The nagging pain persisted. It didn’t wake me at night, didn’t interrupt my work. But it sat there, regardless. A dull ache reminding me something wasn’t right.
Fear nibbled in the back of my mind. What was causing this? Just ignore it, Jill. I tried that for a week, then two. A month slipped by, then three and four. It’s nothing. You’re too young to be really sick.
The pain refused to disappear. One day I picked up the phone and dialed my doctor. The doctor’s evaluation during my appointment wasn’t conclusive. Tests were scheduled for the following week. I put a brave face on at work, didn’t tell people, continued life as usual. The results came back, with a referral to an oncologic surgeon.
Fear lived in my soul. I told a couple close friends, asking them for prayer.
Fear lived in my soul. I told a couple close friends, asking them for prayer. Where was my faith? I knew God could heal. But would He do it now? For me? It was hard to know how to pray. Should I pray for healing? for acceptance of God’s will? for strength to endure? I “stuffed” the unanswered questions and focused on work.
The day arrived. Greg sat with me in the exam room. Funny how vulnerable you can feel, sitting on the table, waiting for the doctor. What am I doing in an oncology office? I’m not sick. Am I, God?
The surgeon explained how the tests done near our home showed some signs for concern. They wanted to redo some of them because they had better, more sophisticated equipment. Greg went into the waiting room while I was shuffled to another area. More patients sat there. Some talked and laughed while others cried. Perhaps they’d just been diagnosed. Did they have any support? What were their chances?
I made small talk with the woman next to me. Why is it that when we go through a crisis, it’s hard to talk about what’s really inside? We discussed the weather and her mom, who was having a test as we spoke. She talked about her fears, but I could hardly listen. Was I prepared for a diagnosis like this?
“Jill.” The voice broke into my whirling thoughts. Slowly I brought the nurse into focus. Oh, yes, that was me. I stood up and headed for the testing area. Sometime later another doctor came in. He seemed enormous as I looked at him. Larger than life, somehow. He was short, abrupt, almost rude. He answered my questions in an irritated manner. I headed back to the surgeon. She was nicer; she seemed to genuinely care. She patted my arm, “I’m pretty sure you’ll be OK, but we’d better run this pathology to be sure.”
Time dragged by. I waited a couple days, then called the hospital. Did they have the results back? Nothing. Was I prepared for what could happen?
The pathology finally came back—benign! A little dance, great joy, and a precious reminder of the shortness and sweetness of life.
I want every moment to count, to live life for Jesus, to share Him with others. For one day it will be my last.
Jill Morikone is general manager for 3 Angels Broadcasting Network, a supporting Adventist television network. She and her husband, Greg, live in southern Illinois and enjoy ministering together for Jesus.