The Waiting Room
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Does anyone like waiting? I don't think so. I don't. It's not that I'm not patient. I think I'm patient. But I do not like waiting. Nevertheless, here I am, waiting. What am I waiting for? Good news. Word that the surgery is over and that Amy is okay.
As you know, in February, Amy was diagnosed with stage 0, grade 2, Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS), a non-invasive or pre-invasive breast cancer. This means the cells that line the ducts have changed to cancer cells but they have not spread through the walls of the ducts into the nearby breast tissue. Since then, we have been waiting to have it removed. Now after multiple trips back and forth to the hospital for various appointments, consults, pre-op procedures, and opportunities to meet with doctors, is it here in a surgical waiting room...waiting.
The surgery was slated for 12 hours. 2 hours to remove the cancer, and 10 hours to begin the reconstruction. My day started at 2:45 AM. I showered, dressed, and got the vehicle ready for the drive. Amy woke around 3:20 AM, showered, dressed, and by 3:45 AM we were on our way.
We arrived at the hospital around 5:00 AM. On time. We parked, checked in, and made our way to the surgical center. Amy was registered, and before we knew it we were sitting in pre-op. By a little after 6:00 AM, I was sent back to the waiting room while Amy was taken to another area to receive a nerve block before going under anesthesia. The surgery was scheduled for 7:30 AM, but it wasn't till a little after 8:15 AM that the patient update board showed that the procedure had begun. And so I started my wait.
Did I mention, I don't like waiting. But there's nothing else for me to do. There's nothing I can fix. Nothing I can say. Nothing to do. It's all out of my hands, and I am left to wait. I have to wait and trust that the reports I am receiving from the nursing staff are accurate and that everything is going well. I have to wait and trust that the surgical team is competent, check that, more than competent, and that they really do know what they are doing.
I have to wait; while fielding text messages from family and friends, all offering words of encouragement, support, and prayers. I have to wait; trying to busy myself with with office work all the while distracted and not really wanting to do work. But I have to do something to pass the time. I have to wait; with husbands, wives, friends, and loved ones scattered around a room. Each of us sharing one thing in common; we're waiting for the same good news.
As I wait, I'm reminded of a sermon I preached on the Sunday after Christmas. It was titled, Celebrate with Waiting. The sermon looked at Luke 2:22-38, the story of Simeon and Anna. Like so many of their time, they had to wait. What were they waiting for? The promised Messiah. The one whom the Prophets spoke of, the one who would sit on the throne of king David. Hundreds of years passed, and Simeon, and those like him waited. They clung to the promise of what was to come.
Studying this passage reminded me then, and again, that waiting isn't a bad thing. Like Simeon, we wait with expectation. We wait looking forward to what's to come. For Simeon and Anna, it was the hope of God's promise. For believers, it's the promise of Christ's return. For me, it's to hear that Amy is okay, that the surgery went as expected, and that we can move up to healing and recovery.
When we first heard the words, breast cancer, we were in shock. We couldn't believe it. It was a surreal moment of disbelief. But as the fog cleared and the words became real, we were determined to trust God in the midst of our fear. Somehow, in someway, he would be glorified in this. After all, while this might have been a shock to us, it didn't surprise God. He knew. He's always known. And just as we have trusted him with every other chapter in our story, we were going to trust him with these new pages.
So, yes, I wait. Not with fear or regret. Not with anxiety or stress. But I wait with a sure and certain hope. A hope that is resting on our God, the one we've chosen to trust. The God who loves us and has provided for all of our needs in every chapter of our lives together.