Friday morning seemed to take f-o-r-e-v-e-r to get here. Really. It was not that anticipatory excitement of Christmas presents “forever”…more of the wisdom teeth cut out “forever”. Except, not exactly wisdom teeth.
For a couple of days, I had texted with two dear friends, one who is currently undergoing radiation for the same type of breast cancer, and one who had walked this road and found peace in the storm a few years ago. It’s her book, Beyond the Scars, and her words that have encouraged me to keep talking. I suppose–I would talk either way. One way would be in my filled up prayer journal- only a few pages left–or the other way would be here–out in the wide open spaces of the world wide web. I can’t let things harbor, sit and fester–I have to let things go.
The initial check in began quicker than I thought- it was later that the waiting nearly drove me nuts. Our daughters, Tiffany and April had spent the night with us the night before–neither one slept. They were nervous–anxious. I had been covered by the peace of God that truly passes all understanding. I had more than a handful of prayer warriors in their war rooms on my behalf. I actually slept pretty good. I laid down–God wrapped me up–and I drifted off–waking only at the usual times during the night when someone my age wakes up.
Once we were taken to a room, I was handed a precious looking gown to wear for the duration of my visit. If you know me at all–you know I’m kidding. I was still calm. Fairly. The nurse came by and welcomed me–told me what was going to be happening–that someone would come get me and take me somewhere and leave me and then someone else would pick me up and take me somewhere else and leave me then someone else would come pick me up and….. No. They forgot that part. I’m not upset–I just thought it might have been nice to mention the times I would spend alone in a hall and empty waiting area. That actually sounded like a dream didn’t it?
Well, it did kind of happen that way–it was standard procedure I am certain–every single detail of the day worked like a well oiled machine–I could tell they had LOTS of practice at this. And this hospital and staff were awesome. I told you that part to let you know what God did:
Before we arrived at this day, a friend sent me a facebook message. Shortened down, it said this: You are My daughter–I will be with you.
It did say a few more things–but the point I needed to know…He was my heavenly Father–and HE wasn’t going anywhere. At anytime.
On the way to the hospital God did this:
A dear pastor/friend send me a text message: “I’m praying for you. Isaiah 43:1-2”.
…“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you. (NKJV emphasis mine)
Do you see what God did there–in both cases? Told me the same thing…I was HIS…and He’s not leaving my side.
When the first nurse wheeled me out to another floor-in another area to have a wire inserted (yes, gasp!) in the mass, and an ultrasound, and then radioactive dye shot IN (yes, please gasp again!), she was very kind and when she told me in advance, “this will hurt -but he will be as quick as possible”, I thought at least she gave me warning– I clinched my eyes shut, but then she said, “you can hold my hand if you want to”….uhm, YES please–hold my hand.
I grasped her right hand and thought of His Words that He would never leave me nor forsake me….
‘You are My servant,
I have chosen you and have not cast you away:
Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ Isaiah 41:9(b)-10 NKJV
With my family in another part of the hospital, I was longing for my husband’s hand to hold. His hand had always brought me security–and peace–and I had relied on His strength for 34 years. But God was reminding me of something I knew, but perhaps had packed it up already for the mission field…It has always been God’s hands that has held us BOTH in all our times of struggles in life. No matter what the struggles have been –it’s been HIM.
Once the doctor and nurse had finished wiring me up, making me a little radioactive, I was wheeled off to another area of the hospital and left outside in an empty waiting area–in a dimly lit hallway. I suppose it was to make it more private and intimate feeling–I do think it did help. At least I didn’t feel quite so exposed out there alone…but I did feel alone…but just briefly. It was in that brief minute of feeling alone–that I felt God wrap me up. Tears rolled from my eyes as Fear tried his best to come in the room, but God in all His power and glory showed him the door. The next nurse came out and got me, ushered me gently in and did a new mammogram for the surgeon.
Once she finished up, she took me back to my room–where apparently a party was going on while my brother-in-law was telling the family some funny story.
