Peeling Back Pride

Walking through breast cancer I deeply and passionately longed for one thing, to prove faithful to God in this. I promised to be true to every emotion, not to ever remain in a dark or difficult emotion but to embrace it, work through it and move forward with Christ at the center of it all.

This last week and into Wednesday stirred muddy waters of fear, uncertainty, and anxiety of the unknown. In the last three months I have been able to put my reconstruction progress (patience required) and next phase on the shelf and focus solely on healing, Kyle graduation, Kyle moving to Washington state, Gabi and Tyler’s wedding in Oregon, work, etc. For the most part I have not had to think about the next steps, not until my 90-day post op. That 90-day post op was Wednesday afternoon.

Every breast reconstruction case is different, and never are they textbook. That’s all well and good but this is me. These are my breasts on my body. This is personal. Next to my face I look at them every day. In my thoughts I struggle, “I will just call and reschedule. I will deal with it later.” I knew that was not what God has called me to, run from my fear, bury my head in the sand, avoid my taunting Philistine warrior (1 Samuel 17). Oh, but I sure wanted to. Make no mistake my friend, I had my sneakers on and ready to run when the real me slapped me back into clarity. Going back is not an option.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

Peeling back my pride I reached out to my prayer warriors for prayer. I knew being alone in my own head, left to my own devices is like lowering myself into a den of hungry lions. Foolish at best. Blessed D’Ann called and talked, prayed with me, prayed over me over the phone. In my vulnerability I cried like a baby. Thank you D’Ann and thank you to all who I reached out to and who texted back. You encourage me greatly.

I’m not sure if any of you are like this but I try to have it all together, not for anyone else but it’s where I feel most comfortable. I know it’s not realistic or reasonable for that matter. I have come to know that pride is a very slippery and sneaky thing. One minute it’s locked away tightly in a cage and then the next minute it is all snuggling, cuddly, and sitting right beside you. Now, where did I put that key? (wink)

Beyond grateful for Amy (Lisa, Martha, Gigi) who have all gone with me to appointments and have taken care of me when I couldn’t take care of myself. Amy went with me Wednesday. It’s actually kind of funny because she will make darn sure that I am 100% honest and truthful with the doctor. She won’t hold any punches and lay me out straight like the other girls (Lisa, Martha, Gigi). I sure do love my girls! They won’t allow me to settle, because I totally will. They protect me from myself I guess it’s fair to say.

Next Steps: One more surgery
Ultimate Goal: Finish the race

Paul writes, “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.” Acts 20:24

The Message version of this scripture speaks to me as well. It reads like this:
“But there is another urgency before me now. I feel compelled to go to Jerusalem. I’m completely in the dark about what will happen when I get there. I do know that it won’t be any picnic, for the Holy Spirit has let me know repeatedly and clearly that there are hard times and imprisonment ahead. But that matters little. What matters most to me is to finish what God started: the job the Master Jesus gave me of letting everyone I meet know all about this incredibly extravagant generosity of God.” Acts 20:22-24 (MSG)

I really identify with Paul except for the part about literal “prison”. Figuratively, we can be in prison or put ourselves in prison, of fear, lust, denial, insecurity, jealousy, hatred, unforgiveness, well, you get the idea. I may have a side cramp running the race set before me but I can promise you this, I have renewed strength and a new resolve to finish the race set before me by God. He has gone before me in this. He  has strategically trained and prepared me for this very next thing. He’s got this.

Although breast cancer happened to me, I’ve known from the beginning that this journey is not about me. It is, however, all about Christ. Whether it’s raising my boys single, growing in my walk with God, surviving breast cancer or simply tunneling through this thing called life, I am no different than you. We are in this together sweet friend, not comparing but loving one another side by side through “this” whatever our “this” is at the moment.

As I rest my head tonight and every night I give God all the glory, honor and praise that He so richly deserves. He is so very, very good…all of the time.

Has there ever been a time where you just could not bring yourself to be vulnerable with someone? What happened? Was there a time when you were scared and brave at the same time and were vulnerable with someone? How did it turn out? Is there a time where you were scared but pushed through your fears, had a great and unexpected outcome, and were proud of yourself for being brave? I am sure there are many times. I would love to hear from you.


In His love!

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