Yesterday I preached a sermon on anxiety. First though, I arrived at the church where I was preaching with 10 minutes to spare and then noticed I didn’t actually have my sermon notes with me. This is a very anxiety producing feeling. What occurred in the next 15 minutes was a flurry of me driving, texting and trying to gather sermon notes. I arrived late, sweaty, with notes in hand and a semi-entertaining intro into the worship service theme. After the service, at home, I noticed the sermon notes in the crevice of my car-between the seat and console. So yes, I essentially, freaked my self out, driving around with what I needed right beside me in the car the whole time. I’m just guessing but it seems God is not finished teaching me funny lessons on handling anxiety.
Then this morning, I got another chance to experience a different kind of anxiety–the mammogram Monday kind. This kind isn’t amusing. It’s just real. Every six months, I am scanned for signs of change. It’s real because they are looking for any signs that the cancer is back. Today I tried the mammogram for the first time since surgery and radiation without a pain pill, which I mostly took previously for psychic pain.
My husband asked me on the way there how I was feeling about everything. He never asks things like that. I was caught off guard and said “I don’t know.” What I felt inside was a mixture of deep fear, palpable anxiety, dread and peace. That whole mixed ball of feelings made me want to cry.
I made it through the scans and the waiting, trying to remind myself of all the wise things I said in my anxiety sermon the morning before. When the doctor called me in to that dark room to look at my pictures, my heart was in my throat. “All clear, looks great, no changes.”
I didn’t cry until I got to the changing room and exchanged the little pink mammogram top for my street clothes. Happy tears, relieved tears. And, still so much for me to learn about anxiety.