Up In Flames

Too often, my patients say, “I feel like everything is falling apart.”

It usually starts with a discussion on their health.

Diabetes can cause fatigue, headaches, abdominal pain, and just an overall description of “not myself”.

Thyroid disorders can cause weight fluctuations, constipation/diarrhea, depression/anxiety, heart racing, fatigue, and another overall description of “not myself”.

Chronic pain falls into the same category as well. Patients don’t feel like their normal selves.

And when your body feels unwell, your mental health is affected as well.

In 2019, I felt like everything was falling apart.

It started with a change in my right breast. A very subtle change that lead to a mammogram.

That abnormal mammogram led to a breast ultrasound.

And the result was described as a suspicious but probably benign lesion at the 2 o’clock position of my right breast.

That meant that I had to wait 6 months to see what would happen.

In the medical field, that pretty much meant two things: It would either stay the same and I’d repeat imaging about every year. Or, it would grow in size and I would need a breast biopsy to rule out cancer.

I had 6 months to wait and see what would happen with my health.

I felt anxious. Worried. Angry.

But after the initial concern began to plateau, I remembered that God was in control. I prayed and handed it all over to God. Then, peace came. For a short while at least.

Then, a lymph node showed up on the right side of my neck.

Followed by a CT scan of my head/neck.

Followed by another lymph node sitting right next to the other one.

The CT scan basically said there was a possible mass in my nasopharynx and a specialist consult was needed to rule out cancer.

In the span of 3 months, I had 3 radiographic images that basically said I could have two types of cancer.

I prayed, prayed, and prayed. I told God that my daughter was only 9 years old and she needed me. I told God that my husband wasn’t ready for me to have cancer. I told God everything that was weighing on my chest.

Then, I found peace. At least for a short while.

I spent many nights crying, praying, wondering how much time I had left on Earth. My breast hurt. Nosebleeds started. I was tired beyond belief. I spent most of my restless nights reading scripture, holding all of God’s promises close to my heart.

And then I simply had to wait. I had to wait for my repeat mammogram and ultrasound. And I had to wait for my appointment with the ENT specialist for a scope down my nasopharynx.

I spent everyday praying. Multiple times per day even. Through every nosebleed, every sleepless night, and every episode of breast pain, I prayed.

I felt like everything was falling apart. I didn’t feel quite like myself.

And when my world was in flames, I remembered Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego. Three Jewish men who refused to worship the statue of King Nebuchadnezzar.

They were tied up and thrown into a fire. This fire was so hot that the guards who threw the three of them inside actually burned up themselves because they got too close to it.

But there was someone else in that fire.

That someone kept them safe and prevented the flames from touching the three men.

Through their faith, the flames could not touch them. Through their faith, they survived the burning world around them.

During this time, I reminded myself of a God who was in the fire with Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego.

I prayed over and over again that I knew his power could heal me. I prayed over and over again that I knew his grace would spare me. And I prayed over and over again that his plans for me were plans of a hope and a future, not to harm me in anyway.

Then peace came. This time permanently.

I sank into the seat behind me when the radiologist looked and me and said, “It’s gone. I don’t know how but this never happens. The mass in your breast. It’s gone. It’s like it was never there in the first place.”

But I knew how. It was the one who was in the fire with me.

Then I sighed a big sigh of relief when the ENT put a scope down my nose and into the back of my throat and said, “There’s nothing there. The CT is wrong. I looked everywhere and there’s nothing there.”

Then, the nosebleeds stopped and the lymp nodes disappeared within a week later.


2019 was when I was surrounded in flames.

Like the three men sentenced to a burning death by King Nebuchadnezzar, they were not alone in the fire. And neither was I.

When your health is up in flames, you’re not alone. When your marriage is on fire, you’re not alone. When everything around you is in smoke, remember that you are not alone.

There is someone else in the fire with you.

Take the time to listen to this song. Let it flow through you. Open you heart and mind to the knowledge that God is with you, holding back the flames.

Then, after the song, open up your bible and read Chapter 3 in the book of Daniel.

If you’re in need of free counseling services while your world is in flames, please visit https://www.donscounselingservices.com/

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