“Fine.” That’s what most people say when you ask, “How are you doing?” Most people are also liars when it comes to this question, but we still ask just to be nice, or fill an awkward silence or make us think that by asking we are somehow better connected. They talked about it at church last night. The pastor talked about people coming to church to feel a sense of community, but not being willing to get past the “fine.” I get it. I’m there with you. It’s scary. It’s scary to open up to someone else and/or someone new. What if they look at you funny? What if they avoid you next time? What if they laugh, think you’re crazy or tell their friends to avoid you? But what if they care? What if, by opening up, you make a new friend or a new connection? What if you are the listening ear that someone else needs & you make their day? (By the way, you may never know or realize that this happens… people don’t always come back saying, “thanks for listening or caring.”)
So, here I am… being vulnerable… asking for you to hold my hand. (Virtually, of course.) I have my “routine” mammogram tomorrow (Friday) now changed to Monday 10/23. It comes 6 months after the MRI. This is the schedule for a while, after finding breast cancer on my left side. It still makes me nervous. It still takes my breath away. It still makes me feel like an actual elephant is sitting on my chest. I was thinking it would be later in October, but they had an opening this week, and it worked into the schedule. It’s for the best that I didn’t have 25 days to think about it. I only had 2. (I literally wrote this post at noon and they called me to change it to Oct 23rd, so I DO have 25 days to wait. I guess this gives me extra time for prayers.) This will be my first one at the clinic in town instead of driving back to Fargo. I can do this. It’s quick, it’s not super painful and it’s necessary. I know God’s in control of this, but I can’t help wonder what is up his sleeve for me. I hope it’s to live a long life, see my kids grow & marry, and have families of their own. We aren’t guaranteed that… but that’s my hope.
I learned to pray more intentionally after several significant life events. So here is my request: Imagine you are holding my hand on October 23rd. I may squeeze your hand when they press the machine down. The scar tissue is still tender. I may shed a tear because I’m just so thankful to be alive. Pray specifically for peace… for a sense of calm to wash over me. Pray for a good, clear scan. Pray for quick results & good news. Then, go hug someone. If you are a female, schedule your damn mammogram. Just do it. I don’t care what size or shape you are… just make the appointment. And when you do, you can message me to pray for you and I promise I will.
Peace be with you on your journey of enough. May you have enough courage to open up and let people in. May you have enough faith to get you through tough times. May you have enough friends to hold your hand so that you don’t even notice the mammogram machine smush.