Every year, right around this time, I play a waiting game. I used to be horrible at this game. I am getting MUCH better at it. Yet, the lessons I have learned along the way (from being horrible to gaining better skills), lie with only ONE.
Fourteen years ago, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. With no history in my family and at the age of 36, it seemed as if the "doctors got it wrong". I felt a lump - I waited. I was young. I had young children. I had a full-time job. I had a husband. I was BUSY ~~ much too busy to be concerned about a lump. I was positive that it was a cyst, that it just needed to be aspirated, and that we could move on. When I couldn't ignore it anymore (it seemed to be getting bigger by the weeks), I finally went to the doctor. The next few weeks proved to be a whirlwind of appointments, tests, new doctors, poking, proding, and the final words of, "You have breast cancer". If the waiting to hear those words wasn't enough, the waiting for the rest of the tests and what they would find, the waiting of decisions concerning the treatment plan, the waiting to begin treatment, etc., seemed to be endless. As I have shared before, I always considered myself a faithful person - so I just needed to put my life in God's hands and I was good. Yea, well, it wasn't that easy. Remember - control?? I wanted more control, of the whole situation. Each time I had to wait, the horrible anxiety and worry that was associated with each step seemed more than I could bear. Once decisions were made, I seemed to be better - I could talk to God again. It was during the waiting that I seemed to hold my breath, worry like crazy, stay up all night, and shared enough "what ifs" in my mind to solve world peace!!
Not to bore you with all of the details, I am able to celebrate that day of hearing "You have cancer" fourteen years later. I consider myself extremely blessed to be able to say "fourteen years later". I know others who have been less fortunate. You know others who are less fortunate. Yet, every year, around this time, the waiting game becomes a factor. I go for the yearly test - a mammogram. Depending upon the result of that test, other tests may be asked, ultrasounds, biopsies, etc. There are years that I find myself in the waiting game.
What is the difference? During the last fourteen years, the God that I knew all my life has become someone I have grown closer to. I have been able to see past what He should be doing for me and can now see what I should be doing for Him. In seeing that path much clearer, and doing more of what He is asking of me, I am able to relinquish my waiting game over to Him, fully. When it is time to wait, for results, for doctors' appointments, for an understanding of what might be ahead of me, I may be anxious, but it isn't this overwhelming feeling. I believe God knows my needs. I pray to Him and God has got this one - He has got my life. Whatever that life may be filled with, He has got it and I know it will yield exactly what He has planned for me. I trust Him. I have said those words before, and yes, I believed them. Yet, now, there is a deeper trust. There is a deeper understanding. There is a deeper love for my Lord.
This day has become one of celebration. My wonderful family rejoices in the fact that I still get the chance to be their wife, mom, and daughter. Their words of encouragement and support, along with special gifts, make me feel as if I am truly the most cherished person on this earth. In God's eyes, I - along with each one of you - get to be one of His most cherished children. Don't you feel special? I certainly do~~
Maybe your wait isn't that of a diagnosis. We all have a wait in our lives. The wait could be that of health, or a job, or a relationship. Maybe the wait is for children, or travel, or friendship. It could be a short wait or it could be a very long wait, by which our trust it truly tested. Yet, the important factor to remember is that we have someone waiting with us, right by our side. God is sitting right next to you, and He knows what the path is going to be. Give your wait to God. Trust that whatever the answer is, it is the right answer for you. It will bring you peace, it will bring you relief, and it may just bring you joy.
I am happy to say that my wait for this year is now over - I got the "no cancer" nod!! What was the wait like this time? Nothing like in the past. My wait was filled with peace; anxious, but peace. I'm getting better at the waiting game. I still have a way to go (remember, control??). Yet, trusting God fully, regardless of where the path may lead, makes my life a wonderful journey.
Try it with me - please!! Trust God for your wait - whatever it may be. Glorify His name during the wait. Praise Him, Love Him, Serve Him, Trust Him.
"Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge." (NIV) Psalm 62:8