It’s hard to wait. We want answers, and we don’t want to wait for them. It starts from the day we’re born, it seems. Just part of being a human, right? Sometimes, there is excitement and anticipation in the waiting. Other times, there is a sense of anxiety or fear. If we’re impatient people, then waiting is even more difficult. When we wait, we know there is always an answer coming. It may not be what we want to hear, but there is always an answer….When I first found the lump, I knew I needed to have it checked out, so I made an appointment. Of course, there was some waiting time as I was scheduled for a mammogram. When I was sent to the surgeon for a biopsy, there was waiting in the waiting room, then waiting for the results, which was followed by getting the news that I did indeed have cancer. More waiting as we had to schedule time with the oncologist, devise my treatment plan and ultimately, schedule surgery. Lots and lots of waiting!
I didn’t really think about it at the time, but if I added up all the ‘wait’ time, It was a LOT!
Even though, at the time of this writing, I’m a four year Thriver, and have been through lots of wait times, the most difficult wait time for me BY FAR, is the wait time when I have my annual mammogram as a breast cancer survivor.
For about one week before the appointment, I find myself asking for prayer support. I’m feeling anxious for that week. I don’t think of it as worrying because I KNOW that God has this in His hands and under His control. Besides, I know full well that He could very well allow cancer back into my body. I trust Him with all of it, but still, I’m anxious.
When the morning of my mammogram appointment arrives, I get up, talk to my Father, shower, get dressed, eat breakfast and drive to the clinic where I know I’ll be waiting once again! It’s part of my regular routine now and it never changes for me.
When I arrive, I am escorted to the tiny little room where I prepare for the exam. When I’m ready, I open the door and the technician takes over. When everything looks acceptable to her, she sends me back to the tiny room to wait. “Don’t get dressed just yet” she says. I know it’s because they might need to take more pictures once the radiologist looks at the film. So, I sit. And I wait. Again.
While I wait, I text with my daughter because she understands feeling anxious and she has a way of helping me with the waiting thing. While I wait for her to answer my last silly text, I start to think. I think about whether the test showed something concerning or if I’ll be given another year before we go through this again. I think about what I’ll do if they DO find something. Will I have to have chemo again? Radiation? Mastectomy this time instead of just a lumpectomy? Will I lose my hair again? Will I get sick again? What if……
Then, after what seems like an ETERNITY, the technician comes in with an apology for taking so long and tells me that everything is fine! I get tears in my eyes as I thank my Lord for His mercy once again. I’m getting tears even as I write these words now.
Then, I move to another waiting area as I wait to see the doctor so that I can have my exam and we discuss the results. When I get to the exam room, I wait again. Boy, this was a lot of waiting! God knows about waiting and He has something to say about it.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
God is telling us to give thanks in ALL circumstances – even when we’re worried about something going wrong. I don’t know about you, but when I’m anxious or worried, I don’t always remember to pray. BUT, when I do, I find such peace! Are you in the habit of praying without ceasing? If not, you really need to start. It’s remarkable how it will change your entire outlook.
As I’ve moved from ‘newly-diagnosed’ cancer patient, to ‘in-treatment’ cancer survivor, to now, ‘four-year survivor’ (or as I like to refer to myself, THRIVER), I’ve noticed that if I hadn’t had all that wait time, I would have missed some wonderful blessings. So many, I can’t even count them, but to name a few: I’ve met some wonderful people during my wait time. I’ve been able to pray for loved ones during my wait time. I’ve been able to sit silent as God spoke to me during my wait time. I could go on.
So, my friend, I hope that you’ll think about those ‘inconvenient wait times’ as more of an opportunity than a bother. God wants to speak to you. Sometimes, you just need to listen. Sometimes, God wants you to run to Him because you NEED Him. There is always something that God has to show you. Sometimes we only need to pay attention and wait.
What about you? Do you have some ‘wait times’ that were particularly challenging? Have you been recently diagnosed? Are you farther along in your own cancer journey? I’d love to hear from you. Please send me an email and let me know how you’re handling it. If you need me to pray for you, I’m so happy to do that – just let me know.
Here’s to THRIVING and not just surviving!