Living in the Gray
I love walking in the fog. Being surrounded by mystery and mist is both calming and exhilarating. I also enjoy snuggling with our dogs, wearing my gray sweater, and drinking coffee from my gray mug.
When it comes to living in the gray, I prefer clear answers to my questions. I don’t have to know today. Tomorrow is soon enough. If Plan A isn’t working out, do we have a Plan B, and when can we start? The day after tomorrow?
I recently had a PET scan to monitor what’s going on cancer-wise. I’ve had several months of what they call no evidence of disease – some of the most beautiful words in the English language. This time, there was a gray spot on a rib. My oncologist told us it is small – 5mm or about 1/8 of an inch. It wasn’t lit up on the screen, so I asked, “That’s good, right?” He said, “It’s inconclusive. 50/50.”
Suddenly I didn’t like the color gray as much as I had a few moments before.
We all know this can happen, but it’s a bummer when it does. I asked the doctor something like, “What do we do now?” (emphasis on the now)
His voice was kind when he said, “We wait.”
I asked, “How long?” knowing it wouldn’t be tomorrow or the next day.
“Three months. I’d like to see you again in December.”
We were all hoping for Plan A – moving to 6 months between scans. Instead, we have Plan B.
I wanted to know. “Is it cancer?”
He wisely chose not to assume what he couldn’t prove without a biopsy, and this little gray spot was too small to be tested. The good news is that it is the only spot of concern. All the other areas are healed, and he said something about the cancer in those areas being dead.
That great news pushed its way around the static in my brain and the heaviness that hung itself over my heart like a slate-colored cloud laden heavy with rain.
We all have moments like this, don’t we? Living in the middle spaces where answers aren’t quick or concise, and even if they are, they are not the ones we prayed for.
Now we wait, choosing to trust the One who knows what we don’t.
I’m not depressed while living in this gray space in time. Other than a few mostly mild side effects, I’m feeling pretty good.
I am determined to walk through these between now and then days trusting God. Nothing else makes sense to me. Nothing else brings the peace that is beyond my understanding. When anxiety tries to beat back hope, and fear does its best to rule, I pick Him!
Sometimes the temptation to spend an hour or three Googling little gray spots arises. I’m resisting. I will know what I need to know when the time comes. Besides, so many of the experts out there disagree, and that’s all kinds of frustrating.
In this time of maybe, it is, and perhaps it isn’t, agitation rises in me. That’s when I know it’s time for the Word and a walk. I turn to Phil 4:6 &7 often:
6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
God’s Word has the power to transform agitation into peace.
When I walk with my camera, sit at my desk to write, read for knowledge and/or pleasure, talk to people I love, pray for others (this is vital!), ponder the beauty in Creation, dream about becoming a beekeeper with Jon next year, receive his smile, enjoy our dogs, or the many other treasured things I get to do, this verse fuels my heart and mind with peace and joy:
“The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song, I give thanks to him.” Psalm 28:7
It’s the best way I know to thrive living in this gray time.
Until Next Time,