I wasn’t going to say anything. Really, I thought I’d keep it to myself. It is easier if I don’t have to talk about it with people, because then I don’t have to believe it. Seriously. I’d rather pretend it away into oblivion.
After all, I’m a planner. And this was not a part of the 2016 blueprints.
Two weeks from tonight my yearly appointment at Vanderbilt with my specialist, Dr. Zic will be over. Some of you probably know that I have an unusual form of lymphoma which manifests in my skin, and results in strange lesions that I have to treat with a fancy high-powered (yucky) steroid.
I did not have any of those “spots” in 2015. I was able to ignore my condition and pretend like I’m completely healthy. So, on Christmas Eve, when I realized I had not just one but two spots that had popped up, I was a bit shocked. This was not a part of the plan for 2016, let alone my Christmas. I guess it was a good thing my appointment was already on the calendar.
Friends, the good news is – I know the routine. I know the meds my physician will assign, I know how the treatment works and all that it entails. The bad news: I don’t like it. It works well, but I don’t feel the greatest. Worse: I’m grumpy (read: especially with my loved ones at home while doing school) sometimes. UGH. And even worser than worse: I’m reminded once again that there are so many unknowns with this diagnosis.
You know that Scripture in Jeremiah? The one that says, “For I know the plans I have for you… ” I know that’s a popular Scripture to repeat during a difficult trial, but I’ve realized I’ve been thinking of it all wrong! While I do understand what it actually says, I personally have been wanting it to mean this: “For I know the plans you’ve been making Melody, and I’m totally on board with you…” I wish it weren’t true- but it is the way I’ve been interpreting it. It let’s me have some control that way.
But here’s the reality: I’m not in charge. All the manipulating in the world isn’t going to make my future turn out the way I want. I mean, it could turn out that way, but not because I earned it or managed to make it. My little, teensy- tiny piece in God’s story is HIS design. Who I become, as a result of this small trial, is what fits best into that great big story He is narrating.
Who would I be if not for the faith it requires to walk this road with Him? Who would I be if I had only a life without this disease, this disease which allows me the joy of drawing closer to Him and knowing Him more intimately? And who will the people around me become, if in all of these things I radiate His joy?
One thing is for sure : His plan is greater than the one I had written down in my planner for 2016, especially if it means He is drawing me closer to Himself or if my life will bring Him glory.
Heavenly Father, I’m laying aside my plans. (And You most of all know how hard that is for me to say.) Keep me on board with your will in 2016, even when it is hard and I don’t like it. Hold me close, and help me to trust You. Thank you for the grace and the joy I know you have prepared for me on this journey – they are gifts only You can give! Amen.