Friday, March 4, 2016

Help thou mine unbelief

For those who follow me on facebook or instagram, you know Matt had a successful MRI yesterday.  There's a little more to the story that I would like to share. Ever since Matt's diagnosis of a 4-cm pilomyxoid astrocytoma, I have struggled with fear and faith. I want to have the kind of faith that leaves no room for fear.  I want to be able to accept any trial with complete faith and reliance on the Lord and His plan for me and those I love. 

I struggled with the full range of these feelings as Matt's MRI approached. Fear crept in to my mind every day. When I tucked him into his bed at night, fear would whisper to me that I would lose him soon. One morning I was exercising when fear told me I needed to prepare for the worst news this week. I listened to fear and began imagining how I would react to the bad news.  Then I imagined how Matt would react.  Finally, in frustration, I yelled out loud (thankfully no one was home at the time), "STOP! IT'S GOING TO BE FINE!  LEAVE ME ALONE!" Although fear sneakily found ways to bring me down, I was blessed with nuggets of faith placed in my path this week. Random texts and phone calls with encouraging words from caring friends and family. Scriptures that spoke directly to my heart. On Wednesday a picture that has great meaning to me popped up on my facebook news feed.

Image 1

I bought this picture just two weeks before Matt's diagnosis.  While Matt was in surgery, this picture came to my mind with the words, "You are not alone. Angels are with you and with Matt." When I saw this picture on my news feed on Wednesday, I knew once again that I was not alone.

Finally the day of Matt's MRI arrived. When the MRI was over, we headed to the surgeon's office to get the results. While in the waiting room, Matt played games while I took deep breaths, prayed, and read my scriptures. The phrase, "Lord, I believe; help thou my unbelief" came to my mind. I repeated these words in my mind over and over, placing my trust in Him and pushing any fear away. Finally a nurse led us into the familiar exam room where we would wait for the surgeon to come in and give us the results. This time, though, the nurse did something she has never done before. She opened the file with the MRI pictures and left them on the computer screen. What I saw did not look good.  I saw one huge white spot with two smaller white spots near it. Matt was in the room with me, so he looked at the pictures as well and said, "Hmmm...looks good to me."  I was completely terrified, assuming the white spots were tumors, but did not want Matt to know how I felt. So I sat down and tried my best to keep my cool. Fear found its way in and flooded my mind with heart-wrenching worst-case scenarios. Once again I repeated these words in my mind, "Help thou my unbelief," and prayed for the surgeon's quick arrival. The surgeon came in and relieved my mind with the words, "His scan looks great. It looks so good, I don't need to see him for another year.  Soon we'll move to two-year scans."  Turns out, the white spots were blood vessels (and this is why I should leave the MRI reading to those with medical degrees!). Peace and gratitude flooded my heart as I breathed deeper and hugged Matt.  Truthfully, I lightly shoved Matt because he teased me for being worried (he could tell, even though I had tried to hide it).  Then I hugged him and thanked the Lord for each and every precious day I get with my kiddos.

This morning I woke up with a sense of responsibility for everything I learned yesterday.  The Lord did in fact help my unbelief.  I believe the bar has been raised in my life to do all I can to dispel fear and trust in the Lord by picking up all those nuggets of faith the Lord places in my path.

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