I recently ran into an acquaintance from college on Facebook, and discovered that she was struggling because the doctors had found a lump in her breast. Since I've been down that road a few times now, she dropped me a note, and I wrote a quick response. And I thought I would share it with you, as this is still a very real and active battle in my heart and mind. But listed here are the tools I call to mind to face the fears that surface on this subject.
Truth is, most lumps felt are benign. I went in for felt lumps over several years, and the last time they found things not felt, and those are the things they are watching now. I have to wait and let them grow before they can determine what they are. (Joy! lol!) Things moved very quickly each time I had a 'discovery' so I think that is less "They are afraid," than it is "We don't wait to see if we should be worried about this." I hope that's comforting. :-} I've had two types of biopsies over the past several years, and innumerable ultrasounds and mammograms.
Anyway, I say all that to say that I surely understand the fears; it's not uncommon for concerns about this to surface in my mind, and since my grandmother died from breast cancer, it's a real concern. But I force myself to remember these three things:
1.) "All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." (Psalm 139) My life CANNOT be shortened. I will live EVERY day God planned for me to live.
2.) In fact, even all the good stuff I would be called to do was predetermined, according to Ephesians 2: "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Including good stuff like representing Jesus to the mammographer. :-}
3.) And, I choose to live each day in THAT day. Meaning, I don't borrow tomorrow's trouble. For all I know right now, I am perfectly healthy. I might, tomorrow, have some kind of disease...or I might meet Mr. Right! But today's trouble--and God's strength in the midst of that trouble--is enough. Nobody has ever borrowed the grace God was going to give them tomorrow, though they have surely borrowed the trouble allotted for tomorrow! No WONDER it seemed overwhelming, no? LOL! (Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. --Matthew 6:34)
I have certainly struggled, and still do at times, but I find these moments of fear and doubt have opened for me opportunities to renew my faith in the Words He has spoken, and to lay my life anew on the alter. There are few things like actually fearing pain and death to make you really understand the life/death commitment we have in Christ, no?
I hope these struggles bring you, too, to new places of worship. I know it's hard, and I have no magic pills. But, I will be praying for you, and me, as we face this journey together.
Hanging in there with you,
Not much more to say. I am still,
Hanging in there,
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. --2 Corinthians 12:9-10, NIV