Monday, February 28, 2011

::peace that passes my understanding::

Where to begin?

I finally went in for my follow-up ultrasound this morning.  We have prayed and prayed and hoped and hoped, and even though my stomach was a ball of nerves this morning, I felt more peace than I expected to.  I texted a bunch of friends and had them all praying for me, and I can't quite explain the peace that filled my soul.  My friend Shawdi was driving to St. Louis, so rather than text me back (smart thinking, that one), she just called and talked me through things and prayed for me while we were both heading down the interstate. (Note to self: remind Shaw not to close her eyes while praying on the interstate next time.)  I love that my friends do that kind of thing for me.  Another friend sent me a text saying she had prayed for me for twenty minutes this morning without knowing that I had this appointment today.  All the other texts I received were full of encouragements and prayers.  I am blessed.

Once checked in, I laid on the table in the sonography room and forced myself to not look at the screen.  Why yes, she is taking about 8 million pictures which is freaking me out, but I will not look at the screen.  

Well, okay...I did look maybe twice.  Looked like a bunch of shapes and shadows to me at first, but then one glimpse of my ovary made me look away.  It had a weird shape.  Nope, no more looking for me--honest!
As I stared at the ceiling, I prayed.  The whole time. Whatever the results, Lord, give me grace to handle it.  Get glory from this.  Prepare me.  Heal me. Help me to trust in Your sovereignty. 
He is faithful.  Even though I knew there was no instant healing, He was giving me an abundance of peace and grace to handle the results.
Sure, I was anxious.  Sitting in a gown in the exam room waiting on results, I couldn't read the book I brought or flip through a magazine.  I stared at the bulletin board in front of me full of pictures of babies my doctor delivered. I looked at the poster with the cross section diagram of the pregnant woman and her baby in utero.  I sat on the edge of the table and swung my legs back and forth repeatedly to keep from jumping out of my skin.  I prayed.

And then the results.  The tumor is definitely still there.  It has not grown, but it is solid and has not shrunk.  In other news, endometriosis has adhered my ovary to my uterus.  This explains the recent bouts of pain I have had over the past two months.  I have had more of the gripping pain that I used to have before my surgery two-and-a-half years ago.  Now I know for sure that my endo is back.

My doctor recommends surgery. 

After talking through it with her, I am in agreement.  She is going to use the da Vinci surgery this time as it will give her more ability to remove the tumor without compromising the ovary. This is where the risk lies.  If something happens during surgery and she has to take my ovary, I will be thrust into early menopause.  I'll be thirty in June.  I have never been pregnant.  This risk is the thing that scares me most.  That said, however, I could do nothing and let the tumor grow which could force me into a surgery later that would likely cause me to lose my ovary anyway--like the last time. I feel that it's best to be proactive now when my ovary could be saved rather than to end up in a situation like last time where I have no choice but to lose the ovary.  During surgery, they will also remove any endometriosis they find, and will do a D&C because yet again, my uterine lining is a little too much on the thick side.  

So, while the risk is scary, I will just have to trust in the Lord's sovereignty.  He is faithful and His ways are right. If, for some reason, His plan at some point includes a partial hysterectomy, then He is still good.  I admit, it's hard to write that and believe it, but it is true.  My fertility or lack thereof doesn't change a thing about His character.  It merely means that He will hold me close as He leads me down a different path.  I could not have said this months ago, and I may struggle to say it if this is indeed the outcome should something go wrong in surgery, but I have to preach it to myself.  My husband's sermon yesterday (which will up in a day or two; it's on Romans 16:25-27) was exactly what I needed to prepare myself for this day.  I have to know Who to run to, what to cling to.  The gospel.  That is my beginning and end and everything in between. 
As I drove home today, I was so encouraged by the fact that God has used His Word to prepare me for this.  My faith has grown over the past couple of months, and I feel that though the outcome could be grim, He is preparing me to not only handle it, but to find joy in it. 
I can't conjure this up on my own.  Only He could do that. 

No power of hell, no scheme of man could ever pluck me from His hand.  
For I am His, and He is mine, bought with the precious blood of Christ.

This could slow down our adoption process a little, but that's just the way it has to be, I guess. I can't even tell you how God has provided for us financially, thus far.  I am blown away.  There was something so freeing about walking into this appointment today with paperwork for my doctor to fill out regarding our future adoption. I didn't feel so desperate as I stared at those diagrams and baby pictures in the exam room.  God is clearly leading us down a different path than we had planned, and it is that plan that is helping me to accept the shrinking possibility of my first plan.  I counted it joy to tell my doctor today that God has led us again towards adoption. 

I am still processing things in my head and my heart, but I can't get over the fact that God has transcended my understanding with His peace.  Oh, what a gracious gift!  Oh, what an indescribable blessing to know that my identity is sealed in Christ. 

No guilt in life, no fear in death--this is the power of Christ in me.
From life's first cry to final breath, Jesus commands my destiny!