Faith Over Fear

She looked at the Bev Doolittle print above her bed in the darkened exam room of the doctor’s office. “The Forest Has Eyes”. What a strange picture to hang above an ultrasound table in a women’s care facility. She lay there, listening to the beep of the machine, counting the Native faces in the print. Thirteen. Not her favorite or lucky number. Not her day. Not her month. And it didn’t feel like her life. This appointment made the fourth in a row this last month. Measurements. Labs. Bloodwork. And biopsies. And consults. And surgeries she wasn’t planning on having. Here she was in a paper hospital gown waiting on a doctor to tell her the next move. To dictate a path. To rein her in a direction she didn’t want to go, but must.

She lay there thinking about her life. Her hand went to her left breast where they biopsied. She’d already known about elevated CA125 levels and the pain that brought her to the doctor for a visit, but she wasn’t really prepared for a double whammy. The possibility of both ovarian and breast cancer. Nothing was confirmed yet, and perhaps that was truly the hardest part; the what ifs and maybes and unknowns. She clung to the positives in the doctor’s words: “early stage”, “if”, “there’s a chance it’s something else” and pushed out the words cancer, chemotherapy, and radiation.

She thought it ironic that it had taken her all 43 years of her life to learn to suddenly appreciate her imperfect body, and the depth of that emotion was unfathomable. This body that had been sexually abused as a child. The body that was teased and made fun of as an adolescent by young men and some girls. The body that endured hitting the ground off of cold backed horses on an even colder morning. The body that bore her two children. The body she unwillingly and willingly had given to men. The body that had seen weight gain and loss and stretch marks and bruises and breaks- that body was now possibly facing disease. And now she was willing to accept it?

She pinched back tears. Why had it taken this moment to see she was more than this earthly body encasing her soul and her light? She was more than sex, more than babies, more than breasts and more than a preconceived notion she, or anyone else had of her, in a less than perfect picture. She sat up, hugging her knees and folding her head. She leaned into the tiny mustard seed of faith planted that morning in her heart via a passage she’d read in her Bible. She repeated it over and over and over… “ She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future.” Proverbs 31:25.

So I will… I will laugh without fear of the future. Because I serve a big God. But if it’s a path I must walk, I will do so with grace and grit, strength and love, regardless of a diagnosis. I’ve warred with sharing something so personal here, but I hope that I am used as an example to others that may struggle with self love and worth, the ones with hard stories to tell, the ones watching from behind a corner wondering if they’re alone. I don’t want pity or sympathy or attention. More so, what I want is that we learn we’re worth so much more than a shallow society’s thought. Be clothed in strength and dignity, and be a vessel of good.

I’ve said it before… one roll of the dice. That’s what we get. So when it’s your turn, ride the horses, watch the sunsets, love your family, forgive the wrong, and be what the man upstairs put you on this earth to be; a fearless, faithful and flawed human of His work.

8 thoughts on “Faith Over Fear

  1. You have always been a stong woman Heather. You will weather this storm too, no matter what it throws your way. BY writing this, you invite prayers, which I am happy to add to the growing number (even as we speak) of your friends and family that will be putting them out there for you on your behalf. Hey- Christian is home in the arms of his family- and I truly believe it weren’t for the collective prayers that went out for him- it might be a different ending. Thank you for sharing this- and yes, a body is just a body, but YOUR heart is as big as the Universe. Love to you and yours.

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  2. Our brave beautiful daughter. We could not love you more. The courage to share this is so much what your beautiful self is made of❤️❤️

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  3. Love you My sweet friend! You got this and I’ve got your back, many prayers for you and positive thoughts❤🥰 XO

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  4. Heather….you write so beautifully and eloquently!!! If I could write that well, those could be my words….I start IV chemo on the 30th for 12 weeks, then on to 4 – 8 weeks of radiation along with another 9 months of IV herceptin…..all for a teeny tiny stage 1 tumor!! But our GOD IS in control, knows what HE is doing and all is well with my soul! Praying for you!!!

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  5. Heather, your words, faith, and trust in the Lord are beautiful. I am so grateful you received good news. Prayers for your continued healing and health. ❤️

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  6. Heather, It’s been several years since Ledger & I have been to Rich Ranch. But we have always kept your family in our thoughts & prayers. We have a mighty God who watches over us.
    I will keep you in my prayers that you will have good health from this point on & when you are able, ride a horse for me!

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