#Pic4Year 2014: Unafraid
With the start of the new year, many people are following in Mary DeMuth‘s footsteps and choosing their #Pic4Year. Last year, I used a phrase (Be Thou My Vision), but this year I chose just one word: Unafraid. Here’s why . . .
The week before Christmas. There were so many things I could’ve been doing. A few more presents to buy. A bunch of presents to wrap. A house to be cleaned. Cookies to be baked. Was I doing them? No. Instead, I sat on a bench in the small, flowery waiting room of our local hospital’s Women’s Diagnostic Center. Six other women waited with me, all old enough to be my mom or grandmom—and all glancing at me with sympathy as I sat with my three-year-old son on my lap. It was the Women’s Center call-back day, meaning we all were there for more studies because our first mammograms had showed some sort of abnormality.
In a stroke of grace, though, I wasn’t alone. In addition to having my husband and son with me, I’d walked into the Women’s Center to find Elaine, a woman from my church, sitting at the registration desk. “I hope you’re not here for the same reason I am,” she said when I hugged her.
“I probably am,” I answered. And we prayed right there.
Elaine’s appointment was at 10:15, mine 10:30. No coincidence there. I’d known she was apprehensive about the appointment because she’d asked for prayer on Facebook that morning. I’d commented that I’d be praying for her. At the time, neither of us had known we’d not only praying together in spirit but also praying together in flesh. God’s awesome that way. I hadn’t asked for prayer publicly yet, but he knew I was concerned as well. And in his perfect wisdom, he sent Jesus to join us. “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am among them” (Matthew 18:20 ESV).
Since our appointments were back to back, Elaine and I spent most of our time at the Women’s Center together. I was called back to get changed a few minutes after she was. When she came out from having her films, I was in the sitting area waiting to go in. When I came out, she was waiting for her film results. When she came out from ultrasound (since the films were inconclusive), I was waiting to go in. We talked, held hands, and prayed more. What a blessing.
After talking to the radiologist, she came into the sitting area with a huge smile. “It’s just a cyst!” she rejoiced. More prayers and more hugs. “I’ll wait for you out in the waiting room,” she told me when I was then called into the ultrasound room.
Up until then, I’d taken the appointment in stride. But sitting in the ultrasound room, waiting to talk to the radiologist, wore on me. I waited only ten or fifteen minutes, but they had to be some of the longest minutes of my life. Not that I was all that scared for myself. I wasn’t. It was the five-year-old girl and three-year-old boy who called me Mommy that I was scared for.
We’re all human, and, as humans, we worry—and we think about the worst case scenario. I may have strong faith, but I’m no different. The questions haunted me. If the worst happened, who would stand in the gap? Who would get my precious babies up and ready, feed them breakfast, and make sure they got to school on time? Who would make sure they had their sneakers on for gym day, their favorite book from home for when they were Star of the Day, and their pajamas on for Pajama Day? Who would braid hair, paint fingernails, give thumbs-ups at gymnastics, and make sure L got the bubblegum Dum-Dum and M got the cream soda Dum-Dum? And who would study ingredient lists and make sure M didn’t accidentally touch or ingest any of his ten severe food allergens? I’ve always been laid back, but my chest was tight with fear.
And then the words came. My God goes before me. “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed” (Deuteronomy 31:8 ESV). My God goes before me. My God goes before me. I can’t tell you how many times those words resounded in my head as I sat waiting for the radiologist.
My God goes before me. No matter what’s in my future, he already knows about it. And he’s prepared me—and will prepare me—for what I’ll face there.
My God goes before me. No matter where I’m going, he’s already there. And because he’s there, I have nothing to fear. “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom [my words: or what] shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom [my words: or what] shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1 ESV).