In fact, I held it in my hand for a moment before I realized the enormity of what was happening.
And for several minutes more, I debated whether to open it. I didn't know what I would find inside, but I knew it would alter the course of my future. And I wasn't sure I was ready for that, wasn't sure I was ready to know.
I had waited 77 days for this.
I had waited 77 days to know.
And suddenly, 77 days didn't seem nearly long enough.
My hands trembled as I opened it, and that familiar tightness settled in my chest. The anticipation, the fear, the knowing that life was about to change and the not knowing whether it would be good or bad.
But there was something else, too.
A stubborn hope that a better life was coming. An intangible faith that it didn't matter what I found inside. I would still be okay. God would still be near. And we would still build a life together.
By the time I laid eyes on a page full of red and green boxes, I was ready to know. And as I ever so slowly comprehended what I was seeing, I felt only gratitude for the knowing.
Yes, it's true. My diagnosis has been expanded. I don't have just one genetic mutation. I have eleven.
But I could have been diagnosed with thirty. Next to that, eleven doesn't seem so bad.
And really, this is good news. Having these eleven mutations means that my body has every reason in the world to be weak and tired and broken.
These past few months, we've only been treating the single mutation we knew about. And we've made incredible progress. But there is so much healing that is still needed. Finally we know why. Finally we have answers. Finally we can move forward in this journey toward healing.
After 77 days of waiting, wondering, hoping, and fearing, I am left with only a deepness of gratitude that cannot be expressed in words. Thank you is too small. But I will say it anyway. Because it's all I have. And because He knows how deep this gratitude runs.
#41 The return of faith
#42 Peppermint ice cream...so happy
#43 The most beautiful start to a brand new year, a gift from the One I love
#44 A friend finding hope in the midst of grief.
#45 Catching up with a dear friend after the holidays.
#46 The fact that two weeks away from this dear friend is much too long
#47 There are 19 mutations I don't have
#48 I could be discouraged by my test results, but I'm not
#49 Little bits of understanding about how to proceed in my treatment
#50 A doctor who jumps up and down (literally) at the prospect of learning new things to
help me heal
#51 Winter-themed mugs coming out of hiding, adding cheerfulness to the gray of January
#52 Venti, my far-away "little sister" who lives in poverty and dreams of being a doctor
#53 The reminder that "He is good, so good"
#54 And for holding my life in His hands
#55 Snow falling down in the quiet dark, covering the deadness of winter in glorious white
#56 The way the snowfall lights up the night--reminding me that when I am made "white as snow" by the One who bore my shame, His Light is reflected and it is beautiful to behold.