Monday, December 10, 2012

Laughing without fear

Source: via Richgeana on Pinterest

The hematologist called today.  Yes, I know, I'm so behind on writing about it all.  Somehow the details of our trip to Maryland including the wonderful time Dan and I had together and the beautiful Monday we spent at the National Harbor including seeing Curt and Eleanor, the crazy amount of blood they drew and the STAT order for an MRV, MRA and MRI of my brain that took until 8pm last Tuesday, and then the white knuckled, pouring rain, seven hour drive home don't need to be told.  It's today, the almost week later I want to talk about.  And not because God wasn't in every detail of last week.  He was.  It's just how it all made sense in a moment. 

One of the most wonderful things about memorizing Scripture is how the Spirit brings it to mind instantly when you need it.  As Dr. Wang read word for word the radiologist's findings on my brain MRI that were unrelated to the venous structure or any bleeding/clotting disorder I had a shiver.  She finished and said she didn't know what it meant, but she knew it was bad.  I LAUGHED.  I told her I understood.  She urged me to call Dr. Henderson to alert him to the findings immediately even though he was copied on the results.  I promised I would.  We chatted about the blood work still out from her office and the platelet aggregation study she ordered for Georgetown I still need to complete at Cleveland Clinic.  She said I need to come back to discuss treatment when all the results are in.  We hung up. 

My first gut response.

My first thought. 

My first prayer.

"Thank you God.  I trust You."

He brought the above verse to mind.  Has this entire journey brought me to FINALLY respond to my circumstances with strength and dignity?  Am I really not afraid?  Did I really laugh?  If so, it is all worth it.  This isn't in vain.  He really is making me new.  He's given me something so much better than the "life" I dreamed I would lead.  Wait.  Am I just saying this?  Do I really believe this?  Is this a true response or a programmed one? 

Just last night I went through almost six months of clippings I've been saving for my 2013 collage vision board.  I also began collaging key words in my new year journal.  My neck was hurting so badly from just looking down at the angle I needed to see.  My head was going numb.  I lost feeling in my right hand.  I could barely hold the scissors.  I began ripping instead of cutting.  I made categories of areas in my life I need more discipline, more Grace, more nurturing and more growing.  I felt an excitement for what is coming.  It was more than hope.  It was real anticipation.  I see now this ritual of creativity was timed perfectly before today's news. 

Large bony prominence.  Odontoid projecting posteriorly.  Abutting cord at cervical medullary junction. 

Without linking to a bunch of research and explanations from the years I have been immersed in this neurosurgery world I can tell you the findings explain almost everything I have been experiencing.  My symptoms have snowballed over the past couple of months.  I HAVE been frightened by the unknown.  These words give meaning to my suffering. 

Dr. Henderson had late surgery today.  He has more surgery tomorrow.  I don't know when this hero of a man will take a break from life saving to sit a moment and look at my images and respond.  I don't know if he will need new imaging to give a better picture.  My guess is he will want a full view of my spine before we would move forward and a new CT to show bony details.  I don't know if this will need to be here or there.  I don't know how urgent this is except for my severe symptoms which are, of course, my body telling me there is something very wrong. 

I know I have a future.  The answers are already written.  I can laugh WITHOUT FEAR.

Tonight I ask you to pray about all these things but most of all please pray for my Dan.  As we lit the candles tonight, and he led the Advent reading during a week about PEACE, he read these verses from Philippians 4,

"Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!

Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

"Yes!  Amen!"  My heart cried out.  No anxiety.  Asking.  Thanking.  PEACE.  Surpassing peace.  Sound mind.  JESUS. 

I could see in his eyes he was not in this same place tonight.  He was wearing the blue Team Danica shirt with the "DA" crossed out and the "MO" written in with permanent marker.  He dug this out of the closet in a show of support for me even though he was devastated.  As I type this he is beside me trying to sleep.  No football.  No chatting.  Just hiding.  He hates this blog.  He hates facebook.  It has grown to represent the fact that we have news.  It is place where I have walked in candor before hundreds of people who still want to know where God is taking us next.  He wants us to have no news for a very long time. 

I could quit.  I could instantly stop being naked like this before you.  I could fiercely protect my privacy and that of my family.  When I have wanted to slip away into being unknown God will spur one of you to write me an email about how our journey is changing you.  One of you will facebook me that you pressed on for more opinions for your child because of our fight for Danica.  I am reminded over and over again by your prayers and longsuffering kindness to us that saying all this out loud is important.  He said so. 

"Has the LORD redeemed you? Then speak out!"  Psalm 107:2

How can I not?

I may wake in a shadow.  I may be crying instead.  I may fall down in weakness and be very afraid.  I will tell you about it too, but I will always end up at the God who stays the same through it all.  This is real.  This is my heart.  This is my life. 

Our Hope remains!

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