A simple doctor’s appointment led to a discovery of early melanoma on my shoulder — which led to a massive scar, which is still healing. I went in to have those stitches removed and the doctor noticed a small spot on my lip. He took a biopsy, and it came back with a different kind of cancer.
So, here I am today at the hospital. I’m asleep while they cut on my face. I’m asleep while you read this. When I wake up, I don’t know if I’ll discover five stitches or twenty. I don’t know how deep they will have had to cut, or if it will alter my smile. A plastic surgeon will repair the damage after the cancer is removed. (I wasn’t able to convince him to fix anything else that might need a little work while he’s at it! 😉)
My friends and family have asked this same question over and over these past few weeks.
Are you okay?
I am, because I believe there’s an invitation for me — even in this.
There are lots of invitations floating around when things are scary, some good, others not so much. I am invited to follow worry which leads to angst, which invites me to despair. I can follow anxious thoughts, which produce a hundred different scenarios, and none of them positive. I can follow expert opinions or look it up on Google (never, ever look up facial cancer on Google, just saying.)
Instead, I embraced this invitation today:
Jesus invites us to give him our anxious thoughts.
In Luke 4, a troubled man is tormented. Jesus sees beyond his anxious thoughts to the man beneath. He speaks in authority, muzzling the brokenness within. The man accepts Jesus’ invitation, and it changes everything.
While I may not identify with this man’s story completely, I know what it is for anxious feelings to storm in. Thankfully, Jesus doesn’t shy away from our anxious thoughts. He looks beyond the outward symptoms to see us individually. He stills our disquieting thoughts.
As I watch this scene unfold between the tormented man and Jesus, I sense this beautiful invitation:
Don’t beat yourself up with anxious thoughts. We’ve got this.
The man was no longer alone in his battle.
This changes the course of our anxious thoughts.
I don’t know if I’ll post pictures today after surgery. The last time I had a phone after anesthesia was kind of a disaster. I posted selfies after a wisdom tooth removal that never should have seen the light of day. I don’t even remember taking them!
What I do know is that God’s got this. He has already muzzled the chaos of my anxious thoughts to bring me peace. Whether I wake up with five or twenty stitches in the small space between my lip and nose, I’m in his hands.
You might not be having surgery today, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t battling anxious thoughts.
If you are, your Savior sees you. The fact that you struggle with those thoughts doesn’t push Him away. Instead, he asks to join you in the midst of them and walk through them with you.
Grab that invitation. Hold it close. See where it leads.
21 Life Changing Invitations as We Walk with Jesus
Invitation #7: The fact that you struggle with anxious thoughts doesn’t push God away. He longs to settle your heart with peace.
Note that Jesus doesn’t just offer peace, but “his” peace. How does that change this invitation?
Sometimes we just don’t have the words to pray. If you are struggling with anxious thoughts, here is a free prayer booklet just for you. Download it. Share it. These started as my words, but they become yours as you share them. God hears every word you speak, I promise.
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