Leaving Fear Behind

I just had the one of the longest 24 hour periods of my life.

A couple of weeks ago I had my annual checkup at the OB-GYN and after examining me she told me I should have a mammogram just in case. It was probably nothing, and not to worry.

So I didn’t worry, and I made an appointment. I didn’t really like going through the big “Cancer Center” doors, but I figured that was where they do this kind of testing even when it’s routine and I needed to get over it. They told me I would hear in a week to ten days.

A week later I was thinking through what had to happen that day: several important calls, some email, final planning for an event that weekend, taxi driving for my kids. The phone rang and it was the Cancer Center telling me that they saw something and needed me to come in for further testing.

Right there, all my seemingly important stuff immediately became unimportant.

Let me back up. I remember when my dad was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS), he told us that he’d felt like God had been preparing him for something for several years. Lately, I’ve been feeling the same way, as if God has been preparing me. Now, I’m not going to lie, I have obviously been rooting for the scenario where something really big and important was going to happen to me so I would need to be prepared, but I know very well that just as often, the things we are preparing for aren’t pleasant.

I was thinking about this very thing during my Bible study a couple of weeks ago, before any of this happened. The study asked what hard thing we were afraid of, and if we thought we could do it with the Lord’s help. My immediate thought was cancer. And I was surprised and so encouraged that when I tested that in my mind, my first thought was to pray, “Thank you, God – You have changed my heart, and I know that even if I had to go through cancer, I would be okay, because You are big enough, and You would be with me.” How He has changed my heart! I have always struggled with fear, but with all our family has been through, God has taught me over and over that He carries us when we have nothing left, and that even when everything else is gone, He is with us.

So I went back for more testing. They took several pictures and then I waited for the radiologist. They came out and told me they needed more pictures. I waited again. Then one more picture. More waiting. Then a different person came out and told me I needed an ultrasound. At this point, I knew something was up. I was alone in that office, but I was never alone – I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God was there with me, and He had the whole situation in His hands.

I watched the screen during the ultrasound and saw the technician zoom in on something large and black. She started marking the dimensions and taking pictures. Well, there it was. I guess this is where we’re going now. Okay, God.

After ten minutes I finally said, “So, that’s what we’re looking at, that black thing?” She said, “Yes,” and then hesitated. “I’m not supposed to say anything to you.” I said, “Oh, of course, sorry.” Then she hesitated again and said, “Black’s good. We like black. But I didn’t tell you.” And she smiled. That was the first time it occurred to me that I could have something, but it could be benign.

Ten minutes later the doctor came in and told me it was nothing to worry about, totally benign, and we didn’t even have to check it again until next year. I’ve never felt such relief, and at the same time, I thought, “Thank you, Lord! I am so grateful that I don’t have to go down this road today, and yet I am so much more thankful to know that if I had, You would have been here with me, and You would have given me and my family everything we needed.”

Isn’t it amazing when God makes us stop and actually see some of the changes He has made in our hearts? I really like to feel in control, and I would love to get to tell the Lord how I would like Him to order my life and the lives around me, but I have learned that that would really not be as great as it sounds. God’s much better at being in charge than I am, and I’m so grateful that He’s taught me to trust Him. How is God teaching you to trust Him today?

12 Responses to “Leaving Fear Behind”

  1. Erin says:

    Very encouraging!

  2. I am so thankful your road was not the more difficult one, Jennifer! Thank You, Lord!

    I have been wondering what is going on with your life…it seems as if God is at work. 🙂 Thank you for sharing so openly.

    Hope to see you again soon.

    God bless,

  3. Patti DeFelicis says:

    Celebrating with you, Jennifer, for good health and good growth! 🙂

  4. Susan Holloway says:

    Reading your bio made me even more anxious to see and hear you in person. What a blessing your outcome is and a true test of your faith.

  5. Linda says:

    It sure had to be a rough time for you.
    Thank our loving God you felt his presence and
    that the news is good.
    See you at BSF.
    Thanks for sending me info. You are a beautiful
    and amazing person.

  6. jennifer says:

    Thanks, Erin. 🙂

  7. jennifer says:

    Thanks, Patti!

  8. jennifer says:

    Thank you, Jill – me too. And I would love to see you all again soon!

  9. jennifer says:

    Thank you, Susan, and I hope to meet you soon!

  10. jennifer says:

    Thank you, Linda – it has been wonderful getting to know you in the group!

  11. Jessica Lanning says:

    I recently had a similar experience. I found a lump in late November and finally got into see a doctor in January. I was told I’d need a mammogram or ultrasound so I scheduled that. After getting the ultrasound, the radiologist said he’d need the mammogram. After that, he came to speak to me and said that he couldn’t tell what he was seeing, so he wanted to order a needle biopsy, and that there was a 70-80% chance it was cancer. So Valentine’s Day, I went in for the biopsy and the following day they called me with the results… It was benign. A fibroadenoma is what they called it. Prior to finding out any results though, the one thing that kept going through my head was the phrase people say when someone dies of cancer: “so and so lost their battle with cancer.” And I just kept thinking, as Christians we don’t really lose. We’ve gained and won eternity with Christ. This was very comforting to me in the interim while I was waiting for tests and results. I’m very glad you had good results as well, and I just continue to pray that God will use this experience to help or touch someone in my life, and yours as well.

  12. jennifer says:

    Jessica, I am so glad for your good outcome! It is a very scary time, but you are absolutely right – when we have the Lord, we really don’t have anything to fear. We get to start eternal life right now. 🙂

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