I know this is a ridiculous request as I will be facing many more needles probably for the rest of my life but today was just ridiculous. So needles and I, not close pals. My earliest memory of a needle was getting a tetanus shot in the leg while being held down by a doctor, the nurse, and my mom. I screamed and that moment has been scorched into my memory ever since.
Today, I needed to get more blood work done and please note that only three days ago they took four vials of blood already. OK no big deal; let’s get this mess over with. The nice nurse lady locates a vain but you know kinda misses it. It let her know it OK just try again, but she thinks she can still get to the vain if she just moves the needle around enough.
As I go into my happy place to escape the horror, I feel another sharp pain near the same spot and I open my eyes to see she had taken the needle out and tried again on a nearby vain. This one seems alright but something is wrong with the blood flow and she only manages to fill half a vial. I close my eyes and again start going to my happy place when her voice gets dim and my head just feels warm.
Next thing I know I am face to face with a big black guy who is moving his mouth but I can’t hear any words. He is holding me up with both hands on my chest and I feel something cold on my neck. My first thought is, “oh great I passed out, that’s embarrassing.” As my senses came back to life a nurse with a heavy Russian accent tells me to eat some chocolate and now on auto pilot I said “ok” and ate some chocolate.
Apparently as the first nurse was digging around my arm again my mind and body decided to take a vacation and I passed out. Once I was fully awake again the nurse decides to switch arms so she goes for the new vain and again she can’t get any blood flow. DOH! At this point I’m thinking whatever, just kill me now. She finally goes for a vain in my hand and successfully fills the other three vials. The whole thing left me very dazed and confused.
All of this got me thinking, sometimes we go to do something simple like get blood drawn or go get checked out for pneumonia and what we thought would be simple turns out to be much more complicate then we had imagined. Finding out I have stage IIIB lung cancer is definitely not what I expected my life to ever be.
Honestly, I had made many plans for my life and set up a lot of expectation based around those plans. Lung cancer was definitely not one of my goals in life. My plan was to continue in ministry, start a family with Sarah, and pay off student loans, maybe even someday own a house or something. Now those things seem so distant.
Truth is my body is broken and I feel it and that is a difficult reality to face. I am surrounded by uncertainty and decisions that will forever affect my future and it is hard to confidently make a choice and know for sure that it was the right choice.
My hope is in Jesus. The key to all of this suffering and uncertainty is that I have a savior who has already won. He suffered far worse than needles, chemo, radiation, chronic coughing, and He suffered so that I could have a right relationship with God. This is amazing and it is this fact that pulls me right out of my own storm and places me at the feet of Jesus in worship of an all-powerful God who died so that I might live and have life everlasting.
I start chemo therapy next week and I am not afraid. No amount of suffering will tear me away from the love of God.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. –King David (Psalm 23:4)
When the storm comes, when suffering is near, when life feels impossible, draw near to Y’shua for His name means SALVATION
Please comment more verses or other encouraging words!