It’s never easy to hear, “We are going to need to do a biopsy of that lesion on your spine,” but it happened to me. Alarm bells rang in my head as I tried to stay positive having been told that the doctors were only “ruling out” the scary diagnoses. Instructions to report to the oncology wing of the hospital only reinforced the fear that had engulfed me.

While I knew that God was with me, my husband beside me, and mom on the way from Houston, the trembles of anxiety were real. When she arrived the day before my procedure, we were chatting on her bed as she unpacked.

“I brought a gift for you,” she said.

“Oh. Nice,” I replied. “Who’s it from?”

She paused a moment and said, “I actually don’t know.”

It was a hand-knitted shawl in my favorite shades of soft blue.

She continued, “We have a Prayer Shawl Ministry at St. Luke’s and women gather to crochet and knit shawls to be given to people who are going through a hard time. This shawl was prayed over as it was knitted, not knowing that it was headed for you. Think of it as a warm hug from God.”

That night, I spread the shawl over my legs, and it did feel warm. I tucked it in and felt more still and quiet than I had in days. Perhaps it was the wool or maybe the prayers that produced this calm, but I was grateful.

The next morning, we were off to the hospital and it was cold outside; winter, crack the seats cold. I grabbed my shawl, now a lap robe, for warmth and comfort. Inside the hospital, as I lay in my gown in pre-op that shawl was with me. Psalm 139 says, “You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.” I felt that.

Thank you to the knitter of my shawl. You’ll never know how much it meant to me.

P.S. – The biopsy was benign. Thanks be to God.