition changes, I experienced a fatiguing mental game. Every topic related back to the up-coming surgery. Every person’s interaction, any song, place, action taken all led back to the same subject. I had all I could do to refrain when a little girl dramatically exclaimed at losing a game, “My life is over!” Really? I felt a lecture boil up inside of me about what life is about, but took a breath and kept quiet.
I could not break free as surgery ideas laid constantly in the back of my mind. Any time one of the symptoms acted up, my mind went instantly to the looming surgery. No escape. The only thing I knew that would help was to pray for other people because so many others have larger issues than what I had. I was in a constant battle to not become completely self-absorbed.
I remember lying awake at night deciding to pass the time away by praying. I would start, and then feel speechless. How could I begin? I prayed for friends and family around me. I knew it is fine to offer prayers for myself as well, but when the idea came to my mind, I grew numb. Where do I start? Words vanished. Do I pray for it to just disappear and to get me out of this? What about “Your will be done, and not mine?” Helplessly I looked at the wall. Should I pray for deliverance from future pain or for people around me to be in awe of God because of this situation? I saw how critical it was to have a constant prayer life. I have an extra appreciation for family and friends who offered prayers for me during that time of uncertainty as well.
How do I express myself to my Creator? Any Bible verses come to mind? I knew often praying the words that someone else said from the Bible helps. It brought to words the thoughts and feelings I was now living. After all, the people of the Bible were real people with real problems as well. The Bible is filled with people who faced health issues, adultery, rape and incest, suicidal desires, political hatred, murderers, liars, leaders, dysfunctional families, etc. These were real circumstances and real decisions people made. I realized at that point in time the verses and stories I learned as a child were the ones I thought of and were comforted the most with. Looking at pages of the Bible for the first time in desperation, hoping to find something that jumps off the page, would have been a prayer in itself. So many pages, who would know where to begin? I would have been overwhelmed.
Wow, I am thankful I could remember the story of Job as well as the miracles Jesus did for the paraplegics, blind beggars, and sick. Those situations made people revere and become obedient to God. These accounts showed wonderful qualities of His power, love, and omniscience. I may not know the reason for the epidermoid mass, but I needed to trust Him through it because He knows the big picture. I also remembered those verses from my childhood reassuring me of God’s goodness and loving kindnesses. I knew I could look to Him for the strength, courage, and hope to get through this ordeal. It made a difference. It was not a mental crutch, it was truth spoken once again to me that I knew I could count on. My healing was not in the hands of a doctor, but rather in my Creator who is in control of everything.
Please, look at your Bible today. Mark up those verses that stand out to you. Learn them. Wear it out. It is never too late to start. It could make a difference for you one day as well.
Until we meet again,