Last week I went for a routine mammogram. Nothing unusual, just the ordinary routine appointment, but as usual I couldn’t find the hospital and its entrance despite the car’s satellite navigation, despite the Google Maps app on my phone and despite calling a helpful woman in the breast imaging center. Eventually, after some stops and starts and a few wrong turns, I found it. I went inside and sat in the pleasant, rose-pink-colored waiting room, waiting to be seen and screened by pleasant nurses in rose-pink scrubs.
I began to think about all the women whose lives had been changed forever here. The women who felt frightened, overwhelmed and anxious as they received bad news from the doctors trying to describe the intricacies of their test results, the alarming choices before them and the treatment that was about to begin.
I know this personally because 31years ago, exactly six weeks after Rebecca was born, I discovered a breast lump. It was particularly bad timing—if you know anything about hormones and the fact that some breast cancers accelerate rapidly during pregnancy. After a whole series of mammograms and tests, I had a surgical biopsy and left Mike at home valiantly trying to manage a tiny baby, a busy work schedule, and a tearful, fearful wife.
The morning of the surgery arrived. While I lay there in the hospital praying and waiting to go down to the operating room, the Lord spoke to me. He told me not to be afraid and described how I would have a long life filled with more children and grandchildren. In that moment, hearing His voice and knowing He loved me changed everything. I had a word to stand on; I had a word to fight for. Faith comes by hearing the word (Romans 10:17). As I woke up all fuzzy from the operation, they gave me good news. All is well. So very gratefully I packed up my things and walked out of the hospital into the sunshine and a new day. The rest of my life began again.
Now I know some of you reading this will not have had the same good news I received that day either for yourself or for someone you love dearly. I know hearing my story will hit you hard. I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but what I do know is that God wants to speak to you and give you a word to sustain you through your difficulties. A word to sit with and hold in your hand.
I have returned to my word many times. I have returned to it in moments of fear and in moments uncertainty, and every time it’s the same. He repeats it, nudging me back from the deep chasms of fear that threaten to overwhelm me, and it lifts me onto my rock of faith. He pulls me from the quicksands of doubt and holds me steady in His promises.
Do you need a word to stand on? Pray for it. Ask for it. God wants you to know and hear His voice. It may be a faint whisper of a moment captured in creation, or it could sound like rain on the sidewalk, but He wants to communicate with you now, always and forever. We just have to be listening.