… as well as edifying despite the burning desire to place blame. Emotionally, I felt that the clinic at our home station had been slack on their end. I first faulted them for not confirming an identity when they claimed to have called and delivered the results of my biopsy, (remember that part?). I was certain that they’d called the wrong person. I have no idea to whom my results were given. Then, I faulted the clinic for possibly not doing the biopsy correctly; maybe not enough cells were collected or worse, the wrong thing was sampled! Finally, it was the clinic’s fault that they did not have the necessary tools for situations such as mine; perhaps had they been better equipped, the biopsy would not have needed to be sent away!
After those unconfirmed allegations, I started blaming, or more so questioning myself. “Maybe the nurse didn’t tell me the goiter was benign…no, she said benign…I think…maybe she did say malignant and I heard only what I wanted to hear…but the ENT, he confirmed what I thought I heard…right?” Y’all, I was a mess!
We were able to attend Worship service on Sunday with our home congregation and one of Brother’s said in the benediction prayer, “Lord God we ask for your healing blessing on Sister Larie Norvell, Lord God. Touch her body from the crown of her head to the soles of her feet.” Then I heard him say something about Cancer in the same sentence with my name and the dam gave way again; I left the assembly soaking its carpet with my tears. It was too much for me to handle, someone praying a prayer like that for me. “Not me, I don’t deserve it!” The beseeching inflection in my Brother’s voice as he interceded for me further weighed me down. His wife followed me into the restroom and asked, “It was his prayer wasn’t it?” I told her yeah and she took my limp body into hers for comfort.
Once I emerged from hiding, my “Interceding Brother” approached me with words that I could not understand because I had been alerted to his tear-cup; it had filled itself to the edge, waiting to spill over, just-like-THAT!
The night before we headed back to Yokota Air Base, a few of my Sisters in Christ came to our home for prayer. Each Sister poured her heart out to God, pleading for Cancer’s inability to take over my body. A box of tissue went from hand to hand while also a notebook. In the notebook, my Sisters wrote hopeful love-letters to me. They instructed me to read them whenever I felt doubtful, angry or lonely, but especially just before the surgery.
On the morning of the second surgery, I sat in my room and read their love-letters. They were filled with hope, love, reassurance and faithfulness. My Sisters in Christ are awesome! I also began reading in James. Right as I completed verses one through four of chapter one, “flawlessly” timed, in walks the surgeon. After explaining to me that he wanted to personally come by to certify that I was ready and understood the second course of surgery, he turned to walk away but stopped and asked what I had been reading. I told him James. A huge smile appeared on his face and he replied, “That’s a VERY good book.” Habitually, I responded, “Yes it is,” (I would later understand why his timing was “flawless” and truly possess an ability to agree about James being a VERY good book).
Though I bled more during the second surgery, all went well. This time, when I came to consciousness, I said, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.” James 1:2-3 NIV With a smile on his face, Anton recited it with me while some of the surgical staff stood by, smiling as well. Oh yeah! Why, (rhetorically), was my recovery nurse’s name Angel?
I believe I should end this portion of my story with that, it seems fitting.
“If you make the Most High your dwelling…then no harm will befall you…For he will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone…” Psalm 91:9-16 NIV