grateful amazement

finding wonder…everywhere.

That Whisper

on February 12, 2014

{Linking up today with Holley Gerth at Coffee for Your Heart and Jennifer Dukes Lee at #TellHisStory. Be sure to click through for whatever your heart needs today: encouragement, comfort, soothing, strength, hope, connectedness.}

Today, I am anxious.
Anxious about writing this.
The kind of Anxious that occasionally finds me reaching for the doctor-prescribed pill bottle that holds tiny little Promises of Peace in the form of chemicals that claim to calm butterflies.
Like the pterodactyl-sized butterflies that have decided to take flight in my stomach at the mere thought of writing this.
It strikes me as odd, though.
Odd that I would be nervous to write this.
After all, I’ve lived it.
And I’ve even written it before…told the story before.
Writing it won’t make it any more ~ or less ~ real, right?
I wonder why now, today, this has me so tied up in knots?
{That’s a question to pull apart at a later date, I think…}
Today, I am going to write this, despite the anxiety.

Three years, six months, and twenty days ago, my life was changed.
Unalterably changed.
The There-Are-No-Words kind of changed.
Three years, six months, and twenty days ago, I had a mammogram.
It was a mammogram I had procrastinated in scheduling for about half a year, until a friend – who happened to be a two-year cancer survivor herself – pressed me (no pun intended) into getting it on the calendar.
It was a mammogram I didn’t really give much thought to as I drove to the medical center the day of the appointment.
That day, three years, six months, and twenty days ago.

I wasn’t a bit nervous, freaked out, worried, or concerned that day.
It wasn’t my first time at the Flatten Your Pancakes Rodeo.
It wasn’t a big deal in my mind.
Just another item to cross off my To Do List once it was done and I was back home.

And then, as I was in the changing room, neatly folding my clothes after I’d gotten myself into the delightfully stylish hospital gown I’d been given, Somebody whispered.
Yes, Somebody with a capital S.
And, yes, to my ears, it was an audible whisper.
An. Audible. Holy. Whisper.

‘They are going to find something, but you’re going to be okay.’

Hearing That Whisper didn’t scare me.
It didn’t freak me out.
Didn’t even cause the smallest catch in my breath.
For some {supernatural} reason, I was calm.
Accepting, even.
If memory serves, my internal response was something like, ‘Well, okay. Let’s do this then.’

{Now, before you’re tempted to pat me on the back and tell me how very ‘brave’ that response was…how very ‘trusting’…how very ‘admirable’…I have to let you know that it is my belief that God ran interference that day with That Whisper because He knew that if I first heard that something had showed up on the mammogram when the technician decided to ‘bend’ protocol and tell me that there was ‘something there’, I would have TOTALLY FREAKED OUT. I believe that He was showing me that He knew me – and my tendency to catastrophize things in my wildly imaginative thought life – and that He cared enough to want to show Himself intimately involved in each and every detail of the path on which I’d suddenly found my feet.
My response was not really ‘brave’, or ‘trusting’, or ‘admirable’ at all.
It was just my way of letting God know I heard Him.
My way of letting Him know that I was going to let Him take this one…instead of employing my usual I’ll-Try-Everything-I-Can-Think-Of-And-Get-Back-To-You-If-Nothing-Else-Works approach…instead of begrudgingly unclenching my fingers from around a problem I just know is my responsibility alone to untangle…instead of turning the circumstance over to Him then taking it back, then turning it over and taking it back again and again.
Maybe I’m not the only one to use these approaches sometimes?}

I left the medical center that day, hearing in That Whisper – and in the words of the technician – that there was more to come.
More appointments, more tests to undergo (at least one of them I’m convinced was designed in the dark, dank, dungeoned torture chambers of the Middle Ages), more waiting for results, more decisions to be made, more medical professionals to see, more second opinions to get, more medical jargon to decode, more learning curves to be clumsily scaled.

Due to all those ‘mores’, it was almost a month before I heard the surgeon say those words no one ever wants to hear: ‘It is cancer.’

The wait seemed to take on that odd speed that characterizes most surreal situations…it took forever and went so quickly.
And, even though I had That Whisper tucked safely into my heart, the wait wore on me like an itchy wool sweater – rubbing me raw, making any and all movement uncomfortable at best.
It was twenty minutes before getting the call from the surgeon that I had the biggest meltdown of my entire Cancer Journey (aside from the day the chemo took my hair and exchanged its familiar presence for a decidedly UNfashionable Cue Ball Look…that was a really, really hard, tear-filled day.)
In that twenty minutes, I was letting God know, in no uncertain terms, that this waiting was NOT FAIR.
That I DESERVED to know.
That I had waited LONG ENOUGH.
I was working myself up into quite a tizzy…and felt COMPLETELY ENTITLED to it.
In the middle of what can only honestly be termed a tantrum, another Whisper came.
(Although, because of the volume of my pout-filled protests, it was closer to a ‘Stage Whisper’…you know, the kind the audience in the back of the theater is supposed to be able to hear.)

‘Why are you so worked up about not hearing from that doctor? I am your Doctor. And you already know the answer.’

As you can probably imagine, That Second Whisper served as my call to Stop. Breathe. Remember. Trust.

And I did.
And I have, mostly.

In the last three years, six months, and twenty days, since the day cancer was discovered in my body, I have had five surgeries, fifty-two weeks of chemo, countless medical appointments and follow-up tests, and many opportunities to find, develop, work, and grow the muscles of Faith, Memory, and Trust. Honestly, more opportunities than I thought my life could hold.

But, today, looking back from here, I see God’s promise in That Whisper and the walk that has followed as hard evidence that, no matter what, because He is Who He says He is and I am who He says I am, namely His, I will always be okay.

So will you, my friend. Whatever your ‘no matter what’ is today or tomorrow or the next day.
Because He is Who He says He is and you are who He says you are, namely His, you will always be okay.
Let That Whisper fill your heart.

{And, in the spirit of full disclosure, while I will always be beyond grateful for That Whisper thirteen hundred days ago, there are times when I wish I would’ve thought to ask Him just exactly what He’d meant when He said I’d be okay. *smile}

**PS – I blogged throughout the first three years of my Cancer Journey here. Please feel free to visit to get more backstory and/or to share with someone in your life who may need to know they are not alone in the fight.**

Coffee for Your Heart 150

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4 responses to “That Whisper

  1. dukeslee says:

    What a testimony you’ve shared here. And a reminder to all of us to go in for our mammograms. I just had mine! Thank you for sharing your story with us at #TellHisStory. I positively LOVE your heart, so keenly focused on God’s faithfulness. Grateful….

    • LauraK says:

      Thanks so much, Jennifer, for your kind words and for stopping by! Am so glad to know you are proactive in getting your mammograms. Early detection is KEY!
      Blessings to you!

  2. Beautiful testimony. I can relate to that whisper of “it’s going to be OK”. I received a similar whisper right before my husband and son were in a motorcycle accident. Oh how that whisper helped me through that time.
    Debbie

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