Yesterday was the two-year anniversary of my breast cancer surgery. Absolutely something to celebrate. Only, Wednesday morning I found a bump, a small lump, under my right arm pit.
Ordinarily I would have dismissed it and chalked it up to an ingrown hair, a sweat gland being backed up from all the working out I’ve been doing lately, but something inside told me not to wait this one out — so today I visit my oncologist’s office to see what there is to see.
Wednesday I was terrified. I spent the day vacillating between tears and denial. By yesterday I was simply pissed that my body would potentially betray me — again. Today I feel the armor of God surrounding me.
Over the summer I went back to Breckenridge, Colorado with a dear friend who I met through my local bible study group here in the South. Only Brooke doesn’t live here. We passed in the night – about the time I moved in to South Carolina, she was moving out to Texas. The first time I “met” Brooke was on FaceTime in that bible study. And so it went like that for a year.
Two years ago, just before I knew I was sick, we did a beach trip that Brooke flew in for. We hit it off right away. She has this great energy about her. Brooke is funny and smart and able to grasp a situation quickly. I don’t have to spend a lot of time giving her all the details because she reads between the lines pretty well. I like that about her. And she has a heart for God. I think I love that most of all.
This past summer the whole gang from bible study was supposed to join us in Breck. Thanks to Covid, only Brooke and I were brave enough to venture west. We had an amazing week together. We horseback rode (a post-weight loss bucket list item for me), kayaked, hiked, hit the spa and shared some wonderful meals together. We talked, shared devotion time and laughed, a lot.
Brooke had sent a gift to the condo, but it’s a small mountain town, and apparently having the specific address wasn’t enough to get the post office to do their job. It wound up not being delivered but being returned to sender. Brooke was bummed, and I didn’t know what the box contained so, though curious, I didn’t worry too much.
A few days after I returned home I received a package. Inside was a dark brown leather bracelet that was stamped on the inside to remind me that this was our retreat for 2019 (love the idea of doing that every year) and on the outside it says,
“Even If” Daniel 3:17-18
It is the words spoken by Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to King Nebuchadnezzar. As they share their allegiance to God, Nebuchadnezzar asks them if he were to throw them into the fiery pit, would their God rescue them. To which they reply, “…even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.”
The words “Even if” are ringing loudly in my ears today.
Even if this turns out to be something, I’ll be okay, no matter the outcome. If I have learned one thing in my life, it’s to believe that if He calls me, He equips me.
I often think of that only in the context of something “good” — If He calls me to speak to a group, He equips me to do so. If He calls me to write an article, He equips me to express myself. But what about when I’m called to something difficult or challenging? Am I faithful even if then?
I believe I am.
So, regardless of the outcome of my visit today and what might just lie ahead, I am at peace. Even if …
UPDATE: All is well – checked out and it looks to be an infection in the sweat gland so a week of heavy antibiotics and providing it is healed nothing further needs to be done! Praise God. What a relief!! Thank you for the messages and for the prayers.