The Greatest Gift I've Ever Received

Already I missed my commitment to write something relating to Christmas every day until Christmas. Lately there have been so many pressing family health and financial issues that I’ve been doing a lot of praying for my children and their families. Monday I went with my daughter to see the heart doctor and talk about next steps with her heart condition. It’s been a long time of waiting and testing and she still faces more tests before surgery is scheduled. Then Tuesday I went in for my annual mammogram. On Wednesday afternoon, I received a call from the Women’s Care Clinic. The radiologist saw something suspicious on the pictures and wanted to have more diagnostic pictures taken on the left breast. Shock!!

In the early 1980’s I had a pap smear come back irregular with pre-cancerous cells. After several biopsies and procedures the prognosis was that I needed to have a partial hysterectomy. I’ve been cancer free since 1983. Now, out of the blue, the cancer may have returned.

Yesterday I had the second set of mammogram pictures taken on the left breast. The radiologist showed me the pictures and pointed to a cluster of white spots deep in the tissue of my left breast. These are calcification spots which may be benign. However, a biopsy needs to be performed to tell. On Tuesday morning I go back in for the biopsy. For those who may not have had this procedure, let me explain what happens:

I’ll be lying on my stomach with my breast through an opening in the table. The breast will be compressed as in a mammogram. Several x-rays will be taken to check proper positioning. Once that is determined, I’ll receive a local anesthetic to numb the breast. The doctor will insert a needle through a nick in the skin. Small cores of tissue will be removed. After the samples are removed, a small metallic marker will be placed in the breast where the biopsy was done. This will serve as a marker for future mammograms to note that the area has already been examined. Final x-rays will be taken as a new baseline.

The results should be available in 48 hours and this time my gynecologist will be the one to contact me with the results.

Over the past year, especially, I’ve been telling others not to worry…to trust in God and know that He will see them through whatever they are experiencing. Words are easy. It’s so easy to have faith and tell others to do the same when the problem lies not with you, but with them. I do a lot of praying for people in need, but I rarely pray for myself. It’s hard for me to ask anyone to help me, and I must admit I’ve never learned how to pray for myself! But I did it on Wednesday and Thursday. I prayed so hard for God to make this turn out all right and for his comfort and strength. While I waited in the chair to be called back to the radiologist’s office, I asked God to let me rest on his lap. And I felt the comfort of his arms around me. When the radiologist told me the news, I teared up, but then felt God’s hand take mine. I didn’t walk alone. And, I know that He is with me and that He is going to answer my prayer. No matter how it turns out, I will not worry, for God has always known the paths I will be called to take, and He will walk with me and carry me when I grow weary.

So what does this have to do with Christmas? Everything! I’ve been given a gift that cannot be wrapped in a box and tied up with a big red bow. It’s the gift of knowing that God lives in me and I in Him. What greater gift could I ever receive? There is no love greater than God’s love.


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