from an article originally posted September 9, 2014…
I can’t sleep. Tomorrow is feeling impossible on so many levels. First, I get to take my boy to the dentist. It will prove to be the highlight of my day. I love our new dentist. Dr. Branon Johnson. He’s the bee’s knees (okay, I’ve been watching A River Runs Through It again). But then I walk into my day, a day where my phone will likely ring from one of my many doctors that have read the scan from today. I will know immediately by the tone if it’s my kind-faced oncologist.
Today’s scan went all right. I was sedated so I wouldn’t vomit like last time. But it wore off before the end. I woke to the screaming MRI machine thinking a fire alarm was going off and I was pinned to a table. I must have jolted, because quickly, in my headphones, came a voice telling me I was almost done. Then I remembered, Oh right, looking for cancer in brain. I guess that’s better than a freaking fire. But barely.
I looked back at the scan as I was leaving, and the nurse quickly said, It’s probably not your scan. Not reassuring. Who’s would it be? I may not be with it completely, but I’m pretty darn sure that exiting a brain MRI, my brain will likely be the one on the screen. But I’m no radiologist. I would only imagine things full of awful in my looking. Trust me, I’ve already gone there. But tomorrow, we wait. We wait, we shave my head, and I pack to run away with the big girls to North Carolina. If I find the strength, lasagna for Lake before we leave.
I’m up late working on those talks tonight. I’m feeling every bit of vulnerability in stepping in front of 200 beautiful faces and braving the broken beautiful of my story. Tonight my daughter looked me squarely in the face and said, Mama, I want to go. I asked why. She said, It’s you. Please let her be a normal girl in the crowd with her friends. I have struggled to let her come, but I know it’s the right decision. I would be the same. I told her what I was going to be sharing, that I’ll likely be crying, and that it was okay if she decided to join me in sharing tears.
So tomorrow is going to be hard on many levels. So if you love me, don’t ask about my brain. I’ll tell you when I know. Am I afraid? Yes. Brains are a big deal. Brains, well, they are brains. I want mine to not have any more cancer.
Tomorrow I lose my hair. I lose it likely FOREVER. That stings. It hurts my heart. I know what I’ll be facing, and I’ll be facing it without an end in sight like I had last time. My heart hurts. I don’t want to be bald again. I simply don’t. But grace will meet me. I will learn to live in this new pain seeking grace. My kids will pet my head and kiss the soft top of my head again. They know how to do this. I just wish they didn’t. But it’s the broken beautiful in their story as well. Lake asked to shave his head with me. So tomorrow, we will do this thing. I even invited a local TV station to join me. It no longer is my story. My story is one to be shared. I get to tell the story how Jesus showed up for this broken mama. He continues to show up. And tomorrow, when I’m losing my hair once again, goodness will be there. Goodness through tears. It will be there.
Don’t ask—you know me well enough to know I tell. I live this story I’ve been given as honestly as I know how. These edges are pressing in on us, which means we must press deeper into Jesus. We know this. Won’t you pray we have the strength to see grace and live in the peace Jesus gives of Himself. Peace unmistakable. Peace words cannot adequately describe.
Tomorrow my hair flies away, but it does not take with it my hope. That is sure.
What impossible places are you being asked to trust Jesus? Hard is hard. I’m not trying to win the hardest story. Tell us, we are a safe community of love. Some days are just so hard, we need to remind each other that goodness awaits. I need reminding today. It’s going to be a tough one. Now I will attempt sleep. Maybe a little love will sneak into bed tonight needing extra loves and snuggles.... Shoot maybe I’m the one needing them tonight. I should go crawl in their beds. No, Jesus is not unaware of my heavy heart. I’ll go talk to him. Goodnight friends. New mercies await the morning, even if the news isn’t good.