With the larger portion of the family in the waiting room it was just my girls and darling man– April helped me in the bathroom and I collapsed on her in tears. I think the reserve from the past months of wondering had just exploded. I don’t know what happened–or how. Her skills as a nurse had not stopped kicking in–she is one amazing nurse. If you ever need a nursing home–you would be wise to move to Florida and find the one she works at–for real.
As I sat down, a memory from when she was a little bitty girl, dressed in ruffles, bows and lace came racing back to my mind. A church bathroom–she needed to potty. I held her dress and the bow in back so that it wouldn’t fall, handed her tissue- and helped her grow up to become the woman she is today. I remember all the bathroom trips at church and anywhere else where she learned how to do things on her on–but until she was ready…mom was right there. I did that for both my baby girls. When that image of her in blonde curls and ruffly dress appeared in my movie-mind–I cried all the harder. Time had reversed and here she was in a tiny bathroom stall with her over 50 year old mama, holding the hospital gown and handing me tissue.
God is so good. I cannot tell you that enough.
I don’t like to cry. I will hold it in as long as possible. Elaine Olsen told me to cry. Let it out. It needs release, it is cleansing. So, since coming home, I’ve done that a couple of times, both after dressing changes. Lest you think I’m super-woman, let me assure you–ask Jeff or April–or Tiffany. They will tell you I’m not super woman. I cried uncontrollably during and after my first shower- Although the shower didn’t hurt –my heart ached in a place I had never experienced before.
It’s very humbling to need someone to help you with your shower. It’s very healing too though. I see that this morning. Tiffany reminded me of the showers I helped her with –after all her babies. I never thought twice–she was my baby, thus I help my child. I am sure she, nor April never think twice. I am their mama. I think at some point we have to remember to let people help. But that is so hard at times.
I think God deals with that side of us often. We are inept at dealing with some of our issues, and HE is standing at the ready–yet we don’t ask Him.
Didn’t He tell us time and time again that He would “be there” for us? Never leaving us….
It’s in times like these when He really shows us the truth of His Word–it’s in times like this week, I lean back against Him and feel the Presence of a Holy, Sovereign God take over.
I woke up in the wee morning hours on Monday and came to the living room to see and hear from God. I actually had a question that I wanted to ask–but when my feet hit the cool floor of the wood in the dark, something made me change my mind. I wasn’t going to ask any questions. Instead, I would just listen and see what He said.
I don’t know if you have just looked at the screen in disbelief, as if the God of the universe would actually take time to say something–anything–to a nothing-of-a-woman like me, but He did. He does. Often.
With my unsaid question –not hanging in the air– He said this:
“I’ve been preparing you”.
I am a bit taken aback at this — THIS? Cancer? This disfigurement in the mirror?
Everything. I’ve been preparing you.
Today, I want to tell you–whatever is going on in your life–God is RIGHT there–He will never leave you–
If you say, “I can’t SEE HIM”, you aren’t looking close enough. I promise He’s there. ASK Him to show up–He will. Ask Him to speak….HE will.
Often we aren’t quiet enough or still enough. We want to do our own thing and we want God to work AROUND our agenda. Hmmm…. I hope you know by now He doesn’t do that?
When I sat in the wheelchair alone in the hall…HE was there. I might would have rathered He show up with me on a picnic–and hike–but this empty dimly lit hallway was where I was that morning–and I needed Him then. He showed up. I felt Him as the tears rolled–I felt Him push fear back and send in the Holy Spirit to bring peace and comfort.
Friend–He will do the same thing for you. All you have to do is ask–expect–believe. Move on with God and don’t give Fear your forwarding address. If you do….I have to say, you must be a glutton for punishment. Where the Spirit of the LORD is…there is freedom and PEACE–and Fear cannot be in the same room where God is….
Tomorrow-the tube comes OUT (PTL) and the next phase will be laid out. Thank you in advance for praying and believing with us–Bolivia is waiting. The people are waiting… and my eyes are focused on my healing and being able to complete the mission He assigned…with GREAT anticipation!
© Angie Knight 2016. All rights reserved. Photographs © Angie Knight. All rights reserved.