You might have seen that I dared to post good news about the Good News of Jesus on Wednesday. I spent a few minutes extolling the Lord and some of the great things He has done in supernaturally healing me of incurable cancer. So, of course, the following day it looked like everything had changed...
I went to my routine bi-annual appointment with Dr. Crooms, my awesome surgeon. I would remind you how completely amazing he is, but the best nurse in the world, Nurse Karen, asked that I stop advertising for them--the list of patients waiting to get in with him is just too long! Anyway, I had a lump of scar tissue that Dr. Rassam hasn't been concerned about, but Dr. Crooms was interested in it and wanted a closer look. He gave me an ultrasound then had me come back today for a biopsy.
I don't know if this event arose from some sort of interchange between the devil and the Lord, like what happened in Job. Maybe God wanted me to see what I would do in a situation like this. Either way, I've entitled it, "Trial of Terror: Will They or Won't They?" Because it was so clear that it was an opportunity to put our money where our mouths were--would we allow terror to set in, and embrace the panic of having the cancer return (or another cancer discovered)? Or would we stand firm in the faith of who God is? Yaacov told me a few times that it was our chance for a do-over from how we handled cancer the first time around. To which I (obviously) thought, "But I rocked the first diagnosis, no need for a do-over..."
But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 2 Cor 11:13
I think most cancer survivors have a bit of PTSD related to their diagnosis, and in my case, sometimes my world sort of revolves around the fact that God healed me of it when there was nothing else men could do to help me. Not only do I remember every detail of my original diagnosis, but so much of it was the same yesterday. He used the same ultrasound machine and gave me the same news, "I can do a biopsy today and get the permanent section results back in a few days, or you can come back in the morning and we could get the preliminary results in an hour". This is because it was after business hours both times he decided to give me a biopsy. The first time around we got a false negative result with the preliminary, frozen section, yet I went for that option again this time.
God gives me so much freedom that I could have reacted the same way I did three years ago and it would have been okay. Back then I clung to Jesus but was simultaneously completely panicked. My inner voice spoke as loudly and quickly as the real people I spoke to, resulting in an influx of turmoil and stress. My mind jumped rapidly between "what ifs", self-pity, and planning for the future. This time, though, my faith is stronger. Peace is more thorough, my foundation sturdier. This time, my heart didn't even skip a beat. God helped me control my thinking, and I slept soundly. He assured me that what He does is complete, nothing can be added or taken from it (Ecc 3:14). More importantly, He reminded me that I honestly prefer His plan to my own, and He will carry me wherever I need to go. There's no room for self-pity or doubts in the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 12:20 Or how can someone enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? Then indeed he may plunder his house.
We have total peace in God's plan and I am certain that I am cancer-free. But mostly, I am encouraged to be able to see some of the tangible growth that both Yaacov and I have made in our walks with Christ over the past few years. The biopsy experiences were so similar they were like pre- and post- tests. Hopefully our scores improved! I had a pretty strong faith and a perfectly healthy, easy life at the time of the pre-test. But I am so grateful that in His sovereignty He had bigger plans for me--an intervention! He pre-planned the journey to make me a better person by teaching me about fear, healing, faith, prayer, compassion, perseverance, and love. He used suffering to enlighten me and I wouldn't reject that blessing if given the choice.
The frozen section biopsy came back negative, like we expected. We should get the permanent section results early next week.
UPDATE: The permanent section biopsy came back negative, too! We are so thankful to this God we serve, through whom all things are possible!