NB: This story is purely fictional and a result of my active imaginations. It is unrelated to any person dead or alive; any such resemblance is purely coincidental.
Many women are dealt different blows of life from different angles, sometimes tragic and even deadly. Little did Monica know at the age of 26, she too would taste life’s bitter pill. She had suffered a lump in one of her breasts, which had become cancerous when detected. Unfortunately, her breast was removed to prevent the cancer from spreading to the rest of her body. She had always cherished her breasts since it was the most beautiful part of her body. As a child, she had fantasized about feeding her children as she played mummy. Thus, she was shattered after the operation when she beheld her bare chest in the mirror. Two weeks after the surgery, she deals with the mishap the only way she has knew how. Her father in heaven will have to hear what she thinks of this and what this experience has told her about him.
If I am dear to you like you are to me, then you have an ironic way of showing it. If I earned your displeasure by showing off my cleavage, perhaps you should have dealt with me less harshly as your word attests to your mercy. If I knew, the time would come where I would have nothing to show above my chest, I would have saved many memories for a time like this. How do you see me now? The weight that graced my chest no longer tells of my identity. How will my Adam one day see me when he realizes his eve is incomplete? Will he still love me like you do and look past my chest to the love lying within, or will he turn around in disgust unsatisfied one lovely dove is gone?
Will what I have left, have the ability to satisfy the thirst of the three lovely kids I hope to have one day? And if you give me twins, who will have to sacrifice in suckling mummy’s breast first? Will what I have left be enough? How beautiful it is, to see a baby suckle his mother’s breast. How beautiful it is to me to see a husband rest his head on his wife’s bosom and like a baby, never wanted to leave its comfort. Oh, how beautiful it is to stand in the mirror in admiration of what you graciously endowed me. Were all those thoughts in vain unknowing one day soon, those fantasies will elude me?
How childhood might have laughed at me when I put the tiny insect on my nipple at age 13, with the ridiculous belief it would grow my bosom. When my friends Sandra and Victoria did this day after day, anticipating bigger breasts, it seemed to work with our vivid imagination. Little did we know those little insects stolen from the sand were needless in such circumstances. If having breasts, as a woman was not important, then why did we crave to have the same thing we saw on our mothers’ and sisters’ chests at that tender age? Why did we hope to skip childhood to adolescence? Is it not because you had put in us that innate desire? You are my father and I feel no shame baring my soul to you, for nothing I think, say or do has ever shocked you or will ever do.
I feel I have become a half woman who has no evidence of her identity. For what separates me from a man if we both have a flat chests? How will the embrace of my husband be when he feels no warmth and tenderness? Will I find one who loves me as you do? When the Doctor broke the news to me that I had a cancerous lump in my breast, oh how I prayed. How I prayed like Jesus did when he cried out to you to take away this cup, but unlike him, I never had the courage to ask for your will to prevail. So why did you not heal me? Why did you not command the traitorous lump which threatened to steal the life of your daughter, disappear into the depths of hell where it came from?
Did you not say in your word I am the apple of your eye and that you hold me in the palm of your hands? So how did harm come my way when I lay in God’s own palm? Have you not exalted your word about your name? Are you not the God who does what you will do? If so, does this mean the good plans you claim to have for me right from my mother’s womb were instead plans of evil, meant to harm me? The mere thought of this breaks my heart into a million pieces, for deep down I know the yards of old cannot measure your love. The wisest man who ever lived cannot describe your love for me.
I know removing my left breast saved my life preventing the cancer from spreading to other parts of my body. I look forward to the reason you kept me alive. I am left with the right one, a tribute of your wisdom to why you created them in a pair. So why do I feel I have lost my most prized possession? I know the unbearable pain is gone away with it, but you alone know what it left behind. A low self-esteem and a torture only you who permeates my mind can fathom. Even though the padded bra does its best to play its role, the mirror in my room reminds me of the truth. I have become incomplete!
When I was skeptical the first day in boarding school about bathing naked, the innocent girly comments about my lovely breasts made me so happy. Even though I was shy, the compliments made me confident in my womanhood. At least if my face was not so beautiful, something of mine was. This may sound silly, but when my female colleagues voted my breasts as the most beautiful in secondary school, my joy knew no bounds. It was all a game but it made me happy. I couldn’t wait to show them to my husband on our honeymoon. You know this God, for I have not kept this fantasy from you. Between us, there are no secrets.
Am I holding on to vanity or do you feel my pain? Thank you for speaking to my spirit the other day as I looked into the mirror. When you told me I was still more beautiful to you, that the beauty within me covers my scars from your sight, oh how my heart soared. However, down here on earth where man does not think as you do, please help me survive. Help me survive with what you have graciously left me. Help me survive with the life you spared. Oh God, Help me! The tears my family and dearest friends shed upon realizing I may have lost my life make me realize it was worth the sacrifice for I am thankful you have given me such loved ones. You have blessed me with people who can look at me through your eyes and love me unceasingly.
