I went in today for a CT Scan. For most people, such a test would be no big deal. Just drink the stuff they give you, present your arm for the IV, and wham bam get the scans done and leave.
I wish with all my strength that I could have been such a person.
Instead, I battled Fear. I went in unprepared spiritually for such a battle. Oh, I’d read my scriptures this morning, but that old Anxiety monster reared its ugly head. Seven hours later, I’m still feeling the effects of the panic attack.
The first battle was trying to drink the “dye.” It was flavored like lemonade, but I had an empty stomach (I’d been fasting) and I have never been able to “gulp” down any drink. Too afraid it would come back up! So I sat and sipped a miniscule amount.
The next battle was deciding to let the technician put the contrast agent in my IV. I was shaking uncontrollably at this point. He rattled off sensations I might feel, and I panicked when he said I’d have a metallic taste in my mouth. There’s a backstory to this one — way back when I was pregnant with my second baby who is now in heaven, the doctors treated me with all kinds of meds to try to get the nausea at bay. One of the meds gave me a metallic taste in my mouth just prior to an attack of nausea. Maybe that’s why I was so stricken. I’m not sure. I can’t explain it.
I started to cry and told him I couldn’t do it. After a few false starts, I thought of my daughter and went ahead with the procedure.
I’ve been emotional ever since. Tears of disappointment in myself. I just about fell apart in that radiation room, and I am not even facing the same things the other patients there are probably facing! Where was my faith? It was gone. I was in the boat in the middle of the storm, terrified of the wind. The Lord was right there but still I cried and trembled and wished desperately that I could control these panic reactions. I did not feel his presence with me in that room. I wish I could say that I did.
I feel His presence now. I know he never left me. And ultimately it was HIS strength that got me to go through with it at all, because I was a millisecond away from jumping off the table.
I came across another familiar verse yesterday that is sticking with me for some reason. Jesus quoted the scripture about the cornerstone in Luke 20:
The stone the builders rejected
has become the capstone
Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed.”
I used to pass over that verse thinking that it didn’t apply to me, but now I’m not so sure. I looked up the Greek word for “falls” — and one of its meanings is to fall prostrate before someone. Perhaps it means that those of us who follow Jesus, who fall at his feet, are the ones who will be broken to pieces. Perhaps we have to be broken to pieces so He can remake us again.
If that’s the case, he has a regular Humpty Dumpty on his hands with me today, because I feel broken and bruised, physically (from the anxiety attack earlier — sore neck, weak, shaky legs, extreme fatigue) and emotionally (why didn’t I feel Him?)
Fortunately, the fact that I didn’t perceive Him is irrelevant. He was there. My King WILL put me back together again. Someday.