By Mallory M
“Your throat feels enlarged. I think you should see your doctor.” These words from my dentist were concerning. Later, when I visited my doctor he told me he could indeed feel some nodules in my neck and recommended that I have a biopsy. These words would change my life. The next week I went in for the biopsy and the week after that we got the results. The doctor told me I had Papillary Thyroid Cancer.
It is said that we are our worst critics. This is certainly true in my case. I have been a dancer since I was a little girl and so when I started high school, I couldn’t wait to try out for the drill team. We picked up the paper work to try out and scheduled the required physical. I completed the physical and everything seemed to be positive until that terrible diagnosis. I had already made the drill team by the time I received this news; and we were already learning dances and practicing for many hours a day. I had my surgery the day after we danced in the 4th of July Parade and had one dose of radiation after that to make sure the cancer was all gone. After all of this, I was exhausted and I couldn’t even get through a two minute dance without taking a break.
I was sitting in practice all the time and I felt really judged by my peers. I felt totally inadequate. I wasn’t the dancer that I could have been because I couldn’t even practice the dances. I was questioning why I was even on the team. That was one of the hardest times in my life. I really felt like I was separated from everybody else and that nobody knew how I was really feeling. One night when I was feeling especially down, my parents came into my room to talk to me. My mom gave me a plaque to put up on my wall that had the saying on it, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it is about learning to dance in the rain.” This quote really changed my perspective about what I was going through. I was feeling bad for myself; I wanted some energy to magically appear so I could do the things that I wanted to. I wanted this experience as something to help me to grow.
I have learned from these challenges that it is easy to forget our divine inheritance; we should remember that we come from heavenly parents who love us. We are impatient for instant solutions, when often it is the passage of time that will allow things to work out. I know when I worry about something, I become more stressed out. Yet when I look at eternity and those things that really matters in my life; such as family, service, and God, then I don’t feel overwhelmed and I know that God is there for me and will help me through it all.
When asked how he had produced the magnificent statue of an angel, Michelangelo simply replied, “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” I think that is what the Lord will do with each of us if we allow Him to do so. He can carry our burdens and help us overcome our self-doubts and fears. When we rely and trust in God, He will give us the strength and wisdom to do almost anything.