Last week started out incredible. An awesome Easter message, then a 48 hour get away to North Carolina with two of my favorites. We shopped, talked, ate incredible food and got massages. Sounds like a dream come true, right? It was. Our massages were scheduled just before our 5hr drive home, the perfect capstone to an incredible couple days. It was perfect, until about 5 minutes into my massage. Can we all agree that any potentially unsettling news should NOT be given 5 minutes into a massage? The news would not have changed a bit, separated by 50 minutes, but what a waste of a massage when you can’t even relax.
“Ma’am, I just want to let you know you have a tennis ball size lump near your back left shoulder, and you’re going to want to have that checked out by a doctor immediately.”
*Gulp* “Um, are you sure its not just a knot or muscle spasm?”
“I do this for a living Ma’am. That is definitely not supposed to be there.”
I remember her saying she didn’t want to scare me, that it was probably nothing. I remember this vaguely, because she had used the word lump, and we all know ‘lump’ has one connotation. Had she said I had a gelatinous glob of goo, a little bump, an overgrown nodule, an anomaly, had she said ANYTHING other than lump, my world might have continued turning. She said ‘lump’, and it stopped. I laid their for the next 50 minutes with NONE of the peace and tranquility that was supposed to come with that Enya soundtrack, mind spinning, and going nowhere good!
It was like a Tim McGraw soundtrack had kicked off in my head, and suddenly ‘all of a sudden goin’ fishin’ wasn’t such an imposition’! This is what I do. This is how my brain seems to work. If Kevin is normally home at 5pm, and its 5:30pm and I haven’t heard from him, without a hint of warning, my mind conjures a picture of a car wreck on 495 to explain why I haven’t been called yet. If my kids have a productive cough when I lay them down to go to sleep, I can be totally at peace, until a thought seizes my brain that they will in fact drown in their sleep from fluid in their lungs. These are HIGHLY illogical and counter productive thought processes, I know this, but its like my brain is highjacked and held at gun point to entertain these thoughts. Outwardly, life progresses as normal…. I don’t indulge my lunatic thoughts by waking sleeping babies every five minutes or harassing my sweet husband 24/7 with phone calls to ensure he is, in fact, still breathing. You’ve heard the phrase ‘train of thought’, my train is the express and there are no stops until the end of the line, which we reach with INCREDIBLE speed.
I was pretty anxious for the majority of the week. I’d forget about it for a few moments here and there, and try to encourage myself with truth that God’s got it, but it was hard to convince myself. Then I heard this INCREDIBLE message at church on Sunday, and my fears dissipated.
Originally I wasn’t going to post anything until I knew for sure…. Which upon further investigation of my thought process was just me already PLANNING for the worst, and wanting time to wrap my brain around bad news before I was ready to put on a happy face for the world. Which is just crap. One of the main points I got out of yesterday’s message was ‘not to focus on the storms in our life, but what the storm calls out of us’. I realized that even the threat of a storm had produced immediate fear in me. 5 years ago, I would have told NO ONE the news that there was even a lump until I had fully figured it all out on my own. This time, I’ve already told a few people by word of mouth, that I knew would be praying for the best for me. However, after yesterday’s message, I know our stories, the storms (or potential storms), are not just for us to weather alone. It’s not enough for me to whisper quiet, fervent prayers, behind closed doors, but to share it without abandon believing in full faith that God will work it all together for my good. When I looked at my reason for not wanting to share it to widely at first, it wasn’t because I was fearing the worst. I was more afraid others would judge how I responded to the worst. If I had a REAL freak out moment, that the world could see, would they question the resolve of my faith? Would they call me a hypocrite for telling others to believe, while doubting myself, am I ever allowed to doubt?
The message covered ALL of that. There ARE times I’ll be a hypocrite….. but that doesn’t make God love me any less, or fight on my behalf any less. I’m His and He’s got the back of His own…. We’re not called to be perfect, just real about our imperfections and confident that we’re loved despite them.
So bring it lump…. You are a real imperfection, and you may REALLY mess with my brain, but I’m surrounded by an army that will battle on my behalf because we know the victory is already ours!
On the bright side, while getting a sonogram of the lump yesterday, I was able to find the silver lining in unfortunately having to shell out WAY more than I wanted to because my LOVE for our WONDERFUL (*cough* Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad) new insurance policy made me meet that ‘max out of pocket’ threshold (that one you normally NEVER hit in a calendar year unless you have persistent issues) before providing the needed healthcare. Now that I’ve hit that max out of pocket I was dreaming of every other potential medical expense I can try to cram in this year…. and thought there were a few other ‘lady lumps’ that after three sweet beautiful babes, were looking a little more ‘slump’ than ‘lump’…… Kidding, kidding….. or am I???? 😉