Lucky Charms and Lumpectomies
Wednesday (early morning): For days now I have had surgery on my mind. Not in the forefront, but lingering in the back forty. I haven’t written in four weeks because, believe it or not, I haven’t had anything to say. I am sure it’s the chemo lingering in the crevasses of my body, but nothing I think about feels important enough to commit to paper (a figure of speech today — since I haven’t written on paper in years). Today, however, feels different. Autumn is definitely at my door and it’s cold and foggy outside as I sit here sipping my hot coffee toned down by just enough half and half to make it the perfect tan color.
I haven’t had any pieces of me removed since I had children and they pretty much needed to come out. That move, twice over, changed my life forever. This is sure to not be that. But still it is odd to have flesh removed, and in this case, flesh that caused so much angst and sickness for the past five months. And it is doubtful that I’ll lose any weight through the process.
Today, HOTY will chauffeur me down to Los Angles to stay with my sister and brother-in-law. We have a very early time schedule to be prepped for surgery at UCLA the next morning. I keep thinking this isn’t a big deal and there’s no way it can be as bad as the six rounds of chemo this body has endured. But really I have no idea of what I am in for. Kind of like having kids. No one can really help you understand what the next twenty years of your life will be like. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Ignorance is bliss and Friday morning (the day after surgery) is the only thing that will tell the truth.
So let’s talk about prayer—smooth segue, right? Many people are wishing me “Good Luck” and other’s are praying for me. Both let me know my friends and family are thinking about me and care deeply about my welfare. I am genuinely blessed to have so many well-wishers (all around the world) rooting for my recovery. But does any of it really help?
Luck, good or bad, feels ambiguous to me. Like blowing someone a kiss and hoping the wind will carry it to the intended person. Do we each possess the power to bestow good things upon or to happen to someone? Or do we just say it because we have nothing but good intentions, that we have no control over, for that person? I know people are well-meaning when they say that to me. They earnestly wish a good outcome for me. Can we wish something like luck into existence? I am not sure we are each that powerful. At least I know I am not. I have wished upon many-a stars with very little success. I had a lucky rabbit’s foot key chain when I was a kid. Don’t remember how or where I got it. But, really who thought it was a good idea to cut off a poor rabbit’s foot and to carry it with your keys as if that would make things better for you? Didn’t work out well for the rabbit or me. Or what about the horseshoe idea? I am not a horse person, so I am clueless as to the origin of this concept. I just know the horseshoe has to hang with Its open end up, so the luck doesn’t drain out. It is a piece of metal forged in a fire by a sweaty black-smith, intended to be worn between a sweaty horse and the mud! Not seeing the lucky factor there. And then there’s the “luck-of-the Irish.” Another myth about rainbows with pots of gold at either end. In all my life I have never heard a tale of an Irish person finding that pot of gold. Lucky Charms? That’s a box of cereal that I can believe in. I love those dried up marshmallows, but that’s all I want to eat and then someone else is left with sugar-coated cheerios in the shapes of four-leaf clovers. Oh, I can’t forget about the four-leaf clover. I personally have spent hours upon hours searching for the elusive four-leaf clover. Actually found one once. Pressed it in a book to dry. Thought it might help, but honestly I can’t remember what I did with it. Once I found it, I lost it. Not very lucky.
Prayer, on the other hand, is a different story, if you pray to a real God. The personal, experiential God, who created the universe and everything in it. The all knowing, all seeing God, who has in His hand, control of life and breath of every living thing. The only God who knows your full story from beginning to end. This is the God I pray to. This is the same God many of my friends and family pray to with excited expectation to have their prayers fully answered, many times in miraculous ways. Prayer doesn’t change God’s mind about something. I wouldn’t want to serve a God that could have His mind changed by man. That would diminish His all-powerful nature. But I can pray to God to change the heart and the mind of man. I can pray for His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. God wants our prayers. Not just in times of desperation, but also in times of joy. He isn’t a big genie in the sky to give us our every wish. He desires a relationship with us, like a parent with their son or daughter. He delights in giving us the desires of our heart — that is aligned with His heart. How do we know God’s heart? How do we know God’s will? Through prayer and reading His Word (the Bible). Not once or twice, but daily. It is in that relationship that God allows us to see miracles happen.
I know I don’t have the power to wish luck upon someone, but I know someone who has the power to change a life. I am not strong enough to think good thoughts or to send well-wishes across the country, never mind across the street, and have it make any kind of difference in a person’s life. However, I know THE God who can make all the difference needed in someone’s life. He keeps the earth in motion for our survival. He times the beating of your heart. He keeps track of every sparrow and numbers the very hairs on your head, even when destroyed by chemo. He creates the storms and calms the winds. To believe that all these things just happen by happenstance or luck takes more faith then I can comprehend. But it is an empty faith that changes with the wind. Even to believe that there is a God who created all of this, then left man-kind to figure the rest out on his own, makes no sense to me. God created us and all of existence to have a relationship with Him. To walk and talk with Him. You can’t read the Bible and not see that. You can, however, diss the Bible and miss forever why you were created. You’ll also miss the power of prayer, which is just a conversation with the All-mighty, which He wants so desperately for us.
So, as I head into surgery tomorrow, I am so very thankful for your prayers (to God). I know your petitions to God on my behalf, give Glory to the author of my life. For those of you that don’t know my God, I also appreciate your well-wishes, because I know you care about me and desire a good outcome for me. But, I will be praying for you to one day know and have a relationship with the one who created you. That is life changing and life-giving and is the desire of His heart.