Though… Yet…

29 Aug

I did something today that I hate.  I posted a cryptic Facebook message.  I hate when people do that, the jerks!  But I did it anyway.  I posted the words of Habakkuk 3:17-18.

17 Though the fig tree does not bud
    and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
    and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
    and no cattle in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
    I will be joyful in God my Savior.

The gist of that passage is that even when life totally sucks, I will praise God.  The Lord has had me read those verses so many times over the years when I really couldn’t comprehend it.  Even a few months ago, I wrote it on an index card and stuck it in the visor of my van to read every time I saw it.  And if I am being quite honest, God started preparing me in June for today, for this exact day, when I’ve been able to relate so closely to this.

In June, our next door neighbors did something really precious.  Knowing how much we love their house and how great it would be for our family, they offered to sell us their home.  We agreed on a price with the understanding that God would allow our house to be sold in His time, and that the neighbors would find something perfect for them.  The four of us walked into it with such crazy faith.  I put a sign in our yard not really knowing what to expect, and we were shocked an amazed when 13 days later, we accepted an offer from the only person to ever even come see the house.  It was mind boggling, and I think our neighbors might have had minor heart attacks as they realized that they were actually going to have to move.  Because of a myriad of factors though we knew that we wouldn’t actually close on the sale of our house until probably September which was fine.  Time to prepare was great.

The neighbors experienced a hiccup from their side at the first of August, and Matt and I realized that we needed to be looking for a back up house (which we have thankfully found!).  Maybe we weren’t supposed to be moving next door; maybe His plan was different.  We weren’t going to push and pull to make things go exactly the way we had originally planned because we ultimately wanted to end up buying the house that was the right one for us.  Throughout it all, there were many days when we knew that we would need to be out of our house by the end of September, but we had absolutely NO idea where we were going to live.  But, God was so merciful and kept a steady stream of reassurance going through my veins.  I thought about how God provided the ram for Abraham in Genesis 22.  I heard the words of Paul in 2nd Corinthians 5 of walking by faith, not by sight.  At a time when I probably should have been panicked, He provided peace.  It was a chance to exercise my very own “Though, Yet” from Habakkuk–though we aren’t sure where we will live, yet we will rejoice in the Lord.  (Even now as I write this, Matt and I still aren’t sure which house we will end up in.  Our neighbor has been in and out of the hospital, and because of his health, the Lord really may be calling them to stay where they are.)

I tell you the house story because it is important in knowing how God has used it to prepare me for the past 2 weeks.  As I said the truths of God to myself over and over, I was getting ready for last Monday when at my annual OBGYN appointment, I was referred for a mammogram and ultrasound for something suspicious in my right breast.  After my awesome dad pulled some strings, I went the next day for those tests.  It didn’t take long into my mammogram (btw, what man invented that machine?!?) before I knew that something was wrong.  The tech went and talked with the radiologist then came back and went through several more attempts to get good images… of my left breast.  I then had ultrasounds done.  All along the way, I was asked the same questions over and over regarding any possible breast surgeries or trauma to one particular area, but I had nothing to tell them.  Eventually, the radiologist came in and explained that there was really nothing of concern on the right but the left was very worrisome.  I was scheduled for an MRI and biopsy for today.

Having a cousin who exclusively does breast imaging and radiology in Florida, my dad mailed her my films to review. This past Saturday, she reviewed them and was so awesome to help answer some of my questions.  She used the term “architectural distortion” which I did a lot of research on.  (Heads up–Google in a serious medical situation is a terrible idea.)  Even though I was pretty apprehensive based on what I found, I felt like it gave me the ability to expect the worst with the hopes that in the end, we would hear the best.

I had my MRI this morning.  If you’ve had one of those, then you know the process is crazy loud.  You have to lay totally still for half of an hour, and during that time, I became acutely aware of how much my body moves when I am breathing.  In a sheer act of mercy, I was very relaxed throughout the entire thing, and I even came close to falling asleep.  THAT should tell you how exhausting 5 young children can be.

My biopsy was pretty delayed because the computer that the radiologist was supposed to read my results on was having issues.  Once the radiologist had read my images, he came and talked to my parents, Matt, and me.  I wish I could tell you what he said, but I honestly don’t remember much.  However, all 4 of us got the same thing from the conversation–the radiologist felt strongly that this is cancer.  It isn’t what you might think, a solid lump to be removed.  It is spread out with an almost spider leg like appearance.  I had to go through another set of ultrasounds before my biopsy, and even though there were some suspicious spots on the right, it was decided to focus on the left breast for the day.

Pathology reports will come back on Monday, and they will call me with the results.  And honestly, I post this story for many reasons, one being because I believe in the power of prayer and that I could potentially get a phone call on Monday that there is no cancer.  (Even if that is the case, I would still likely have surgery to remove the area and have it all further tested.)  But, I know that there is no guarantee, and I can just as likely end up with a malignant diagnosis on Monday.  And, God will still be just as good and just as sovereign either way.

