He said I was born with a broken heart.

I have had better weeks.

Sitting here it feels like I am trying to flex old muscles in hopes that they wake up quickly from this detour I have been on. Creativity has taken a back seat - no, not a back seat- a front seat. It has taken the steering wheel in a situation and my creativity killed me. Several hundred times over.

I'll break it down all easy like for you. Two months ago a doctor found a heart murmur. No big. Until I went to the cardiologist and he 'bout freaked me out of my mind. Started talking about valve replacement and other heart surgeries. This sound was so loud it had to be something big he said. I was whisked off to get an echocardiogram. 

Weeks go by with no news from the cardiologist. Finally last month it was time for my follow up appointment with him. Instead I got a phone call from the nurse informing me the doctor wanted me to do a CT scan first because he suspected I had a congenial heart defect. 

Since the nurse didn't seem interested in telling me much about what this specific defect other than the name of it, I did the only logical and assuring thing. I googled it. Oh, dear God. Why did anyone ever invent Google? 

Was I really born with a broken heart?

This particular condition is not one you'd much care to have. I'd need heart surgery and lots of follow up monitoring for some associated conditions that would have been better left deep in the dark recesses of Google's brain. 

Long story short, I wasn't particularly impressed with this doctor or staff and I scheduled a second opinion with a cardiologist in another city. But I had to wait another month. Even public school kids like me can do the math. That is two months of waiting to find out if your heart is broken. Two months of dread. Two months of distracting anxiety. Two months of trying to remind myself that God is faithful and yet, continually counteracting that with a million "what ifs". 

Yesterday I had my second opinion and he said I was fine. Zero symptoms of this particular defect and the images the first guy was concerned about looked perfectly normal to him. Can I get an amen? That was some good news.

But two months of waiting had taken it's toll. I love my creativity but it worked against me. Instead of building and dreaming fresh things, I used my imagination to tell the worst stories. Not the best ones where I find out it is all gonna be okay. The scary kind of stories where trap doors swallow people and results are always the worst kind. 

I dreamt of what it would be like to live with a condition like that. Imagined all the terror. Died all the possible deaths in my mind. Only to find that my heart never was broken at all. 

But my mind was. My mind was broken.

Even driving away from the clinic I found myself wondering, "Well what if the first guy was right and this guy was wrong?". My creativity wanted to kill me again. Forget that logic and reason was on the side of a healthy verdict. My mind was still fighting a bad report. Even tonight I am trying to fight telling myself the bad story.

That is the thing about people with imaginations. We imagine things. Good things. The world in it's full splendor with possibilities oozing from every crack. Society that is guided by what is just and good. We imagine the solutions to problems that threaten life itself. Dreaming for a change. That is what we do.

Or. 

We imagine all the ways it could go wrong. The failures which might become too familiar. Relationships could turn into burdens and friendships are always to be handled with care. Because people are fire and they burn like the dickens. We imagine the worst possible outcomes. Watching ourselves drown in pain, crying for the losses and dying from the things we do not have. 

Our imaginations can launch us into safe and beautiful places. Or our imaginations can become terrorists. It just depends what we choose to think on. In so many ways I wasted these past two months letting my imagination torture me.

So this is my encouragement to you. Tell yourself the best story. Not the tragedy. Because our imaginations can not always be trusted, but God can.

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Liz Griffin5 Comments