Revealing and Rising

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As I drove to my “2nd look” ultrasound today, I heard a radio commentator mention that as chlorophyll exits, it reveals the true colors of leaves.  It’s not that the leaves are changing as much as it is that their color is being revealed.  I had been awaiting this second appointment to reveal exactly what was in my body, specifically my right breast.  I had wondered for weeks what the big reveal would show.  Here’s how it went down:

  1.  I arrived at the imaging center after a full morning of teaching feeling calm.
  2. I checked in only to hear the receptionist wonder if I was really “on the schedule”.  I assured her that I was.  If she only knew what I had been through to get this appointment, she would have welcomed me with a cup of tea.  It had taken weeks even after getting the $4,000 bill for the breast MRI for me to find out results.  The results indicated an abnormality in one breast which needed a second look with an ultrasound.
  3. It had taken days for a scheduler to call me to arrange today’s appointment.  I was glad to be there.  I filled out the paperwork and waited.
  4. The love of my life was on his way to join me.  His text assured me of his prayers.  His presence would show his concern and love.
  5. My name was called after 15 minutes of waiting.  I was ushered into a room with a bed and ultrasound machine.  The lights were low.  A pink gown laid on the bed waiting for me to put it on.  The gown was soft and pretty.
  6. I sat and waited for the tech to come in.  I was told to lie down on the bed, raise my right arm and wait for the ultrasound.  She squeezed cold clear gel on me.  The pressing around with the white wand on my breast began.  Eventually, I was asked to turn on my left side while the exam continued.  From time to time during the 20 minute exam, my arm grew tired.  I adjusted it and would hear her stopping to take pictures and press buttons on her keyboard. A tear rolled out of my left eye.  It was really happening.  I had to stay calm.
  7. She told me that the doctor would be in shortly as she left the room.  I glanced at the screen.  There were around six pictures.  Black and white images.  We normally see ultrasound photos of a baby in a Mommy’s tummy.  I was staring at the images and focusing on a dark spot which the tech had marked.
  8. My thoughts swirled.  I knew the doctor would clarify what was really there.  She came in and repeated the ultrasound exam by rotating the white wand around the area of concern.  I heard her whisper something to the tech.  Finally, she assured me that nothing was wrong!  She described a cyst that was present but characterized it as benign based on its shape.
  9. The news revealed what was under my skin.  I felt relief.  I gave the good news to my husband in the waiting room.  He hugged me so tightly.
  10. We walked out as I gave him the details of the exams.  I kissed him and headed back to work.
  11. I called my family to tell them the good news.  I found three colleagues at work and shared my good news too.

The smiles I saw today when I shared the good news revealed the love of my family and friends.  I know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.   Many other women have not received the news that was given to me while others have been told that they have nothing to worry about.  I know that with advances in treatment that whatever the news I had received, I would be taken care of and loved through every step.  I encourage all of my friends to do regular breast exams and have a Mammogram each year if they are over 40.

I want to thank God for helping me through the breast MRI in August which takes an hour in a loud, beeping machine at the hospital where you’re told to not breathe every few minutes so pictures can be taken.  He also kept me calm during the wait for the results and follow up appointment.  The revealing of what was on the inside of me occurred because of the ultrasound and expertise of the doctor.  I am thankful for the technology, doctors, nurses and technicians who are able to examine and assess our bodies.

Revealing the inside of my breast is what the MRI and ultrasound did.  God’s Word tells us that His Word will reveal the thoughts and intents of the heart.  His word will divide between bone and marrow.  Wow.  The ultrasound could only see so far into my breast, but His Word reveals our motives and our intents.  Just as I encourage women to get mammograms yearly, I see the need to allow His Word to daily reveal what is in my heart.  The Word of God pierces me and allows me to see where I need to be.  I may be far from His plan but His Word shows me the way back.

Hebrews 4:12King James Version (KJV)

12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

As we look to God in His Word, the Word discerns our thoughts and intents.  If we need an intervention to treat us, His Word will not only diagnose the heart issue, but will REVEAL through the Holy Spirit how to proceed.  I appreciate God’s Word for speaking to me in the days preceeding my big reveal.  I had read about the men who had lowered the paralyzed man through the roof of a house just so he could be with Jesus.  The perseverance and faith of these friends inspires me first of all.  Second, I just want to share the story from Mark 2:1 – 12 (The Message Version of the Bible):

1-5 After a few days, Jesus returned to Capernaum, and word got around that he was back home. A crowd gathered, jamming the entrance so no one could get in or out. He was teaching the Word. They brought a paraplegic to him, carried by four men. When they weren’t able to get in because of the crowd, they removed part of the roof and lowered the paraplegic on his stretcher. Impressed by their bold belief, Jesus said to the paraplegic, “Son, I forgive your sins.”

6-7 Some religion scholars sitting there started whispering among themselves, “He can’t talk that way! That’s blasphemy! God and only God can forgive sins.”

8-12 Jesus knew right away what they were thinking, and said, “Why are you so skeptical? Which is simpler: to say to the paraplegic, ‘I forgive your sins,’ or say, ‘Get up, take your stretcher, and start walking’? Well, just so it’s clear that I’m the Son of Man and authorized to do either, or both . . .” (he looked now at the paraplegic), “Get up. Pick up your stretcher and go home.” And the man did it—got up, grabbed his stretcher, and walked out, with everyone there watching him. They rubbed their eyes, incredulous—and then praised God, saying, “We’ve never seen anything like this!”

Jesus cares deeply about the state of our heart.  First, he forgave the man of his sins.  Next, he healed his body.  I notice three commands to the man:  Rise or Get Up, Pick up your bed or stretcher and Walk/Go Home.  The man didn’t just sit there.  He followed the words of Jesus and got up, grabbed his stretcher and walked out with everyone watching.  My story is not this man’s story, but I notice that he obeyed God’s command to first and foremost, “Get Up.”  Before we can get our stuff and leave we have to get up.  The getting up can be hard especially if we are uncertain about the future.  As I got up, changed clothes and walked out today from the Imaging Center, I knew that God had planned those moments.  I felt blessed to be able to get up and go.  I am glad for His Word that had infiltrated my thinking before my visit and that they calmed my heart.

I also had read in Proverbs 31 recently that a godly woman rises while it is still dark to prepare provision for her family.  The idea of “rising” with the man on the stretcher and the “rising” of a woman to help her family have continued to merge in my heart.  God wants me to see that I have to rise to be able to walk in His Power.  He gives me strength as I take each step.  His words offer hope to me on days when I don’t always feel like answering the alarm clock.  I want to keep rising in my faith to be able to stand and see His salvation in my life.

Proverbs 31:15:

English Standard Version
She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens.

Rise, my friends.  Listen to God.  Follow His Word.  And Rise!