In the Belly of the Beast

goforitI can hear the rhythmic beat of its heart, pulsing behind my ears.  Lub-dub, lub-dub, the unending cadence paces the rhythm of my own heart. It is impossible to ignore the sound. I try to go into my mind, thinking of something else. Yet always I return to the sound of that beat.

Slowly, my body slides into the waiting maw of the terrible monster. I cannot move. I just lay there, waiting to be devoured. And always that pulsing beat pressing against my ears. This moment will change everything. But it must be endured. The beast closes its jaws around me. Then a new sound, a terrible chomping and clicking. The noise is so loud it swallows the beating rhythm of the monster’s heart. Again, I attempt to let my mind wander, yet the sound of the gluttonous beast drowns out all thought.

An age goes by, and yet the ordeal continues. Seconds become minutes, minutes turn to an hour. My muscles begin to protest, tensing and railing against the forced immobility. How much must I endure before it is over? How long….

It began several months ago. I remember it clearly. I leaned against a stool waiting for the children to finishing singing. They were so sweet, their voices young and pure. Then I noticed my right leg was going numb. My hand upon the microphone lost feeling. Strange, I thought. I must have cut off my circulation. So I shifted my weight and shook out my hand. But the sensation did not return. Over the course of several weeks, the numbness remained. Gradually, the loss of sensation became a decrease in fine motor coordination. One day as I walked away from the table, my right leg stayed behind. It was time to see the doctor – well, probably past time.

Words were thrown around such as stroke and MS. So here I am, lying within the belly of the MRI machine. Eight hundred images are being taken of my brain and neck. Suddenly, as though nothing has occurred, the chomping sound stops. Again, all I can hear is the rhythmic pulsing of the beating heart. My head is swimming from being supine for so long. Slowly, I rise and the waiting game begins. What the outcome will be, I cannot guess. I hope for the best. But I do not fear. I am in the Master’s hands, and there is no better place than that.

I have been thinking about fear of late. Fear is a lack of faith in God.

“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:9-11

The same God that fashioned the heavens, that framed me in splendor, is the same God that walks beside me through the hard times. None of us knows what the future holds, but we can be sure that God is in control. What seems bad will work out for good. Whatever path He chooses, I will take, knowing that if I stumble, He will brace my fall. He will lift me up on eagle’s wings, and I shall rise. I cast my fear on Jesus and will not be afraid.

~ Susan