Thursday, February 14, 2013
February 13, 2013
What an interesting day I had today. It was a pinch-me-to-see-if-this-is-real kind of day. It started off as most days do in the last two years. I’m up before the sun to get some uninterrupted Bible study time in. I check in with my #hellomornings friends. I pray through the names and situations on my prayer cards, or just whatever is on my heart. I love this peace and quiet. I love my coffee. In my favorite pink mug. I finish Ella's Valentine’s for her teachers and thank God for making me in his image: creative! Or at least able to copy someone else’s creativity when my creative juices are stagnant.
For Spirit week at school, it was checkerboard day. The teacher was to let us know if the kids were supposed to wear black or white. I didn’t know which color she was supposed to wear, so I put her in a white shirt with a black hoodie. (Her Spy hoodie. She wants to be a Spy when she grows up.) Genius plan, I’m a great mom.
I feed her breakfast, pray silent prayers of protection over her as I brush her hair. Wonder what she’ll think when I start to lose mine. We head to school. My heart sinks as I watch the other kids take their coats off…they are wearing red shirts. Knowing her red shirt was at home in the rapidly growing pile of dirty clothes that I keep putting off, I make a quick run to the store for red tablecloths and a red shirt, stop back and school to drop them off, then to church with a trunk full of coffee supplies. I was so looking forward to seeing my friends and learning and growing with the women in our Bible study. This morning I was not disappointed. After the speaker finished, I felt the Holy Spirit prompting me to tell this group of women about my diagnosis. I had not planned on doing this at all. I had told a few people and figured the information would get around eventually. But God is really working on my heart in the area of asking and accepting for help.
During Rick’s 6 months of unemployment, God provided. I was encouraged. But I also regretted not asking for help when we needed it, turning it down when offered and being so reluctant to accept help when it came. I was talking to a friend that I don’t need all that often about Rick’s new job and how much he was enjoying it, and she was stunned. She didn’t even know that he had lost his job. And I had seen her at least four times in that time. God is teaching me, that in order for the body of Christ to function as He plans, we all need to be cooperative and obedient. If I dismiss someone feeling led to help, I’m missing out on a blessing, but even more so, I’m stealing their opportunity to obey God as He has called them to joyfully serve. When I pray, expecting answers, who am I to pick and choose how those answers come? How completely freeing!
Following whatever I said (I don’t remember what that was!), I heard a few gasps, lots of tears and suddenly every woman in the room was on her feet and walking towards me. With at least 10 hands on me (thankfully no on feels lead to lay hands on the actual cancer site) beautiful, Spirit-filled prayers were lifted as we boldly approached the throne of the Most High God. On my behalf. Mixed with the prayers were still the sounds of tears, which to me was the sweet, sweet sound of my sisters in Christ sharing my burden. Wow.
Many hugs followed. If hugs could heal, I would be in great shape. The prayers continued in the copy room, echoing my own for clear lymph nodes. My pastor sought me out to offer a hug and comfort through knowing he was praying for us as well. Dan made me laugh as he told me how breast cancer had affected dear women in his life and that he would be “praying his face off for me.” That and our friend, Scot, offering to shave his head with me when the time came are among my favorite laughable moments. Ya’ll….Scot is bald, shiny bald!
From there I had lunch with Dee and Cami then headed to school to help with Ella’s classroom Valentine party. I enjoyed it so much, being able to be in the classroom like that again. I miss it. When this storm passes I need to get back into the classroom in some form! Maybe now would be a good time to look into being a Reading Specialist, or Reading Recovery teacher.
I headed to St John’s for my 4:30 MRI. I was early, so I sat by the fireplace with a Chai Tea Latte and continued my reading in Genesis. I am reading through the Bible with author/speaker, Margaret Feinberg in 40 days! It’s going to be a challenge, but when I think of what my next 40 days hold, I find it invigorating!
I checked my e-mail. Whoa. Ummmm, friends! If only knew the power of your words! So encouraging and uplifting and affirming. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. What a blessing! I didn’t even try to stop the tears streaming out of joyful thanksgiving for the ways that God is showing himself to me!
The verses that you all send are life-giving! And Vicki, I have no words, but thank you. Give it a week or two and Vicki has something special for us!
And honestly, when I was asking God if I could BE anymore blessed, (any Friends fans catch that?!) I walked down the stairs to Radiology and checked in for my MRI. I was handed my paper work and a manila envelope. I set the envelope on the seat next to me. Filled out the questions and then opened the envelope.
The lyrics to the song that I repeat to myself…the words I heard from God himself and the prayers and encouragement from a friend! Kara, thank you for thinking of me and for this surprise!
And then there was the MRI. My appointment was at 4:30. Turns out me not being post-menopausal is throwing a wrench in everything! Getting an IV in me proved to be quite an ordeal. At least the tech and the SWAT nurse have a three-poke rule and stop after that. They brought over an ER nurse with an ultrasound machine to find veins and lucky stick number seven worked! Then for the next 45 minutes I laid on my stomach, like Superman, and tried to breath, but not too deeply. I tried to ignore the wayward strand of hair that kept tickling my nose. I prayed. I sang. I enjoyed silence in God’s presence.
I headed over to church for Encounter. I was late, but at least I made it! Greeted by friends, supported by friends, worshipping the Lord and praising Him in this storm. It doesn’t get any better. Well, maybe an oops! We gave you the wrong test results. You don’t have cancer would be nice! But where I am right now, I’d like to stay. God is here.
I love Encounter, always have, always will. But tonight God reminded me that he is every bit as near in the banging, claustrophobic MRI tube as he is in a church.