“You’re doing great Bethany, hang in there”. The lights blared my vision as my hands held tightly onto one another in support. My vision could only see the meticulous focus of the surgeon and the other end of the needle. “When I count to three it will take a tissue sample ok?” “Ok”, I respond, trying not to breathe too deeply to disturb the now open wound. “I’m not too worried about it, you’re young enough honey”. If I had known anything from my history, it was the never ending reality of being fifty years younger than anyone else in the clinic, but appreciated the encouragement regardless as I lay with my chest open to the worlds cruelties. Breathe. Breathe. “Just a little bit of bleeding, but take it easy the next couple of days ok? Results should be in next week and I have a feeling its benign”. “Ok, thank you” I reply trying to appear calm. The motherly nurse nodded at me and guided me to the door. I could only think, “How come other people my age don’t deal with this?”.
The day before I sat on the edge of the barrier for sometime watching the ducks move in slow movements across the pond. Such beautiful freedom gliding with ease amongst nature. In attempts to push away the fear that sought to capture my heart, I moved to the rhythms of music and let my mind flow through words. With solace in writing, I wrote every fear, every frustration, and the admittance of defeat. Why had God given me a broken body. One with a tumor. One with chronic pain. What am I supposed to learn here? With every doctor exclaiming, “You’re too young to have this issue!”. And every time I respond with holding the tears in. Twenty-somethings are supposed to be traveling, working, living without limitations. Climb mountains and only feel the soreness, not the body screaming stop. So why cannot I climb mountains like the other kids.
Four days later I woke up to the phone call. “Hello, is this Bethany?” said a woman. “This is she”. “We received your test results back. It shows you have a fibroadenoma tumor, so non-cancerous, here is the surgeons information if you want it removed…” Sigh of relief. But now what? The books never tell you the right decision, only the information a decision could potentially lead to. And no one can give the right answer. Only can inform. Such weight on a heart to come to terms with having something their body has created. Something you could not even prevent. It just happens. Just happens.
The season of patience. Patience in healing. As time moves in slow motions of waiting rooms and whirls of information. I listen. I move to a melodic sound of life running through me. My body fighting against itself does not define who I am. It only is a piece of my story. It creates empathy for those who had worse results than mine. Compassion for those who fight the invisible fight. For the tears no one sees. The frustration that sits in the silence of ones own walls. And for the words of encouragement that come from the most unlikely places. Life isn’t about the easy moments, it is about the moments that build perseverance and cause you to shine light even when everything else seems dark. It is about waking up with some hard days of slow movement, and about the ones that you can walk for just a little bit longer in joy. The joy that is always in the pockets of your heart, just waiting to be noticed. In time, healing comes. Whatever form that may take, may it build a beautiful melody of patience, perseverance, and love.
**Photo Cred: Lexie Q.**