Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Day I Discovered Crying is Not a Sign of Weakness

I've spent most of my life as a non-crier.

Of course, until recently.

In the past five to ten years, I have become more of a crier (I blame hormones and age for this.), something that I have always not been able to stomach too much of.

I always saw crying as a weakness, especially in women. As a woman, I never wanted to be seen as always emotional or weak. 

Now ... I know that crying is just an outward display of the inward things that God has put in us. I love how God has created us differently than men. He made us different for a purpose ... so that we can compliment and complete each other.

I say all this to let you in on a little secret:
I cried yesterday.

Actually, I cried twice yesterday.

The tears I cried came out of nowhere. They just flowed. I had absolutely NO control over them.

You see, last week I had my yearly mammogram. Routine. No big deal. I've been having them since I was 35 or younger due to a family history of breast cancer. But, I've always taken care of myself, always taken precautions. I really have never worried about it ...

Until last Thursday ...

when I got a call from the mammogram facility. 

Calls are not good. Notes, letters ... good. That means everything is fine. I've gotten multiple letters confirming I have nothing to worry about.

The call gave me a little shock actually. I had an out-of-body experience as the lady on the other side of the phone explained why I needed to come back in on Tuesday to do a spot compression mammogram and then possibly an ultrasound. I simply said, "Uh huh" and "OK." And, then the wait began.

Thursday to Tuesday was a long wait.

I pushed the idea that this could be something bad to the back of my brain and didn't think about it too much. But, there were times when it would creep up and I'd have to actively cast it out like the Word of God says ... "take EVERY thought captive."

I did that.

Then, yesterday arrived.

I was OK until I started getting ready for the appointment. Whoever coined the term "emotional roller coaster" hit the nail on the head. That's EXACTLY what it felt like.

I had waves of all kinds of emotions ... from thinking about visions of my grandmother dying of breast cancer in the hospital to wondering how my family would deal with such a thing to I'm going to be perfectly fine to questioning where my faith in God was. Yep. I pretty much ran the gamut of emotions and thoughts there.

I realized throughout the whole waiting process that in the waiting is exactly where God is. God is in the waiting. 
That's the point where our faith is tested, where we question, where we stand on what we say we believe. The waiting is sometimes harder than the outcome.

In the waiting room I was in, the women there were old hat at this procedure and discussing their mastectomies and their friends' cancers and treatments. Not what I wanted to here while I was going through this whole process.

As the lady called me in to do that compression mammogram, she started to explain a bit about what she'd be doing. That's when a few tears fell. I wanted to go in there boldly, head up, shoulders back, no tears. Didn't happen. There was a wave of emotion I couldn't hold back. After I got over being angry with myself for crying, I realized I needed to give myself a break.

The fact that I cried doesn't mean that I didn't have faith in God. I did. I do. Those tears meant, "God, I don't know what the result's going to be. I know you want me healed and whole. I know You are good.   I'm a little anxious and also a little scared but I trust that You have everything under control. Nothing is too big for You or catches You by surprise." That's what those tears meant for me. 
They weren't a sign of weakness, but of surrender to my God, the One who loves me, who formed my body and knows every part of it.

I did apologize to the lady for crying to which she said, "Trust me. I see a lot of tears in here. You're not the first." At that moment, I was overwhelmed by the thought of countless women day in and day out, going into this same room ... some leaving with great results, some leaving with a call to battle something they never thought they would have to.

The radiologist did send me for an ultrasound also. Good news though! I'm OK. I let out a sigh of relief when he said what they saw was a cyst, nothing to worry about. I should be good to come back in another year.

Praise God! I give Him glory for this good report!

Just that tiny glimpse into a world of horrible things I never want to experience made me want to celebrate and appreciate the things I have in life. And, I realized why don't I celebrate more? Every day should be filled with celebrations! 
There is always something to celebrate in each day. 
We just have to make a point of doing it.


BaronessBlack said...

SOOO glad to hear all went well!
(In my family we're all weepers, my Dad and my husband, too!)

One of Garrison Keillor's characters in one of his books says "Thank You, God, for this good life, and forgive us if we do not love it enough!"
It always springs into my mind when I have one of those type of near-misses, especially with the children!

Sara@iSass said...

Read this, then took my kiddos to school came back and read it again.
Firstly, I'll join in your praise! Getting good news IS a blessing from God. Beside I don't think "congratulations" quite works for this situation.
I've always been a cryer, even labeled "too sensitive", I have always envied girls who could keep it together.
But as I've aged, I've realized my ability to feel things deeply makes me who I am. When I don't like something I try to change it or move on or get help...whatever it takes to move it out of my life. When I like something or find joy, it gives me the opportunity to give or show gratitude. I haven't always been good at that with God.
I loved this post. LOVED it. ( ps I start my mammograms in 2 years...oh the good times we have with getting older, frankly I wish wrinkles were the biggest issue) :0)
Continued health and wellness Belle.