We all get to that point in life, at some point. For many of us, if not the majority of us – we’ll reach a pivotal split in the life tracks multiple times. When we hit the cross roads of life, we’re inevitably forced to adapt and grow. It’s often an intimidating or downright scary thing. You battle doubt, insecurity, anxiety and probably a healthy dose of fear. God commands us to never fear.. but it’s easier said than done. The fork in the tracks might catapult us towards career changes, health changes, or even relationship changes.
One thing is for certain. These days I feel we’re all at the split in the life tracks where we’re looking at either taking the right and moral course, even if it’s the unpopular way to go – or fall in line with the pressuring forces of evildoing and injustice that surround us. The morality tracks may be the unpopular course, yielding you as the outcast. But often, unpopularity and the times of slight discomfort are the times that mold us.
Do you take the split of comfort and complacency, or do you choose the split of chance and courage?
WHEN FEAR AND ANXIETY YIELD TO COURAGE
Remember when you were in elementary school, and you dreaded the playground because of the playground bully who seemed to always have it out for you? Or maybe it was when you were in middle school, or high school and the bullies spit gum in your hair, ridiculed your outfit, or made fun of how you walked or ran? You feared the playground first because that was your first opponent. You loathed bus riding some years because upper classmen tormented you. You dreaded P.E. every day because you were clumsy and unathletic. And the locker room roasting, don’t even get me started.
Here’s the deal – whether you realize it or not, that playground bully would eventually mirror every future opponent that you would face in your lifetime.
The playground bully morphs and evolves into different threats and challenges as we go throughout life. It’s up to us to face our adult Goliaths with the same courage we had when we were kids on the playground, or as an awkward gangly teenager. It’s the “putting one foot in front of the other” willingness that gets us through each hurdle. It may be at a glacial pace, and that’s fine. As long as we’re standing up instead of shutting down, we’re choosing courage.
As many of you know, I had more scans done end of last month after reporting some new symptoms to my oncologist. I’ve been letting my condition just coast for the better part of the last two years. Mostly because Dell and I were ready for a break after the surgery in 2018, and the cryoablation nightmare in 2019. It’s been pain management to the best of my ability. It’s taking it one day at a time, and some days it’s one hour at a time. There’s just not a whole lot of options for me regarding medical intervention.
And there’s still not. There’s no solid plan or procedure set in place to eradicate astronomically high pain levels. There’s no surgery or drug available that has rock solid guarantee on shrinking my hundreds of tumors. There’s no miracle doctor who has all of the mysterious answers about my rare mutation. Truth be told, they’re unsure what to do with me. Here’s what I do know:
- My neuro-oncologist meets with a “tumor board” consisting of a panel of doctors every week. These doctors have rare cases of their own, and needless to say, there’s a mass amount of brain storming that goes on. She will be bringing my newest scans and reports to this meeting of the minds, (if she hasn’t already,) to see if anything is offered that might be a viable option.
- After that, she will be having a one on one meeting with my neurosurgeon. She wants his evaluation and feedback as well.
- In the meantime, she is really wanting me to get established with a OB/GYN who has experience and special interest in pelvic floor pain, and remedial procedures to help with bowel/bladder incontinence, etc. This has been on the list of “to-do” for awhile now, I’ve just been putting it off. Not only due to cost, but fear of facing those possible realities. (Playground bully, remember?)
- In addition to the GYN, she is wanting me to also see a physical medicine and rehabilitation doctor who may offer some insight, and also aid in pinpointing a tumor, or clusters of tumors responsible for wreaking the most havoc and pain. (They usually do nerve conduction studies to do this. Being that I couldn’t complete the last one performed in 2018 due to my intolerance for the study, I’m not sure I’m a candidate. So, I’ve at least booked a consultation to discuss my worries/reservations regarding that.) She also does trigger point injections, and ultrasound guided joint injections. I’m truly not sure if any modality will be a sure-fire help, but I’ll least give it a go being that she is one doctor my neuro-onc has wanted me to see for two years now.
I DON’T KNOW THE WAY, BUT I KNOW THE ONE WHO DOES
It’s hard to navigate through life sometimes. There’s decisions to make, and problems to solve. There’s a crisis over here, and an emotional breakdown over there. It can be overwhelming! When we reach each and every pivotal point, it’s safe to say that we know that there’ll be a pivotal shift as well. I think the pivotal shift is really what’s intimidating, because we know that we’ll need to shift with it.
Am I strong enough? Brave enough? What if I can’t keep up physically or financially? All of these questions of self doubt, and faithless judgment of the situation, will win you no peace.
I’ve hit the cross roads of life more than once since I begun the Neurofibromatosis battle. I’ve hit cross roads I never dreamed I would encounter – and I’m sure I’ve not seen the last split. Far from it, more than likely.
Sometimes when both tracks look daunting and you’re unsure of which way to go, look up first. Spend some time in prayer and in stillness with the King – ask Him first. And if you cry out for guidance, discernment and clarity and still don’t get your answer? You choose the tracks that require bravery. You choose the tracks that demand tenacity. You choose the tracks that order fearlessness. You choose the tracks that force you to latch onto faith.
You may need to limp your way down those tracks, but you do not limp alone.
Limp with faith, my friends.
While it may be the hardest challenge or the greatest battle you’ve ever faced – never deter from the battleground tracks. For often, dauntlessness yields discernment.