“Lord, I am not afraid of anything you want to do in me or through me today.”
I needed to hear this simple, yet powerful, prayer this past week as I am working on feeling my feelings instead of ignoring them and pressing on.
However, come to find out, I am a crier – WHAT???!!!
I know, right – who knew?!
Here’s a bit of a backstory to get you up to speed as to why I needed this prayer at the moment it arrived.
Ok, so I have had more call backs on mammograms than I can keep up with. I started feeling odd lumps 30 years ago. (you may be thinking to yourself, “Why was she doing breast exams at 5 years old?!” – and to that thought, I say thank you 😊 )
With each of those lumps and yearly mammograms, inevitably there was a call back for more tests, sending my emotions through the ringer.
Lump after lump, smash after smash – all tests come back with the same response “You have extremely dense and calcified breasts and are prone to cysts.”
Each time, they assured me that it’s most likely nothing but to be on the safe side they need another smashing and an ultrasound, draining and biopsy.
(Side note – I tried to get an imaging center back in Kansas City to let me make up bumper stickers that said “I got SMASHED at ____________ Imaging Center” – they didn’t think it was as funny as I did. Whatever, I’d put one on my car!)
Over the years, I have developed a bit of an emotional callous when it comes to this routine. Actually, in the past couple of years, I started getting really angry. I was so mad that I had to go back for them to tell me it was just a cyst and boy do I have dense and calcified boobs.
Please don’t think for one minute that I am ever wishing the results were anything different.
What I am trying to figure out is how to be scared, grateful, nervous, trusting, strong and weak all at the same time.
So, here we are again at the time of the year where I go get my mammogram. Yes, the next day I got a call back to schedule a deeper imaging because something has changed.
(Another side note – I have family members who are in the casting, modeling and acting industry in LA and New York. Whenever they get a phone call telling them they have a call back, they are so very excited. So, for a split second when I heard the lady on the other end of the phone telling me I am getting a call back, I had a quick, out of reality excitement shoot through me! After the fraction of a second that I spent in someone else’s life, I stopped the lady from her routine speech and told her how excited I was to get the call back – we both had a good chuckle and then carried on with the assignment at hand.)
I go through the motions of setting the appointment, rearranging my schedule, assuring my husband and myself that “it’s nothing until it’s something” and plug through the days leading up to my next smash and dash.
This retest resulted in needing an ultrasound follow up but that wouldn’t take place for 3 weeks. I am a believer of the thought that if the doctors aren’t concerned about 3 weeks going by then I shouldn’t be either.
So on with life we went.
As the day got closer for my ultrasound, I started getting agitated. I felt myself building my emotional walls around my feelings and shutting down. This is when I decided that I should perhaps allow myself to feel my feelings for a change.
Phil was out of town so I was here at the house alone. The main feelings that came running to the forefront were fear (loss of control) and sadness. Sadness wrapped around me like a down comforter. I use that image because though I was sobbing crying, there was comfort in it. For a moment, I felt relaxed.
But then I panicked – how do I turn this off? I can’t go through my day with tears streaming down my face!
You have heard me talk about empowering environments, right? This is a perfect example of how and why they are so important.
I reached out to my prayer warrior friend and shared with her my overflow of sadness. She immediately sent me what I am now calling The Calming Prayer – “Lord, I am not afraid of anything You want to do in or through me today.”
What that simple prayer did for me was turn my focus off of me and onto God. It didn’t diminish the need to feel my emotions, it just helped me get them under control.
God’s promise is to work for the GOOOOD for those who love Him (Romans 8:28). In this imperfect world, hanging on to that promise is the best comfort I have.
You know that feeling when you have a soul-friend walking beside you or sitting next to you? That was the comfort I felt throughout the day, knowing that God was walking right along side me.
I share all of this with you to continue to remind us that Jesus is our Wounded Healer. He has felt the fear, the sadness, the grief, the loss. He doesn’t tell us to suck it up and soldier on.
No, He sits beside us and rubs our back while we grieve. He acknowledges our emotions and then offers the promise that if we put our trust in Him, we will find peace in our soul.
As to not leave you hanging, the ultrasound showed yet another cyst which was drained right then and there and I am good to go for another year.
The doctor did add a new entertaining statement to the dense and calcified boobs description. While she was draining the cyst she exclaimed – “Wow, your boob is so strong it is bending the needle!”
Team TINY for the win!!!