It’s my pleasure to introduce to you my guest post today, Donna Bostick; Donna was a great encouragement to me long before we ever met face to face. I knew we were kindred spirits both in our love for Jesus and our love of laughter. When you’ve been through hard times, like Donna and me, you learn to laugh in the face of fear. “How can we laugh,” you ask? Because we chose to enjoy the ride–good or bad–it was a ride chosen by the hand of God and His hand can always be trusted.
You’re gonna love this girl! She’ll bless your heart! Visit Donna’s blog, leave a comment and enter to win a copy of An Untroubled Heart!
“Life is like a roller coaster. It has its ups and downs. But it’s your choice to scream or enjoy the ride.” Author Unknown
I love a good roller coaster. Higher. Faster. Bigger. Loop-d-loops for days!
What’s not to love about the need for speed, the thrill of the highs, the lows, the unexpected twists and turns of the track?
Unfortunately, my roller coaster did not have wheels or equipped with seatbelts to hold me in place. My roller coaster came in the form of a lump. A lump on my thyroid.
I was working in our church basement alongside our women’s ministry members haphazardly throwing glitter over these little cardboard boxes in the shape of stars, adding some frou-frou embellishments to giveaways for our annual Christmas tea. And crafting is not listed amongst my spiritual gifting. So let your imagination run wild with you – I had glitter from head to toe! I began swooshing the glitter off my body and onto the floor and as I swooshed, I found a small lump in the area of my throat.
Later that week, I made a doctor’s appointment thinking it was just a little inconvenience and nothing a little pill couldn’t fix. The doctor immediately picked up the phone scheduling a same day appointment with the diagnostic imaging office.
Still, not too concerned, I jumped in my car and made my way over to the radiologist’s office. There I waited and waited and waited some more! My ride had come to a complete, unexpected jolting stop as the radiologist contacted my doctor. I was told to go immediately back over to my doctor’s office and she would tell me everything I needed to know.
Upon entering her office, I heard her say, “Donna”, I think its cancer and we will be here by your side and we will PRAY for you!” As soon as she said, “Pray for me”, this still no longer small voice in my head began to scream. It was when those words rushed my ears; I knew I was no longer feeling the need for speed. I wanted the ride to stop and stop NOW!
So more tests, more curves were thrown my way. Six weeks later, surgery was scheduled. A few hours after surgery, as I was wheeled down the hospital hall, I could hear the surgeon tell my mom half of my thyroid was removed and the lumps were benign. Peace to my once filled screaming ears!
Two days later, as I entered the exam room for my follow-up, the surgeon handed me a slip of paper with gigantic unpronounceable words that seemed to roll on forever. And then he spoke, “Donna, it is cancer. You have the fastest growing kind of cancer you can have. We need to operate again as soon as possible!”
Yes. I freaked. I became unglued. Emotions, thoughts that I had stuffed for weeks all came to the surface and my mom was on the receiving end of them all. I don’t remember the exact words, but I’m thinking it was somewhere around World War 4 proportion. Not my proudest moment.
Two days later, back in the exam room to schedule the second surgery. The doctor hands me another piece of paper with more big words. A third diagnosis – still cancer – but a slower growing form with surgery required in six weeks. YAY God – from a valley back to the peak!
The second surgery was scheduled for seven weeks as I made the choice to attend our church’s spring women’s retreat covering the fruit of the spirit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23) And this girl was in deep need of some fruit!!
As we closed out the retreat Saturday afternoon, the speaker along with our women’s ministry director called me to the front of the room and asked me to sit in a chair as all in attendance laid hands on me and began praying for God to fill me with His fruit and for healing. And as I sat down and heard their prayers, “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, (Philippians 4:7) began to flood my mind and my thoughts like never before – an experience that I will never forget.
The following Tuesday, my second surgery was completed. Test results revealed no cancer in the second half of my thyroid. Yay God, back to the peak!
I wish I could tell you that I chose to enjoy the ride. But I didn’t. I chose to scream and scream loudly. Since then, I have been making the choice to be filled with His peace as I undergo follow-up tests every six months. Sometimes the choice is quick and sometimes not so quick.
Despite my screaming fit, God continues to fill me with His peace, a peace that can only be found in Him. So, won’t you join me in choosing His peace in the difficult times, in both the ups and downs of our journey to His heart? Won’t you choose to enjoy the ride instead of choosing to scream?
Let’s begin to let go of our fears and take hold of His promises in His Word. We’re His daughters, protected and defended by His peace. Fears may have shaped our past, but they don’t have to define our future.
Lord, I praise You that You are our Jehovah Shalom, our Prince of Peace. I thank you for being a God who forgives and that You love us no matter what – even when we are screaming and kicking and demanding our way. Thank You for the privilege of running to you and having our fears replaced with Your peace, a peace that passes our understanding. In Jesus’ name. Amen.