And then I got married and had a baby. And all the chance, risk and spontaneity went out the window. I was responsible for people and to people.
I had a family to think about, a household to take care of, people to feed and clothe and bathe and love.
And then the worry set in.... worry about something happening to my little boy, worry about losing my husband.... How would I ever go on if something like that happened?
In those early day of being a new mama I was so happy to have a healthy little baby. Just the other night Doug and I were talking about how much I held Adam when he was a baby. I just simply could not get enough of that sweet little child God had placed in our care.
But always, just below the giddy surface, dangled the proverbial Other Shoe.
Just dangling there....
Because how could I really be this happy and content for such a long time?
How could I really be blessed with this family and this life?
After waiting all these years to get married and have a baby, how could it all seemed to have worked out so well?
So it seemed very appropriate to receive a call from my OB/GYN office just as I was leaving Urgent Care a couple weeks ago.
In one hand I had a sheet diagnosing double ear infection and a prescription for a strong antibiotic and bed rest.
In the other hand I held my phone, listening to the nurse, "Mrs. Norwood, I am calling to let you know we just received the results of your mammogram and it seems there is a dark area in your left breast that needs further diagnosis."
She went on to explain how common it is for a second diagnostic mammogram to be ordered after a woman has her first screening mammogram. blah, blah, blah....
All I could hear was that shoe....
I immediately called the mammogram office and they told me I could come in two days later.
Bad sign...they want me in ASAP. This is bad.
But two days later I was laying in bed, nauseous and sick with the ear infection. And I had to reschedule for today, May 15th, then a whole week away.
As I laid in bed last week, ill with something I knew was only temporary, I tearfully thought about a cancer diagnosis and being ill with something that may not go away.
At times I felt strong and positive. That "nothing bad will happen to me" person I once was did at times climb the hill of doom and try to prevail. I tried to tell myself to not worry until I had been diagnosed. I tried to tell myself that, if I had cancer, I'd hit it head on like I do most anything. I would fight the good fight and do whatever it took.
And then I'd tuck my little boy into bed at night and he'd say, "Mom, please don't leave me." And the profoundness of those words would go straight through my heart.
I was back at work on Monday this week, but my mind was preoccupied with uncertainty and dread. Every day on the drive home, I'd cry and worry and pray to the Lord to let me be OK.
And today, at 9:45am when I walked into the doctor's office, my heart was in my throat.
As I slipped on the gown that buttons down the front, I wondered who before me had slipped on that gown and had her life changed forever.
As I sat in waiting room #2, the room where the diagnostic cases wait, I wondered who in that room would leave with bad news today. I heard biopsy, cystic breast cancer, and negative prognosis whispered in the hallway from passing nurses.
I had one set of three images taken and each time one would flash on the screen I would desperately search for any sign of something wrong.
And then I was sent to wait in room #2.
And then the doctor wanted another set of three, "getting more of the muscle this time".
That's not good. Has it already spread under my arm? Oh Lord, no!
Two hours later, the sweet, pregnant technician that had been so kind to me all morning called my name. She reached out for my hand when I got to the hall and said, "You're good to go. All's well."
And I just teared up. Right there in the hall outside room #2. Tears of joy instead of tears of fear and sadness.
I thought of my husband's face and my son's sweet little toes.
I thought about how thankful I am that our beach trip will be filled with talk of what to read and what to eat, instead of surgery, radiation and chemo schedules.
I always think of myself as Faithful..... Full of Faith. But when it's tested like this, it's hard.
No matter how much we lean into the Lord and rely on our Faith to carry us, it's hard. Those breath-taking few seconds/minutes/hours are lonely.
God is bigger than any Dangling Shoe.
I know that.
But to keep fighting the Enemy is a struggle sometimes, isn't it?
To stand firm in faith while faced with something we have not known before is hard.
To stand firm while thinking about leaving my family is hard.
"The results of today's examination DO NOT show any suspicious findings.
Come back in ONE YEAR."