There was a chain of events that led me to this week and I know that in Amos 3:7 God tells us that He "will do nothing unless he reveals his secret to his servants and prophets". I am not at all a proponent for taking Bible verses out of context, and I know the story of Amos and who God was speaking to here and why. I just can't help thinking based on my experience these last couple of months that for those who are His, He has a way of preparing the way for what is coming.
There are a couple of things that God has done to prepare my heart for my new reality. It wasn't clear at the time that anything was "in the works" but in "hind sight 20/20", I thank Him for orchestrating my peace well before I knew I needed it. I have a dear friend and woman of God with an incredible life story. She says whenever she relays parts of it to me, that when we are faced with a trial or life changing event, we ask "why". She and her husband learned with God's help to ask "why not?" Why not us?
Why not me? I mean, especially if I know and trust that God is giving me everything I need to "complete this work He has began" in me. (Phil. 1:6) In his sovereignty, He knows what our life in this world was, is, and WILL BE. Why not me? How will this look when all is said and done? I don't know, but I trust He will give me each step as I take it. Why not me?
Is it ironic that this summer (for the first time in a long time), our Bible study group has decided to meet weekly instead of taking a break til fall? Get this...we are studying Philippians! You know, "Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need." (4:11-12) But then lets not forget verse 13:
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me"
Do I think that I am in Philippians with my girls this summer by chance happening? Maybe, you might say, but I don't think so.
Is it ironic that after two years of wanting to buy a book that is a sequel of sorts to one of my favorite all time books of encouragement (Calm My Anxious Heart), I decided on my birthday to treat myself to Linda Dillow's book "A Deeper Kind of Calm"? I don't think so. On the very first page she writes about women she has spoken too who are hurting and going through terrible things in their life. At the end of the page she writes about it "Their anguish filled words echoed in my mind:
- "My husband is having an affair with my best friend."
- "I just found drugs in my son's room."
- "I lost my job - what am I going to do?"
- "My breast cancer has returned." (emphasis mine)
I started reading the book earlier this week as I was looking ahead to a biopsy on three lumps and a lymph node. Don't think I didn't tuck that last point in the back of my head, I was already thinking that this could happen to me, this could be happening to me at this very moment! But it wasn't fearfully tucked away, popping back up to taunt me un-mercilessly. It was more like prayerfully, peacefully tucked away with an occasional little cry out "Lord if this is happening, help me to stand in this time of challenge!"
Is it ironic that I have been through many ultrasounds and procedures where I can pretty much tell by the things the techs or nurses say and how they say it, whether I should be concerned about the next step. (and by the way, it is much more fun looking at and measuring body parts of babies than it is to measure the size of cysts and other masses).
I could tell at the ultrasound that things weren't going to be as rosy as the nurses smile and happy tone were trying to relay. (and another by the way...I highly respect and admire people who pick to work in fields like this, the ones where there are many opportunities to have to paste on a happy demeanor when they probably already know and have seen these kind of cases before. They know I won't be hearing good news within 48 hours).
It is just that I have done this before. But, in His grace, because I already had a pretty good idea that this was no longer happening to "set my mind at ease", it wasn't as shocking as it could have been last Sunday when the ultrasound report was posted in my online medical chart "ASSESSMENT: highly suggestive of malignancy". It was pretty unsettling seeing that staring back at me. No, I don't think there is irony in any of the things that have led me to this place. And I thank God for His ever watchful eye on the road ahead.