Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Til The Storm Passes By

Yesterday I survived a storm.

My day started out with extreme nausea and I was really concerned about how the chemo was going to go. By the time we got to MD Anderson for our 9:00 appointment, I was pretty green. When I got into the treatment room, Mignon from the week before, was my nurse. She always asks me my name and date of birth before she gives any meds or draws labs or any procedures. So when she said "good morning" , I said, all on one breath, "Good morning, I am Roxanne Baggott, date of birth 8/6/54 and I am really nauseous and need something in my IV before I start my chemo." She laughed aloud and said I'll call Dr. Baidas and we'll get it done. It helped somewhat, but I left after chemo still feeling pretty rough.

But the bigger storm I faced yesterday was not the physical storm but an emotional one. I was battling a storm called "fear."

I had learned the night before that three different ladies with TNBC that I knew had been told that their cancer had metastasized to other areas. It brought on the "what if" feelings. Fears of the chemo not working. Fears of the cancer spreading to other organs. How could I hold my breath for 5 years while I waited to be in remission? Fears of not getting to see my grandchildren grow up. I remember telling our Pastor when I got the abnormal mammogram results that "I was afraid of raccoons but I am terrified of cancer!" And yesterday I was terrified.

I looked at Carl and all that he has gone through, and I didn't have the heart to tell him how afraid I was. I didn't want to "bring him down". I didn't want to stir up the fears that I know he deals with also.

And so the storm inside my heart raged on. I cried out to God. "God I need someone to talk to. I am in this boat on the sea and the storm is raging. I am terrified.Where are you?? I am talking to you, but I need you to talk to me!!"

In the quietness of that moment I remembered something that my friend Ann had shared with me on Monday. She was talking of the disciple Mark's account of Peter and the disciples on the boat when a furious storm came up. Peter was a fisherman. He knew about big storms and little boats. He knew about the big waves with the white caps. He also knew about the calm blue water under the crashing wave. The scripture says, "But soon a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water. The disciples cried out to Jesus who was asleep in the stern. "Teacher, don't you care if we drown? Jesus got up, rebuked the wind, and said to the waves, "Quiet, Be Still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm." (Mark 4:37-39)

I pictured myself in that little boat crying out to Jesus. "Lord, I am in the middle of a storm, don't you care if I drown?" And then I saw the wind and the waves being quieted by Him. And in my mind's eye I saw Jesus and I, in the little boat, on the calm blue water heading towards the shore.

I clung to that picture in my mind and put my ipod on to take a nap. The very first song that came on was one that I believe God had already chosen for me. It was called "Til the Storm Passes By" and I listened to these words over and over again until I fell into a peaceful sleep.

Til the storm passes over,
Til the thunder sounds no more
Til the clouds roll forever from the sky,
Hold me fast, let me stand
in the hollow of thy hand.
Keep me safe til the storm passes by.

In the dark of the midnight, how I often hid my face,
with the storm clouds above me, there's no hiding place.
Hear the crash of the thunder
Precious Lord hear my cry,
keep me safe til the storm passes by.

Many times Satan whispers, there is no need to try
For there's no end of sorrow
There's no hope by and by.
But I know thou art with me and tomorrow I'll rise
where the storms never darken the skies.

Til the storm passes over,
Til the thunder sounds no more
Til the clouds roll forever from the sky,
Hold me fast, let me stand
in the hollow of thy hand.
Keep me safe, keep me Lord,
keep me safe til the storm passes by.

Today Jesus brought me through a storm. The wind is quiet and the water is still. I know that it won't be the last storm that I will go through. But God reminded me that in my storms He is in the boat with me. That the crashing waves may be over my head but he will keep me in the quiet blue water under the wave. He will hold me fast til the storm passes by.

I pray that when you are going through a storm, that He would keep you safe in the hollow of His hand til the storm passes by.

If you would like to listen to the song
"Til The Storm Passes By"
click on the link below: