"Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail." Lamentations 3:22 (NIV)
I was stunned. This was not the news I expected.
"You have atypical ductal hyperplasia, or ADH," the doctor said. He explained that ADH is an abnormal growth of cells within the breast ducts.
"You need a bilateral lumpectomy as soon as possible," he concluded.
My first thought was, "Seriously? I'm blind, for heaven's sake! Haven't I already met my quota for suffering?"
Well, that was my first thought, but it was followed by all the "what ifs." You know — What if it's cancer? What if they don't get it all? What if I need radiation? What if this is only the beginning of something far worse?
While my heart was racing, my husband Phil's Ph.D. mind was calculating. He broke the silence and said, "It will be OK."
It didn't feel OK, though. And maybe the reason was that we really didn't know it would be OK. None of us really knows if it will be OK, do we? Life is uncertain.
We want to live out a story that makes sense. We want poems to rhyme and puzzles to be solved. We just want everything to be OK. But the truth is, we really don't know whether or not "it" will be OK.
After the call with the surgeon, Phil and I continued to sit in silence. My soul was churning. When all the pieces hadn't fallen into place, a tidal wave of fear washed over me. But instead of being a wave of emotion that drowned me, it cleared my head and awakened me to a vital truth I needed: It may not be OK, but I will be OK.
I had a deep, inner knowing that within the uncertainty, I could be certain that God cared and was with me.
During the lumpectomy, the doctor removed two golf-ball-sized lumps and I emerged a 34 used-to-be-B! And this may be too much information, but I was only tennis balls to begin with! (Big goofy grin.) A few days after my surgery, Phil and I met with the surgeon for the results of the pathology. All benign!
Thankfully, that chapter of my story had an ending that was genuinely OK. However, during the uncertainty, my emotions vacillated between fear and faith, peace and panic. Yet, my soul remained OK even though it, my situation, wasn't. Why? Well, it wasn't because of my great faith! I did trust God, but I was scared too. It was because of the Lord's great love, I was not consumed; His compassions never failed (Lamentations 3:22).
My friend, because of His great love, you will not be consumed either. Fear, anger or insecurity will not overtake you. His compassions will never fail you. Even in the midst of your heartache, you're still cradled in His compassion. You are as cared for and protected as a baby in a mother's womb.
That's why you will be OK, my friend — no matter what.
When we trust the compassion of God, our problems and fears do not consume us. Because of His love and compassion, we are not overwhelmed.
I was grateful to be among the 70 percent of women who emerge from lumpectomy surgery with a cancer-free result. Many women receive far more difficult news. I couldn't imagine enduring a series of biopsies and surgery just to find myself facing more surgery or radiation, like many women do. Oh, how my heart goes out to them!
You may be one of those women. You may know and love one. Do God's compassions fail if the diagnosis isn't good? Is a bad diagnosis evidence of God's failure to be compassionate?
A surgery may fail, but God's compassions will not.
A treatment may fail, but God's compassions will not.
A relationship may fail, but God's compassions will not.
A dream may fail, but God's compassions will not.
My friend, no matter what you're facing, God cares for you and will carry you. It may not be OK, but, because of the Lord's great love, you will be OK.
Lord, carry me today. Show me Your care for me. If I begin to feel overwhelmed, overwhelm me with Your peace and presence. Reassure me that no matter what, I will be OK. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Reflect and Respond: What are you facing that makes you feel fearful — as if it won't be OK?
How can the Lord's great love for you protect you from becoming consumed by your situation?
Power Verses: Romans 8:38-39, "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (NIV)
© 2014 by Jennifer Rothschild. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries 630 Team Rd., Suite 100 Matthews, NC 28105 www.Proverbs31.org