The mere fact that my younger sister Tracy naively thought she could donate her own breast to make me happy taught me a great lesson. We hold on to what we can easily let go. There is nothing we can live without unless you whose name is Jehovah decide to take away the breath you have given to us. The only thing and the only one I cannot leave without, is you. My God, my Father and my friend! It is interesting how we love you when everything goes well for us and turn our back on you, when it happens otherwise. Oh, now I cherish Jesus the more for those of us who follow him have a great task ahead.
The crown of thorns that pierced his head would have been enough for me to say bye to you. I would have thrown the sword that pierced his side at you, had that been me. The nails that passed through his hands and feet would never have earned my forgiveness as he did forgive even those who persecuted him. The spit on his face alone would have doubled my steps back to the path of sin and the denial from his best friend would have made me reject you before the multitude. Now you know how I felt when the nurse whispered to her colleague these things happen to bad girls who allow men to manhandle their breasts.
Why do people cut you down into pieces when you are already in shreds and speak of what they know nothing about? Why do people presume the worse of an innocent victim who is already suffering? Does she know my breasts have not yet experienced the palms or lips of any man? Did she know her words made me feel worse than the physical pain I was already going through? Did she know her judgment of me could take away your mercy from her? And what about her colleague, how I wish she had defended me in speech, instead of the shocked look she displayed on her face at that utterance. I was too weak to speak out and so tongue-tied no words would have come out, had I tried.
Maybe that is what she had heard, refusing to set aside her ignorance to find out the truth. How interesting that she would cut her fellow woman to pieces, forgetting the same faith may await her one-day or a loved one so dear. Why do people forget it is a small world where no one can hide from life’s blows? Why do people feel a tragedy is so far away from them even when it has happened to a neighbor nearby? Perhaps, one day she would understand and remember the look in my eyes as I stared unblinkingly at her, as she administered the anesthetics in preparation for my moment of doom. Maybe she thought I couldn’t hear her, since she had whispered those hurtful words. Maybe she thought it was an innocent comment but the sarcasm in her voice took out its innocence. Someday she may understand misfortune does not only visit the sinful.
One thing I ask of you Lord; do not let your children be subject to the mercy of man. When I look back to the entire procedure, I realize you never left my side for a single moment. I could see you in the eyes of my loved ones and feel you in the touch of the doctor whose sincerity vibrated from within her, making me know we had the same greater being living in us. Oh, what a joy it is, to find a man who loves the lord, a man who loves his neighbor as himself and seeks to please you. It is true a lot has changed these days, in contrast to women who suffered at a time when there was no solution. I can say at least I am grateful misfortune has visited me at a time, when there is hope.
When I visited the breast cancer women’s club, I was astonished. The stories they shared moved me to tears and laughter at the same time. Hope and encouragement entered my heart as I realized I was not alone. Life must go on, with or without what I have lost. I am grateful at least in some months down the line if I decide to have my next surgery, I would have a new bosom forgetting the cold I feel there now. It doesn’t matter it will not be real, for I know reality is believing in something to be, even if it is not. I have not made the decision yet but I know even if I do, the tongues of those who do not know the reality of my condition will continue to wag. Maybe this time they will call me promiscuous, just maybe… Nevertheless, when the time comes, my head will no more hang low. Your glory will lift my head and my tongue loosened to your praise.
I will make my voice heard and glory in your salvation that all may know my God spared my life from sudden death. Oh, how I love you lord for you have spared my life. How I praise you God, for you have dealt kindly with me. I will proclaim of your goodness and mercy all the days of my life. Even at times when my flesh takes charge and my tongue speaks of how my God did not take away my cup of sorrow; please remember I am but human. A woman whose daily struggle is to live a life pleasing to you. For life, here on earth is a daily struggle, a continued race and a long journey. A journey attempted and failed is better than one never attempted. A Christian walk without trials cannot boast of standing the test of true discipleship. Therefore, help me father for I know not the next cross I may have to carry. But this I know; with you by my side I can face the world.
If the world thrown at me is that of sorrow, make it joyful for me. If it is a world without peace, let it be peaceful for me because in my own world where you dwell, I shall be victorious. Let everyone who has gone through this ordeal but does not know you come to know you. For though in my world you belong to me alone, am willing to share your love with others who need you more. I wipe away my tears and look beyond my scars where I can see what you alone can see. Daddy’s little Girl, Monica. I am the apple of your eye, unchanging in your sight and still beautiful to you. Thank you for sparing my life. Amen.
RELATED BIBLE VERSES
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, declares the Lord, because they have called you an outcast: ‘It is Zion, for whom no one cares!’
Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
How can we support suffering people without being judgmental?
Like Monica, do you agree that even the most intimate details of our life can be discussed with God in prayer?
How can we deal with sudden devastating events in our lives?
How does the way Christians react to suffering in their lives minister to unbelievers?