I’ve been so afraid to go back and re-read my last two “Faith and Breast Cancer”
posts. I couldn’t remember what I wrote. I remembered only all the pain and frustration I was feeling and how I so wanted to move forward.
Writing journaling, posting so helps me to move forward. If I couldn’t write, I would go crazy. Thank you for being listening ears.
The day of those post was a turning point for me. I stopped fighting the post mastectomy pain and accepted it. I returned to having regular prayer, seeking, waiting, worshiping times. I found peace and contentment, which was what I wanted. I was lost and didn’t know if I should be fighting/believing for more healing or resting content in what I had. Is it possible to do both? I think maybe I am now. ??
The Lord was speaking to Mike and I at that time about a “change” on the horizon. We were both seeking God about what we needed to do to prepare for the “change.” In the past, when there was a change on the horizon it’s meant a move or a new addition to the family. Mike started praying about preparing for early retirement and a new career. I prayed about a career of my own and about adding to the family through adoption. We’ve both had a heart for orphans. I read and prayed and learned a lot about adoption. I am still praying.
The sense about the “change” became so urgent I finally prayed, “God what do I need to do to prepare for the change?” He answered that I needed to meditate and worship. I thought, “Oh, that’s easy.” I was so glad that I was off the hook.. that the “change” was in His hands.
In August, I started feeling like I needed to go to a woman’s retreat of some kind. I had a schedule conflict with the one at our church. Finally, I decided that if I didn’t go to the Ramp’s Women’s Retreat that I would wish I had, so I bought two tickets.
The week before the retreat, it came to my attention that there were still things in my heart between me and God, and I started to panic. Nothing stays hidden at the Ramp. The presence of Holy Spirit is unmistakeable and very strong. I knew had to deal with my heart before Judi and I went, or risk crying publicly (possibly loudly) when my heart was undone in His presence, so I started praying and fasting. 🙂
The day before the retreat, the Lord showed me a hurt I had buried deep down while seeing doctors about my breast cancer. For me, having the mammograms done weren’t that bad. The biopsies, consulting with the first doctor alone.. all that was hard but not horrible.
Mike was with me the day one doctor told us with very strong words that we absolutely should not do the thing we had prayed about and really wanted to do. We eventually decided that God led us to him and took most of his advice.
The day of the surgery I had amazing peace.. peace like I’ve never felt before in my life. One of the nurses was kinda freaked out over my corn allergy and upset the doctor who yelled at me as I lay waiting for sedation.. still not too bad.
The very hardest thing for me was my first appointment at the plastic surgeon’s office. He had an emergency surgery and could not come in that day so we met with his assistant instead. She was very kind, very professional, told me that with my body shape I could choose any surgery I wanted, and answered all our questions. All was good until she told me that the insurance required that she take pictures of me basically naked.
She took me into a private room with a curtain, took a front pose, and poses from both sides. All I could think was, “Who in the world would require a thing like that? Who is going to develop these photos? Who will see them in my file? Who at the insurance offices will see them?” I stood there ashamed, gritted my teeth and bared/beared it. It was awful.
The Lord spoke to me that He wanted to heal my wounded heart; that He bore shame on the cross for me. Later that day, I received a long fb message from my Thai daughter, Savannah, who was hurting. I was so blessed to be able to share with her what the Lord was doing in my heart and pray for healing in hers as well.
Now and then I will get a vision of the Lord that will stick with me until I get a new one. Sometimes I’ll have the same one for years. At the Ramp’s Women’s Retreat the Lord gave me a vision of His nakedness on the cross. I cried silent tears. It so blessed me as He continued to minister to my heart, but I prayed, “Lord, I hope you will give me a new vision quick.” 🙂
The Lord also added playing my little harp to my list of things to do to prepare for the “change” and impressed on me that I wasn’t only off the hook for directing the “change,” but I had to actually prepare. I hadn’t played my harp very much since the surgery. The tuning pegs are very difficult to turn, it has to be tuned daily, and the turning motion post mastectomy quite honestly was painful, but a little better.
The Lord gave me four new songs in the next couple of weeks. One song was based on the main message from the retreat, “His strength is made perfect in our weakness.” I so enjoyed the preparation, the time of worship and meditating on my “Confessions of Praise” daily.
And it so helped me. The morning after we lost Joel. I got up, in shock, couldn’t think, stood in my kitchen and was at a loss for what to do. Just the morning before, Joel had been there visiting with me while I finished polishing up three songs on my harp. Then I knew what to do, “Pray, meditate, play my little harp.”
In CBS, we just started studying Job. I honestly have been dreading it because I know it will lead me to more questions about how God works, but I'm so humbled by Job's example. His first reaction to finding out that he lost his fortune and his children was the fall to his knees and worship. I think there are few that could honestly say that'd be what they'd do, too. I'm proud to say that that's how my sister reacted, too.
Dear Jennifer, I hope you are doing well. Your blog touched my heart. I love you!