About this same time Ann started to feel poorly, quickly becoming full after eating only few bites. Eventually, she made an appointment with the family doctor, who examined her and then promptly referred her to a hematologist at Baylor hospital in downtown Dallas.
The next morning, as we somewhat hesitantly got out of our mini-van, Ann fearfully asked, “What am I doing here?” At the top of building, which had an address that matched our hematologist’s, was a sign that read, “Baylor Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center.” What the heck?
Over the next several months, Ann went to various doctors and had numerous tests as we tried to discover what was wrong. Doctors were able to determine that her spleen was enlarged, which explained why Ann didn’t have an appetite, but they couldn’t uncover a cause. Thankfully, they did rule out leukemia and lymphoma.
Each appointment brought fear, uncertainty and discouragement, with a bit of relief sometimes mixed in. Ann’s constant concern was, “What if I have cancer?”
What does one do when he or she is being suffocated by a valid fear of an uncertain future? Ann’s response was to turn to her Father through his Word. I believe that it was during this initial uncertainty that Ann began to write out encouraging Bible verses on 3 x 5 index cards. She took these cards with her to the doctor’s appointments and would flip through them as she waited. Here are a few of her cards:
- “The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him” (Nahum 1:7).
- “The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing” (Zephaniah 3:17).
- “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).
- “Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken…Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge” (Psalm 62:5-6, 8).
- “Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in you my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed” (Psalm 57:1).