My bosom is burning for a couple reasons today.
Many of you are going through some tough stuff right now. Know that my heart hurts and breaks for many of you. Something unexpected happened to me earlier today… so bear with me, for I pray the following encourages you.
Because of my mother’s history with breast cancer, my doctor decided it was time for me to have another preventative mammogram.
Earlier this morning I went to schedule my “gram” only to learn they had an opening right then that I could take.
As I filled out the paperwork, a familiar sadness returned…
Lord, why must my mind go here? Please help me keep it together, at this moment, in this place.
As the tech wrestled me gently into the most bizarre upper body positions known to womankind, she asked me the one question that penetrates my heart so deeply:
“Tracy, can you please tell me about your mother’s history with cancer?”
There the question was~ hanging out there like I was, in all my contorted and flattened glory.
In the midst of cold metal, slight pain, and awkwardness, I shared the cliff note version of my mother’s story. I also shared how Jesus carried her and me through it all.
I finished and saw tears in her eyes. The tech proceeded to share about her own sister, who recently passed away from brain cancer. Jesus is carrying her now too.
I immediately forgot how ridiculous I felt and looked.
For it didn’t matter that it was a different type of cancer.
It didn’t matter that her loss was recent and that mine is becoming not-so-recent.
It didn’t matter that I was still hanging onto a metal slab for dear life and that she was a stranger.
What mattered is that loss has scarred us both.
What mattered is that two strangers took the risk of sharing their suffering with each other.
What matters is that Jesus soothed my sadness by introducing me to another child of His who also said, “I’ll see you later” before she was ready to; before she understood all the “whys” she tossed Heavenward.
Which brings me to the second (less literal) reason for why my bosom is burning today~
During a MAMMOGRAM (for goodness sake) I was reminded that something beautiful and inspiring happens when we share about suffering with one another. So I will continue to share. I will continue to risk.
Yes, I know that not everyone has dealt with whatever you are dealing with. Yes, I know that when you open up to someone they can reject you, laugh at you, gossip about you, or twist your words and use them to manipulate you. Yes, we must use wisdom in regards to what we share and with whom we share it.
But ALL of us have scars. So risk and share. You may have more in common with a friend or stranger than you realize.
To those who are suffering: please know that I am NOT writing “get over it.” Nor am I trying to minimize what you are dealing with. I just pray that God’s comfort, wisdom, and peace would be noticeable to you right now. I also pray that God would place another child of His who needs to hear about your suffering in your path- even though you may feel unprepared or ill-equipped to share right now. I pray that someday you would be courageous and share your suffering. And I pray that you would walk away from sharing it feeling a little more strengthened by or at peace with whatever is happening now.
Risk sharing your suffering in the midst of the every day and awkward- this is my prayer for you today. Be encouraged!