Yesterday I had a new experience. Come to think of it, I have a lot of those lately. If I had to choose some themes for this year, one would be “Have you had your new experience for today? No worries, you can borrow one of mine!” In fact, I got as little whiney with God last night saying things like, “Seriously, can I just have ONE uneventful week, day . . . hour? I am a little weary of ‘new experiences.'”
Yesterday I had a CT (aka CAT) scan. This was my first time to have any kind of scan other than an X-ray on my foot when I sprained an ankle in college (I VERY ungracefully fell down a flight of stairs . . . in front of other people. Dern heavy English textbooks!), X-rays at the dentist and several ultrasounds when I was pregnant (three times). Despite the extra junk in my trunk these past few years, I have been a picture of health. No real family history of scary diseases. No hospital stays other than giving birth. I rarely get sick. Believe me, I have counted my blessings for my health! But then, well, this year happened and my stress went to a whole new level. I thought I was doing pretty good a few weeks ago. I was “holding it down” (yeah, right.) Sure I felt overwhelmed every second of the day. Tired but not sleeping well. Drinking more soda than any human being should be allowed and eating when I remembered to. And my guess is that my body said, “Enough already!” and it proceeded to freak out, at church, in front of a lot of people. Sigh.
I can now say that vertigo is worse (to me) than childbirth. It involved a lot of puking. I apologize to my friends who had to see me hurl – several times. I grossed myself out. But all kidding aside, it scared me. For someone who has been a somewhat picture of health to suddenly have no control and feel so sick on a moment’s notice – I came face to face with several facts:
1) I didn’t (nor do I now) “have this.” My pride was getting the best of me. I wasn’t asking for help when I should.
2) I am not immortal. Most people say that they understand that. But do you really?
3) I really needed to grasp that concept of “don’t sweat the small stuff.” The small stuff was taking over my life.
4) My body is a temple, and I was trashing mine.
So yesterday I joked with the radiology technician while inside I was quaking in my very core. My mom could tell. She’s so great. She kissed me as I walked into the CT scan room and balked at the sheer enormity of the machine. It really did look like something from a Star Trek episode. I lay there as the test began and recalled this to mind, “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth Does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable.” Isaiah 40:28. “He gives strength to the weary, And to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, And vigorous young men stumble badly,Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.” Isaiah 40:29-31.
When that test finished, I was a new woman. A burden lifted. I knew that I don’t have this. He has this. I cannot control the results or tomorrow or the day after that. I just have to be as Oswald Chambers says, “foolish enough to trust God’s wisdom and his supernatural equipment.” Even if, and yes prayerfully so, that test comes back clear and they chalk it all up to stress, I will not let go of the lessons God continues to teach me through what seems like an endless supply of “new experiences.” My theology is most definitely crashing into my reality (Thanks for putting it that way, Beth Moore!) It’s a beautiful crash that leads to a real intimacy with Christ.