Author Ava Pennington
Author Ava Pennington

You’d think I’d learn by now. I mean, how many times do I have to experience the same lesson before I get it?

Five years ago, I heard what no woman wants to hear from her doctor. “The radiologist reviewed your mammogram and has recommended additional pictures.” As I considered the possibility of cancer, I alternated between faith and fear. During a span of three weeks, I experienced several doctor visits, two mammography appointments, and a biopsy. Those same three weeks saw me move from obsessing about “what ifs” to steadfastly purposing to trust God’s loving sovereignty no matter what the result. In the end, God mercifully allowed a diagnosis of “benign.”

Fast forward five years later…
Once again, the possibility of an unpleasant diagnosis became a reality I did not want to face. This time it was related to my hearing. My tinnitus had grown more pronounced, compounded by pulsing that synchronized with my heartbeat. The physician recommended a series of tests, including an MRI and MRA.

As soon as I arrived home I googled my condition and immediately understood why he requested these tests. Pulsatile tinnitus can be the result of hearing loss with no other complications…or it can be caused by a brain aneurysm or blocked carotid arteries. Yikes! Nothing to worry about or everything to worry about.

I began a familiar dance between faith and fear. Another lesson in the learned practice of trusting God no matter what happens. With the prayers of several prayer-warrior friends upholding me, I waited for the scheduled tests.

Early Friday morning, during my quiet time, I looked up a Bible reference in one of my devotional resources – Psalm 116:7-8. Here’s what it said:

“Return to your rest, my soul,
for the Lord has been good to you.
For you, Lord, have delivered me from death,
my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling…”

I continued reading through verse 9:

“…that I may walk before the Lord in the land of the living.”

Once again, my sovereign heavenly Father lovingly met me where I was and mercifully calmed His child. The tests were accomplished Friday morning and I received the results Monday. I was never so happy to see the word “Normal” printed on a piece of paper!

More important than the diagnosis, however, were the lessons I learned…again. Another lesson in dependence. Another lesson in faith. Another lesson in trusting the One who is always at work for my eternal good and His eternal glory.

There may come a day when the outcome will not be what I want to hear. My prayer is that my faith and trust will never be dependent on a favorable diagnosis, but will always depend on the One to whom I belong.

What have you experienced lately that God has used to deepen your dependence on Him?

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