What if

About a month ago I went to a regular checkup at my doctor. I waited for a long time because the doctor was running late. I didn’t mind. I had no kids with me and I had a book, I could’ve sat there all day. I had no idea what was coming. It’s funny how you have those moments looking back. The moments before the moment that changed things. You aren’t thinking about anything, everything is fine and then BAM things change. You get a call that there has been an accident and your loved one is in the hospital, you watch the news and a pandemic is quickly shutting everything down, or you sit in a doctor’s office and they say, “there’s something suspicious, we need a biopsy, it’s probably nothing but it could be….”

I’ve had all those moments in the last year or so, but most recently at the doctor they found something. The doctor was talking to me and saying things but, I couldn’t hear. All I was hearing was my mind racing and fear gripping me. I expected to go in there and everything would be fine, check that off my to do list, but then it wasn’t. I went back the next week for a biopsy and then I waited…and waited,… and waited for what felt like an eternity. All the while I wish I could say I was praying and had tons of peace and didn’t worry at all, but that would be a lie. At first I consulted Dr. Google, always a dangerous thing. I was convinced I had cancer and the outcome would be terrible. I did okay during the day, being rational and praying and finding peace, but those hours I was up during the night, feeding my 11 month old and freaking out. How could I go through cancer treatment when I barely have time to shower most days? Would this break us financially? Would I leave my family without a wife and mom? So many questions that loop in your mind at 3am.

During that week I went to church and of course I had my pastor pray for me. Some very lovely surrogate moms that I love with all my heart, gathered around me and prayed and loved me. I felt so much better. I had peace that no matter what it would be okay and God has this in His hand. But I still had moments. Moments when I let fear get the better of me. I’m a fixer by nature and I’ve learned to advocate (aka annoy the mess out of) with doctors for my special needs kids. So that’s what I did. I sent a million messages to my doctor’s office until they finally felt sorry for me (or got ticked off) and called me to say everything was fine. No cancer. Obviously it was a huge relief. Then I started to ask myself why did God allow this in my life? Was He trying to teach me something?

I was listening to a podcast recently and the pastor was saying that often we blame things on God that He had nothing to do with. It was Satan who was to blame. It got me thinking. Just a couple weeks before this happened I had finally, after much prayer and thought, decided to go back to grad school and get my degree in counseling. I won’t start for three years, Gavin needs to get a bit older, but it’s what I think God is calling me to. I find it curious that I had no sooner decided that then this whole cancer scare happens. Was Satan trying to derail me? I don’t know, but I can say that the experience gave me clarity. One of my first thoughts when I thought I might have cancer was that I might not be able to be a counselor and that made me sad. God was using this to give me clarity and show me I was headed in the right direction. My own counselor pointed out that it can also give me some understanding of what people who face a real cancer diagnosis might go through if I ever came across someone facing that in my counseling practice. There is much to be learned from this experience.

Are there experiences, things you wish had never happened, times you wonder why God is allowing something or what He’s up to? When you come to the hard left turns of life, those moments you don’t see coming that change everything, ask yourself what God might be trying to say? Is he using this moment to teach you something or clarify a calling in your life? Sometimes you cannot make sense of a situation and you may never understand and that’s okay. We all have those times in our lives. But there are moments when in the chaos of something unexpected we can whisper to God “what are you trying to say through this?” And you just might get an answer.

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