Fear of the Unknown: Then vs. Now

– THEN –

I sat in my bedroom thinking that this time next week, I would be waiting in a hospital room. Waiting to be put to sleep for a short amount of time so they can hopefully find out what part of me isn’t working properly. Short story: yep, I am scared as all heck.

There’s something about the unknown that is, put simply – terrifying. I am a control freak. I want to know what is happening, where, why and when. I want to know everything. I don’t like surprises – unless that surprise has four legs and barks.

My journey with doctor visits and blood tests started roughly ten months ago. I made an appointment with a GP to merely have a chat and build a rapport with a female doctor. At the time, I didn’t really think there was anything wrong with me (albeit, my family and friends like to tell me there’s plenty!) Turns out they were partially right – although, in a different way to what they suggested.

Considering I never really had any record of my health on file, my new doctor suggested I get a blood test. Little did I know that my first blood test would lead to seven more, a diagnosis of iron deficiency, an ultrasound, a brain MRI, three stool tests and (this time next week) a hospital appointment for both a colonoscopy and gastroscopy. Basically: a tube up my bum and a tube down my throat – not at the same time and not the same tube (you know, in case you were wondering). Needless to say, this was all very unexpected and I’m sitting there like:

As you can tell, I try my hardest to make light of an incredibly dull and unexpected situation. The last couple of weeks have been a roller coaster of emotion. I celebrated my twenty-first birthday and started my final semester of university, but amid the excitement and celebration, I couldn’t seem to shake that feeling in the back of mind reminding me of what was just around the corner.

Time has a funny way of slowing down right before the things you don’t want to happen are about to happen. The months before your HSC exams or the days before you have to get your wisdom teeth removed – you just want it to be over, but it tends to feel like forever. That horrible and unsettling feeling inside you starts to bottle itself up. You begin to dread the days right beforehand. No matter how hard you try to direct your focus elsewhere – on happier things, it’s so hard not to revert back to consciously thinking about what is to come.

That’s exactly how I am feeling. Putting on a smile and trying to focus my attention and attitude on the positive by distracting myself by other things. But that’s all it is: a distraction. Focusing on these things isn’t going to do anything about what inevitably has to happen.

– NOW –

I arrived back home from the day surgery not very long ago and considering I was sedated about two hours ago, I am feeling pretty good. The results showed I had a 5mm polyp that the doctor froze off and due to some questions remaining unanswered, I have to complete a pill cam endoscopy test in a week’s time. While I have been feeling fairly bummed this whole time (last pun, I promise), I have learnt so much from this whole experience. The thing that put it all in perspective was the incredible sunrise on the way to the hospital and the amazing sunset that evening. The entire day I had been dreading had both begun and ended with His promise “I am with you, always” and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect.

sunset 2

These last ten months I have had to do things I haven’t wanted to – time and time again. I have been pushed outside my comfort zone and boy, was it uncomfortable. I whined and cried more than I probably should have, but it all boiled down to the fact that the unknown was well and truly freaking me out.

Another fun fact about me: I overthink everything. I made up situations in my head asking questions like, ‘what if they find something serious?’ or ‘what if this isn’t the end of it all?’ The biggest lesson I have learnt is that in reality, we have no idea what the future holds – whether it be tomorrow, next month or three years from now. But God is a loving and caring God and He knows. We can’t control what happens in life – no matter how much we wish to, but we can control the way we react to situations we face. Fear can paralyse you or mobilise you – it’s your choice.

I still don’t know if this hospital visit will be my first and last, and whether this pill cam endoscopy is the end of it all, but regardless, I am holding onto the promise that God is in control. I have no idea about what is going to happen in the future, but for once in my life, I am coming to terms with the fact that I am okay with that.

“Why would I fear the future? For I am being pursued only by your goodness and unfailing love.” – Psalm 23:6

Whatever you are going through right now – a relationship breakup, hurt within the family, financial struggles, work stress, health problems, battles with your insecurities, whatever – you will make it. You have made it this far already, so I promise you that you will make it. Stop dwelling on the past or the pain that you are feeling now. Focus all of your energy on the good; no matter how small or insignificant you may think it is compared to your struggles. Don’t let fear of the unknown or your doubt and uncertainties cloud your hope or positive energy. Wake up and choose happiness. Stop letting your emotions overpower you. Instead, let God’s unfailing love and abundance of grace overpower your fear.

“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” – Matthew 6:34

Keep smiling. x

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