Sunday, May 22, 2016

Health ::: The Deep Stuff and All the Feelings

I wrote in my last post about all the health stuff I've been through so far this year. But I've been thinking a lot about how God has been working in me and what He's been teaching me through all of this.

The morning after my thyroid surgery, before I left the hospital, the surgeon stopped in for a brief visit. He mentioned in his comments that he would be calling me before the day was over with results from the pathology report. First of all, I was surprised that there would be a pathology report because I understood that the biopsy done earlier had come back as benign. Second of all, I was surprised that I would hear results that day.

As it turns out, I did not hear anything that day or for the next week. And I think I only finally heard because I called the office and my wonderful, caring husband called the office to ask what in the world was going on. As I said before, every day spent waiting for medical test results seems soooo loooong. I should never have been promised something that might not happen.  

The night before I got the call was a tough one for me. I was praying that God would spare me from cancer. I was convinced that I was going to die soon and never get to see my grandchildren grow up. (I can be be quite the drama queen in my own head and am an expert at jumping to the worse case scenario. It's exhausting.) I thought about some close friends who had gotten news that the prostate cancer was all gone. I was convinced that God used up all His goodness on them and there wasn't any left for me. In other words, I was listening to all the doubts that Satan could muster up. I woke up my dear, patient hubby at 2 or 3 in the morning and poured all this out to him. I asked what could I do to make God be favorable to me. Dearest Hubby assured me that Christ had already done everything for me by His death on the cross and the fact that I had accepted Jesus into my life, well, that alone found me favor in God's eyes. Hubby assured me that I am precious to God. These are truths that I know in my head, but sometimes I have a hard time really believing. I also know in my head that life in heaven is so beyond what I can comprehend here. I have a feeling that whenever I get to heaven that I will smack myself and wonder why I wanted to fight so hard to stay on earth.

So, finally, a week after the thyroid surgery, I got a call from the surgeon's office with the results of the pathology test. The summary of the report was that the large nodule was benign. There was a tiny nodule that wasn't seen on the ultrasound. And in that was a very small microscopic bit of cancer that could only be seen through a microscope. The surgeon was able to remove all of what cancer there was and I have not had to go through any cancer treatments. (!!!)

This news just knocked me off my feet. I cried for an hour. And by cry, I mean I sobbed. I called Hubby and my kids. They rejoiced with me. Even sweet little Lydia clapped her hands when her mommy cheered. I called a good friend in Minnesota and talked for an hour. (I thanked her recently for being there for me and for listening while I processed the whole thing.)

Just think ..... If my heart would not have starting racing and I would not have gone to the ER back in December, I would not have had the CT scan that showed something on my thyroid. I would not have had an ultrasound that showed nodules (the doctor couldn't feel any lumps on my neck). I would not have had the surgery that removed the half of the thyroid that had the microscopic bit of cancer. The cancer would have grown undetected until it got to the point that someone felt a lump in my throat and I would have had to go through cancer treatments.

Talk about answers to impossible prayers!! I am seriously trying to wrap my mind around all of this. God did all that for ME?? Whoa. He must think more of me than I give Him credit for.

(This next paragraph may seem like I'm changing subjects, but bear with me, it all ties together.)

I am the youngest in the family I grew up in. For several years for family events, I have quite often felt like I was there only to fill a quota. Because there are four kids in my family, then there must be four kids present at family gatherings. I don't feel acknowledged for the person I uniquely am. I realized a while ago that is exactly how I think God views me. Sure, He loves me because I am His child, but generally I am just one of the gang, one of the swarm of believers. There's nothing particularly special about me.

(Isn't it interesting how the earthly relationships we have can affect how we view God? I find that fascinating.)

So, when I got that pathology report, I realized that God said that He notices ME. (That's why I sobbed. It was a mind boggling revelation.) He really does think of me more than I give Him credit for. Heck, Psalm 139 specifically speaks to that. (Click on the link and go read it.) His kindness is staggering. His unconditional love is more than I can ever hope to comprehend.

I know that in all likelihood I will experience more health issues in the future. They might even be scarier and harder to deal with. That will not change the fact that God notices me and that He loves me and He is kind. I am oh, so very thankful for God showing me these things right here, right now. It's all a part of His plan. It's all a part of growing more like Christ. It's all a part of being a Christian.

I'm thankful to be a (unique) part of the family of God.


  1. I want to ask you a couple of questions, and I want to preface with this: I am being completely sincere. Please know that I am genuinely interested. (I know sometimes tone is hard to decipher in text.)

    What is it that your family does (or does not do) that makes you feel like you are not acknowledged as the unique person that you are? What could they do differently to change that?

    1. That's a very good question. As the fourth sibling of five siblings I'd like to know when one feels like Judy. I guess sometimes we just are unaware?

  2. Oh. My. Goodness. Oh, dear Judy, I too struggle with attributing the nature of my earthly father to my Heavenly Father. I'm so pleased to read that your experience has made very real His love for you and pray that you will hold strong to that through any rough patches you face in the future, my friend.