Yesterday was bad - we were all pretty shell-shocked. We had a really good cry last night before we went to sleep and came up with a plan. A good night sleep helps a lot but it was a day of grief for sure.
I have a lingering feeling I cannot shake. I was (and still am to a certain extent) incredibly disappointed in the MRI results. Disappointment is hard for me to shake - anger I can punch out, sadness I can cry out, but disappointment sticks to me like dried jello. It can stain too, if I let it.
But that isn't the feeling I can't shake. Perhaps it is God's gift of comfort to get me off the pity party train - to get me back on His track - but I can't get over feeling God is in fact doing something mighty. There is a perfectly good reason why the MRI showed up the way that it did.
He just can't tell me right now.
We have 3 ways, medically speaking, we can look at the results.
1. It is live tumor that hasn't grown (which is very good result to the oncologists because they measure success by lack of "extension" vs. shrinkage).
2. It is dead tissue (the MRI can't tell the difference between live and dead tissue.)
3. It is radiation effect (also very possible because they told us it takes 3-6 months for that to go away and if you do scans too soon, tumors can show up the same size or bigger).
So, we wait. She has to finish her protocol anyway, then, in August, have another scan. Waiting is the most difficult part of this experience - but Natalie said something that made all the difference.
(But first, a little history...)
When Sophia was just over 2 - she had a little catch-phrase. It started one night at my parents' house when my Dad wanted her to "pay toll" (give him a kiss). Apparently she didn't want to at the moment because she looked straight at him and said "Maybe tomorrow." She used that phrase repeatedly on him for the rest of the night and it stuck.
(Fast forward to yesterday...)
When Natalie got home from school and asked me "Is Sophia's marble gone???" I said sadly, "Not yet, honey." To which she promptly replied...
Well then tomorrow maybe!
Isn't that just the way of kids, to make these magnanimous statements and profound truths with such simplicity? It doesn't surprise me that Jesus loved to have little children around Him here on earth - it must have been so refreshing compared to the Disciples.
Ever wise beyond her years, Natalie spoke a great theological truth. So many holy people got the "Not yet, maybe tomorrow" from God. Moses knew it - he had a lot of tomorrows he had to live through before his people were finally delivered. Joshua had to continually ensure the people consecrated themselves to The Lord because their survival in the Promised Land depended on what The Lord did to their enemies the next day. In the time of Judges, Kings, Chronicles and Esther, tomorrow meant the people had cried out to the Lord and needed His salvation.
Even into the New Testament, tomorrow and salvation are tied. All the Disciples were taught "Not now, maybe tomorrow" lessons so they could be prepared for the work Christ had given them.
The saints I know in the here and now experience the same. I was updating one of my best friends this morning and she said "Oh, I look back at my life and it is littered with those situations."
We so often want to choose what we know, what we can see instead of the unknown of God's goodness. But He asks us to trust that not only will we get the big reward of eternity but in the moment that His timing/reasons/laws/commands/direction are THE BEST for us.
Can I believe that the MRI results came back the way they did for THE BEST?
Certainly not yesterday. But tomorrow - maybe.
I'd like to think (and am praying) in 6 months, we will look back on yesterday and praise God that it was just a blip on the screen; that we will know why the results came out that way and it is just another experience of God's grace, mercy, love and providence we will use to comfort others.
There will be a tomorrow when the tumor behind Sophia's eye is gone. I will stand on that promise. There will be a tomorrow where cancer no longer exists at all. I will stand on that one too. In the meantime, I am going to work on believing the result was His Best till His glory is fully revealed.
His timing is perfect and always right on time - even if it happens tomorrow.