In a few days, I will be a restructured version of my physical self. The kind breasts that nourished and supplemented our children’s needs for some 6+ years combined, will be removed, biopsied for any further news and, finally, discarded. In a few days, and within a ten to twelve hour time span, the bilateral double mastectomy and DIEP Flap reconstructive surgery will allow four sets of hands to rearrange and refurnish me. New breasts will be formed and step in, to impersonate the old, from my own abdominal fatty tissue. With humor, I have been diligently attempting to grow this landscape further, assisting the 43 year old metabolism with rigor, to, at the very least, have some kind of say in all this. I realized from the start, the only choice I have on this new path I tread, is to stay steadfast in my gratitude, with humor, and complete trust in God and His plans for the rest of my life. Quite unnaturally, I have had the facility to feel the complete and normally unnerving vulnerability and helplessness required, in order to receive the true outpouring of generous familial love and friendship. Time off from work and retirement life, furniture much needed for recovery, meal provisions, house cleaning, care for my children in substitute guardianship on weekly homeschool co-op days, rides, playdates, sleep overs and, most significantly, heartfelt best wishes and deep prayer have come and more on the way. A small loving army has risen to stand by us, so I can lay things down. I soon move forward from this chapter with a telling scar across my belly and breasts. Currently smooth and unscathed skin will soon bare permanent markings. I will have cracks on my body I cannot erase. While this malignant nodule’s appearance and escorted departure will mark my smooth regions forever, I trust, the most important things still remain. And, that knowledge is all I need more than ever.
From Pastor Nicky Gumbel’s “Bible in One Year” Devotional, which I came across just this morning:
“A water-bearer in India had two large pots, both hung on the ends of a pole, which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot always arrived half full.
The poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do. After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water-bearer one day by the stream:
‘I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologise to you. I have been able to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts.’
The bearer said to the pot, ‘Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you’ve watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.’
Thankfully, God uses cracked pots! You do not need to be perfect for God to use you…