Have you ever been caught off guard? Ever been on the receiving end of unexpected unpleasant news? Felt like you have been sucker punched, the wind knocked out of you.


My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in September. It was a very small tumor, only picked up on a routine mammogram.

She had her lumpectomy last month and they took three lymph nodes as well. Her margins around the tumor were clear (that’s good) but one of the lymph nodes were positive for cancer.

Oncotyping was sent off. Basically they compare her tumor cells to every other woman who has had breast cancer. Based on those results she will have a low, intermediate, or high risk of the cancer returning. Insurance will not allow the test to be sent off until 2 weeks after surgery and it takes two weeks to get the results. Not a big deal because you have to let your body heal for 6 weeks from surgery before any other treatment is done anyway.

So yesterday we went to the medical oncologist for those results. The dr looked at her computer and then at us and said “the rest failed.” We looked like the monkey in the picture above. We were dumbfounded. We came for answers. We came for a plan. My mom was ready to start the next step on this journey, whether that be chemo or radiation.

Instead we got nothing more than they will have to send it again & it will be two more weeks. In 16 years, this has happened to this dr 5 times.

My sister in law had the perfect answer. She said “this just gives us more time to pray.”


The answer here is that nothing is a surprise to God. He knows everything before it happens. He is the beginning and the end. He doesn’t cause bad things to happen. However, He knows in this fallen world that bad things are going to happen and He knows what they are. That Psalm 139:16 is perfect. It tells us He knew us before we were formed. In His book every day of our life is written.

As I sat in that office with my mom, who was on the verge of loosing it, I couldn’t help but think “this was not a surprise to You.”

I don’t know why her results didn’t come back. I know we did have a good visit with the dr and a good discussion of what the plan is going to be based on those results.

So where do we stand now??? We have more opportunity to draw closer to Him while we wait for her next step in treatment. We have more opportunity to lean on Him and pull our strength from Him.

When things floor you–keep looking up. As hard as that is, keep looking up. Keep pressing into Him. Know that He is never surprised or caught off guard. He knows the exact moment you are going to get bad news. He catches you as you are reeling back. He holds you as you cry yourself to sleep. He loves you and aches with you. He can see to the end when this world is no more and we are with Him.

That’s the hope. That’s the future. All of this is temporary. Press into Him to get through rough patches of the temporary.