Though I may have cancer and my health may fail, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior!

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17 Responses to “Though… Yet…”

  1. Dawn@Dawnings August 29, 2015 at 1:42 pm #

    Beth Ann, although you must not remember me from our few years together in Laurel, you are a delight to know now as a woman, mother, wife, and Christian (thanks to social media). You will be in our prayers. Your faith and your sense of humor will serve you well in these difficult days. From our own experience (my husband is a survivor), the waiting for diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment plan is one of the hardest parts of the process. And hugs from people who have walked the path before you are some of God’s sweetest mercies. With you from afar, Dawn (and Mike) Gonzalez. (Exodus 14:14)

    • bethannmsmith August 29, 2015 at 2:49 pm #

      Thanks so much, Dawn! The Lord is good, and I am clinging to that!

  2. Hayley Patterson August 29, 2015 at 3:09 pm #

    I love you. I will pray and I will thank God for his goodness and also for the heart he prepared in you and your willingness to live out your faith exactly as he asks us to. And of course I am praying for clean health and easy surgeries and quick recoveries, but also that you feel hugs from heaven and earth and all around as you walk through this– especially from Ellisville. Big hugs from Ellisville.

    • bethannmsmith August 29, 2015 at 3:48 pm #

      Thanks, dear friend! Sending hugs right back! Love you too!

  3. Sue Walker August 29, 2015 at 5:48 pm #

    Beth Ann, my precious friend. You can rest assured I will be praying for you. I also teach a class of the most Godly women I know. We, too, will be praying for you regardless of the outcome. You are awesome. Our awesome God will always be there to guide you down every path of life. I love you so very, very much.

    • bethannmsmith August 30, 2015 at 1:57 am #

      Thank you, Mrs. Walker. Love you so much too!

  4. Mary Catherine Gentry August 30, 2015 at 12:31 am #

    Beth Ann: I had already been praying for you because I got an email about the situation from your grandmother via your Mom. I am a left breast cancer survivor (June 1998) and please know that I am totally with you on this. I loved your humor and your ability to rely on the Lord to see you through. I love you and all of the Rogers clan.

    • bethannmsmith August 30, 2015 at 1:56 am #

      Thank you so much. It encourages me to know that I am not alone!

  5. Rebecca RoseberryRatliff August 30, 2015 at 12:44 am #

    Beth Ann, You are truly the most inspiring woman…an old, old soul in a young woman’s body. I have faith in you and in the good Lord above that you will rise above whatever comes your way. You are one hell of a woman…and I mean that in the most Godly way.
    Even though we don’t know each other well, I feel your strength through every word you write. It touches my heart. You have a lot of Faye and your mama running through those veins. Sending prayers and hugs your way. Much love, Becca Ratliff from Hattiesburg, MS

    • bethannmsmith August 30, 2015 at 1:56 am #

      Thank you so much for your prayers! Thankfully, I come from great stock and have learned about living a life of faith from my mom and grandmother who are a couple of really amazing examples!

  6. Melissa Pearce August 30, 2015 at 1:37 am #

    Beth Ann,

    I actually saw this through the link your mom put up, so I’m not sure how late this comment is or what. First of all, I’m so sorry for what you are going through. No, I’ve not had breast cancer, so I can’t emphasize. However, I’ve had chronic daily migraines for 14 years, and I know how it is to suffer for an extended period of time. By the way, try getting those stupid MRIs while having a migraine! Anyway, keep your faith in God, as I know you will, and know I will be praying and eagerly waiting for news. An old friend of mine had surgery for breast cancer recently, and she didn’t want the mastectomy her doctor recommended. Well, after they removed the level two spot, tests came back showing she had a different, level four cancer under the first one. That being said, she is doing good now, she’s almost finished her IV chemo, and her hair has a cute punk-rock thing going on now! My point is, please, please, please listen to your doctor. And, God is a healing God. I love and miss you, and enjoy your posts on your children!

    Melissa

  7. Jan Bustin Walker August 30, 2015 at 2:13 am #

    Sweet, sweet Beth Ann. I just want to tell you that someone very precious to me told me to remember that the most important word God says to us by way of Psalm 23 is the word, “through.” Through the valley means we travel in one direction and all else is left behind us. God travels with us through the darkness into the light, holding us and guiding us all the way. We don’t know the length of that valley but rest assured HE HOLDS ON TIGHTLY THROUGH IT ALL. I speak from personal experience on many levels. You are loved by those near and far. You have the prayers of us here in Laurel. We are proud of the woman of God you have become.

    Jan Bustin Walker

  8. Amanda Mills August 31, 2015 at 3:12 pm #

    I am just now seeing this for some reason. So thankful you have scripture to cling too. I think you are precious and will be praying for you all day today and in the days to come, either way.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Thankful | Next stop... CRAZY! - November 30, 2015

    […] as I blogged previously, we had our YET to cling to from Habakkuk.  Never for a single moment did I feel abandoned by God; […]

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