Today marks one month since I found a lump in my right breast. I won’t belabor it. It’s only a cyst according to the mammogram and ultrasound. Nothing more needs to be done at this point, they said.
It’s about the size of a large grape or maybe it’s a small golf ball. But something like that showing up on a body you’ve known for over forty years is unsettling. Especially, when your mother is a breast cancer survivor.
They called her stage two.
My anxiety was further increased when I began filling out the paper work. They had boxes to mark with adjoining rows and columns. The rows said things like, “aunt or cousin had breast cancer” and it met up with the column that read, “medium risk.” And then, “mother had cancer before menopause” and it collided with, “high risk.” Check. That’s my box.
I felt brave through most of the waiting. I felt held and noticed. God is good that way.
And I trust God. I really do. But that didn’t stop me from breaking down one morning in the bathroom. I stood before the mirror and made eye contact with myself for a split second. Long enough to think, “is my Sam I Am ready to lose me? Is 11 old enough to understand when things like this happen and that God is still good?”
“Will I see my babies graduate next year? Will Squirrel keep loving Jesus if I die? Will my kids lose their way and blame God or will they run to him?” I just couldn’t stop wondering who would comfort them if I died. Not like daddy comfort. I mean like Abba Father comfort.
Of course. Hindsight is 20/20. I see perfectly well that Jesus left this earth, not in shambles over his leaving. Instead he left us with a promise and The Comforter. I’ll never need to worry about that because I’m not writing their story. I’m not even really writing mine. I’ve got Jesus.
I’ve been reading through Job for the past couple months. Whenever I read anything about that guy, I’m tempted to feel a little blue. I sometimes walk away from that book like Eeyore. Tail missing and everything.
But this last month brought something new. God opened my eyes a little to my own circumstances and just how good I’ve got it. Even with the threat of cancer looming like a dark cloud.
I’ve got Jesus. And Job didn’t.
I find myself wanting to go back in time and shout it from a nearby rooftop. Wherever Job is sitting in the dirt with his ripped clothes and painful boils. As he sits and takes it from both ends as his friends attempt to set him straight. As his less than awesome wife tells him to give up. Give in. How can you even say you’re sure of God still? Look at yourself.
I’ll just keep shouting, “Jesus is coming, Job. There’s a war all around you. Your angels stand at the ready with their swords drawn. God is meeting on your behalf. And he’s going to send Jesus.
“You think you’ve got it bad, and you do, but there’s someone coming who’s going to have it so much worse. Your pain will bookend with healing. His ends in torture and death on a cross. For you. For me. At one point, all of this dark will be heaped upon his shoulders, and Jesus will call out to God. Just. Like. You.
“And then we all win. He will rise from the dead three days later bringing a level of hope that in anyone’s right mind should keep them from EVER. DOUBTING. ever. Because hope lives here now.
“We are no longer tied to best guesses. We now know with not the slightest shadow of doubt that Jesus wins. That God is good. And peace isn’t something to grasp at. It’s a precious gift we wear. Cloaked by the Savior.
“Stand firm, Job. Your Savior is coming. Any minute now he’s going to trade you your hurt for his yoke. And it’s free.”
That’s what I would say to Job.
When I find my knees threaten to buckle under the weight of it all I’m going to remember Job. How he was able to continually go back to God and seek him face to face. To say, “I choose you. You feel right. So either heal me or kill me, but let me be with you forever.”
Lord, give me this deep faith and praise your name for seeing fit to heal me. Amen.