Tomorrow marks one week in my cramped, gloomy 14th story hospital room. This adventurous spirit is definitely being stretched by the confinements of these walls. However, it is a small price to pay for the amount of work the Lord is doing here. I’m tellin ya kids this is so much bigger than me and my condition. This is about Jesus seeking out hearts through the testimony of a girl who says yes despite circumstances. This is about family being rekindled and bonds being healed through trial. It is the human condition to come together during hardship. We can’t deny the inbred communal desire to be around our loves when we hurt. This is an overflow of His grace and for that I am thankful.
This week has been a rollercoaster. An actual faith journey packed into an intense sea of emotions and questions. I often find myself staring in the mirror wondering what in the world is going on. Simple curiosity, not desperation, stirs me to dig deeper into the meaning of it all.
What. Is. Going. On.
That is what my doctors are asking too. You see I have these three doctors working on my case and they all seem to be confused. They can’t seem to figure me out. Their medical training and expertise speaks for them when they say they think it’s cancer. You would think it’s an easy call. She has had cancer in the past, she has a large mass, and there are other signs pointing to a reoccurrence. So what’s the deal?
They thought they would just make the call and schedule me for a bone marrow biopsy to determine how advanced the cancer is. My spirit didn’t sit well with that cause I’m a optimist and I don’t like settling for the bad news. When I went in this morning to get prepped for surgery I wasn’t necessarily looking for opportunity but it sure did come. There, I met Dr. White. He was supposed to be my anethesiologt. He started asking basic questions about the surgery and how I was feeling. I quickly reassured him this would be my fifth bone marrow biopsy and not to worry about my nerves. It was taking awhile for the operating room to get settled so Dr. White and I had time to get to know each other a little bit. He asked me about what I do and I told him how I have recently been with the Circuit Riders in California. I explained our mission of going to college campuses and loving on people and sharing the gospel. This opened up the conversation, like it always does, to talk about my Jesus. Dr. White shared with me a part of his testimony. He said that about a year and a half ago the Lord told him to listen to the song Bring the Rain by MercyMe. The Lord asked Dr. White if he would still bring Him praise if there were to be some rain. Dr. White then recited almost the entire first half of the song to me. He had obviously taken these lyrics to heart and they meant something tremendous to him. The following week he had received a pretty devastating diagnosis. The Lord then asked if Dr. White would still bring Him praise despite the rain without fear. This has been Dr. White’s anthem ever since. To bring Jesus praise, despite the rain, without fear. He then told me that it started raining again about a week ago with another scary diagnosis. It was there, in the sterile operating prep room, that Dr. White and I connected through our rain. We encouraged each other, talked about our devotions, and promised prayer for each other. He told me that we were supposed to meet this morning. At that moment the doctor walked in and told me my surgery had been canceled. I laughed as I realized I hadn’t come down for an operation at all but rather a conversation. Dr. White had to run to another surgery but he asked what room number I’m staying in. I expect a visit from my dear friend very soon.
It gets better.
My poor doctors are very confused at this point. However, they feel pressed to give us answers so later on in the afternoon they come into my room. All of the sudden we are talking about a treatment plan that includes multiple surgeries tomorrow and chemotherapy starting this weekend. Medical terms are being tossed left and right while my history of medicines are being recited. Chaos. One of the doctors gets a phone call and steps out of the room. She walks back in after a moment and tells us to hold all treatment plans. The pathologist can’t determine anything with the biopsy. They, once again, cannot definitely say the diagnosis. My cells just aren’t cooperating. I think it’s kinda funny.
So are you getting more of the picture here? An actual faith journey packed into a single week. Yes, I may have bruises running up and down my arms from IV’s, a big scar on my neck, and some tricky cells but I’ve also got loads of faith, tons of encouragement, and I’m smilin ear to ear here. When you are sold out and surrendered to the Ultimate Source of peace there is just something different about hardships. You get friends like Dr. White and you get to challenge medical teams and above all you get to surpass normalcy. You get to take the standard for things and throw it out the window. The typical is no more.
Maybe I’m cramped a little in my box here, maybe I miss trees, mountains, and the ocean a little more, and maybe I have to be like a science experiment for a little more time. But… maybe Jesus is on the move. Maybe something big is coming. Stay tuned.