Friday, June 3, 2011

Facing Your Fears

Do you face your fears? Not me. I'm good at just knowing what I can deal with and what I can't. For instance, I don't swim because I don't like anything over my head. I'm claustrophobic and the thought that water could be over my face and envelope my head is just too much for me to handle. A few days ago, I had to face a big fear…an MRI. Before I tell you the story, let me just say that everything is fine. The MRI was requested by my doctor to make sure that all was well and it is. Thank you Jesus.

I enter the imaging center and this Dear Woman (DW) takes me in the room with the long white tube. I tried to stare it down, but it wouldn't budge! It just sat there, taunting me. I'm sweating so profusely, that I think I'll probably get electrocuted from all the water. So DW says for me to lie down and put my shoulders all the way to the top. Then she has the nerve to put a CAGE over my head. I'm getting a little panicky, but think it will be o-k. I tell myself it's like wearing my daughter's pitching mask when I catch for her. I can see; I can talk…we're good. My breathing is fast, but I'm hanging in there. Then I start to move into the tube. All is well, at least I think so. Before I can close my eyes, DW hits the "up" button. Seriously, this thing is in my face. I'm pretty sure I could touch it with my tongue, and that's just way too close. Did I not mention that I am claustrophobic? She should have known better. I'm in a full blown panic attack, yelling for her to get me out. NOW!!!

I sat up for a few minutes and tried to gather myself. Then I realized that this is the path to finding out what the sharp pain in my head is all about. At least it will confirm that it's an inflamed lymph node pressing on a nerve and nothing more serious. So I've got to do this thing. Really Jesus, I'm thinking. Surely You can make it just stop. But it's not and the tube is still there, waiting. DW asks if I would like a cold cloth for my head. Not so much. Nothing else on my head is required. Thank you very much. Bless her heart. She then asked me if anyone was with me that could come in. NOBODY is getting in this thing with me lady. It's crowded enough. (I told you I was in a full blown panic attack!)

However, I did ask for a panic button. It made me feel better and it was really loud. So we try this thing again. This time I keep my eyes closed the whole time. The first test is 8 minutes lonnngggg. At first I'm still thinking it's not happening, and my finger is on the button. But then I start to pray. Jesus please help me to calm down. Jesus please help me not to push the button. Scripture begins to come to my mind about God being bigger than my sad, pathetic claustrophobic self. Romans 8:37 is a verse I memorized a couple of months ago. "NO, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us." I'm thinking No Satan you are not winning. No, weak flesh you are not giving in. I'm thinking I am a conqueror through Jesus. The next verse comes. Psalm 46:10, "Be still and know that I am God." Did I mention that I had to be very still…no moving allowed? I've got a death grip on the panic button, but I'm still. Yeah God. It's working. DW says, "You're half way done. You're doing great!" The last few minutes were pure bliss…at least for me. My breathing slowed down and I was hearing this song, The Power of the Cross, playing in my head. The first test was done.

If you're still reading, there was a second round of tests. This would require about 20 minutes in the tube. The tests would run about 2-4 minutes each. I could come in and out of the tube or just work straight through. Mercy. Grace. I didn't commit either way. Just put my head down, got locked in and waited for the tests to begin. These tests came with loud noises. One was like someone using a jackhammer; the next was like gun fire in the distance then close by. A longer one, about 4 minutes, almost got me. It sounded like a freight train and I kept thinking I can't get up. There were a few more and we were done. I MADE IT! ALL THE WAY!!! Thank you Jesus. Fear is gripping, but the power of Jesus and His Word is bigger and able to handle any fear we have. This is not the way I would have chosen to experience the peace and presence of Jesus this week. But without a doubt, I am so glad that I did.

Now if we can just figure out what to do with the 600 images of my brain....

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