I looked at the clock and grew increasingly impatient. I had been sitting at the doctor’s waiting room for almost an hour. I knew horrible Atlanta traffic would follow me all the way home. If I lingered a little longer, I would certainly be late for carline. After what seemed to be another hour, the door finally opened and I heard my name. After checking in with the nurse, I was escorted to the room where the doctor would see me.
One year. It had been one year since my last visit. As I looked around the same room, I recalled my second yearly check up after cancer and how peaceful I felt. The words from the doctor still rang in my ears: “The chance of the cancer coming back is only 2-3%.”
And so I sat, stats in mind, waiting for the doctor with the same peace and assurance that I had one year ago.
When the door opened and I saw the doctor’s face, all impatience left me. All of a sudden, nothing else mattered.
“The CT Scan showed an area of enhancement where the cancer was removed. We will need to see the actual images, but we probably will need to re-do the scan in another six months. At this point, I cannot confirm that the cancer is not back. And we don’t want to expose you to radiation again so soon.”
I felt silly for being impatient while waiting for one hour. I would gladly wait another hour or two. It would be no problem at all. I promise.
But waiting to know if CANCER is back or not? That kind of waiting, I don’t know that I can do.
At least not on my own.
Friday didn’t start well at all. The day after uncertainty is not any better than the day after bad news. I was sad. Discouraged. Confused.
I thought the dreadful walk with the Big C had accomplished its purpose for my life. I thought it was over. And I’m still trusting that it is, don’t get me wrong. But even the prospect of cancer is a scary thing to the strongest of believers.
Don’t judge me. If you haven’t been there, you really don’t know.
I know all the right verses. I know all the right answers. I wrote a book about keeping the faith regardless of our circumstances, and much of my journey with cancer is highlighted there.
I KNOW how I’m supposed to respond.
But when you are given bad news… or you are told you have to wait to (possibly) hear bad news, all that knowledge is worth nothing… Unless you invite God to bridge the gap… and fill the void with His supernatural peace. And that’s what He did last Friday, as I stepped into the closet below the stairs, aka our War Room.
I was going through the storm, in search of the Eye of the Hurricane – the one I wrote about on last week’s AJC column and blog post. Does God have a sense of humor or what?
There, in the closet, as I quieted my mind and poured out my heart to the Father, He rescued my soul from defeat.
He took me to my favorite verse in the Bible (I sometimes wish I had picked a different one!) and reminded me:
And then He whispered: “Read on...”
As I sat there, in the eye of the hurricane, Isaiah’s words encouraged me once again. The 41st chapter had been marked, highlighted, and stained with tears in past journeys. I remembered those circumstances when God promised to deliver me… and I marked it down… claimed it as Truth… and experienced it done:
“‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ Isaiah 41:10
Yes, Soul. You’ve been there… countless times… tested and proven. Again and again.
Yes, Lord, you have. And still, you do.
In God’s waiting room, there is certainly room for impatience and fear. But what I have learned is that those two joy-stealers only come IN… IF I let them.
Because I can certainly choose to stuff my anxieties with all the cookies in the house… (and believe me, I have before!)
And I can certainly choose to feed my fears with mindless thoughts and fleshly activities…
Or… I can remember His deliverance and guidance in the past… And choose to see that God’s waiting room has a purpose.
It’s supposed to be a quiet place, and yet, a place where life doesn’t stop. A place of Reflection, Prayer, Faith and Rest, but also a place where I keep doing what God has called me to do… A place where I keep flying until He helps me SOAR.
Therefore today, as much as I don’t like to, I choose to wait.
Not upon the call from the doctor…
Or from a good test result…
But I wait upon my God, allowing Him to mold me in the process, once again… trusting that, just as He did in the past, He will deliver me, strengthen me, and work everything together for my good… and His Glory .
It is well with my soul, Father.
I CAN wait upon YOU.
Because YOU designed me to SOAR. And Soar I have.
Therefore… Soar I will.
“God is a safe place to hide, ready to help when we need him. We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom, courageous in seastorm and earthquake, Before the rush and roar of oceans, the tremors that shift mountains. Jacob-wrestling God fights for us, God-of-Angel-Armies protects us.” Psalm 46:1-3 (The Message)
I’m joining JOINING JENNIFER DUKES LEE Community of God’s Story Tellers in #TellHisStory