There are a few things I’ve learned about God in the years I’ve been a believer. One, He seems to have a sense of humor and two, if you pray for solutions to life’s issues, He tends to give you answers you would never have predicted.
God is omnipresent and for those of you who don’t own a dictionary that means He is everywhere, all the time. Even though as believers, we can realistically know this is true, the fact is, you don’t think about it in certain circumstances, like your OBGYN appointment, for instance.
(This would be the part of the blog where the guys stopped reading. Unless they are secretly interested in what goes on behind closed doors.)
One would only assume, with my irrational fear of metal forceps, I would make the idea of praying top of mind. When God said to “pray without ceasing” it is unlikely these were the types of situations He was referring too. None-the-less, praying is the farthest thing from my mind until I’m lying on the table, exposed, listening to the sounds of metal clanking coming from below me. By this time, it’s too late. Instead, I pretend I’m watching a documentary on PBS and the person on the table isn’t me. For those taking notes, attempting to avoid the situation with a so-called out of body experience never works.
Let me tell you a little about myself. I’m not good with medical things. I’m not good with situations where I am naked physically and/or emotionally. I’m extremely private (excuse the pun), conservative and modest. Yes all of those words mean close to the same thing, but I’m stressing a point here. The sad truth is, the only person who knows my body closer than I do, is my OBGYN.
The thought of being exposed in any way, even to the smallest degree, causes me great anxiety. For those of you who know me, you know I’m anxious about matching my socks in the morning and I only own white ones. So, you can only imagine the level of stress I’m under when I am in the buff, with a pink sheet across my nether regions and sitting on the crinkly piece of paper that sits between the faux leather bed and me. Insert a stranger and its turmoil.
A few months ago, I challenged God to show me His “direction” in my life. It was my word of the year. I was asking for “external direction” like where to take my writing, will I get promoted at work, and whether I should buy a house this year. He decided I needed to work on things “internally” instead. Here I am, thinking I’m safe behind the wall of humor but it is about as protective as the pink sheet across my legs. God decided, mind you, to reveal His grand plan all in one weekend; similar to ripping off a Band-Aid. Tearing off emotional Band-Aids hurts. Like super bad. Don’t try it or ask for “direction” like I did.
I grew up in a loving home, so that was never the issue, but I eventually became friends with bitterness after experiencing a few painful relationships. The idea of “feelings” started to become foreign and unnerving for me. So, I just stopped feeling and it seemed to work well. When it comes to emotional things, I’m more of a high-fiver than a hugger. In extreme circumstances, I’ll pat you on the shoulder if you are breaking down in tears and I can’t escape without seeming rude. But what does this have to do with my gynecologist?
Back to the cold lonely office, I sit on my crunchy paper listening through the thin walls as the doctor talks to the patient next door (so much for HIPPA laws). I am silently hoping he will wrap it up with her, so I can get violated and leave.
The stress of the moment was only heightened by the fact that I’d started my period that morning so I had about 15 minutes before things become much more awkward for me. Soon the talking next door stopped and it was my turn. The doctor came in and greeted me. It was the first time in ten years I’d actually met the doctor, normally it was the female nurse practitioner who signed off on my bill of health.
Prior to my appointment, I’d tried to sway the nurse in the hall into allowing me to forego the pap smear but she told me I was due because it had been 3 years. Good thing cancer only takes 3 years to fester. The doctor finished the external part of the exam which was “super fun” and before he went any farther south I said,
“I don’t do well in these situations and in case you don’t…..” he interrupted.
“This should be the least discomforting pap smear you’ll ever have.” He smiled as he told me to take a deep breath.
“Do you say that to all the laaaaadies?” I squealed out the last word, because I didn’t take the deep breath he told me to. Why am I always trying to be funny?
He must not have heard the 14 year-old pubescent boy when I spoke because he informed me he was going to radio the nurse to help with the test. Wouldn’t you want to have her in the room right now? At the moment you are leaving me open to air transmitted diseases, like the flu. I’m not sure you can get it down there, but I don’t wanna take any chances.
Before I go any further, I have to point out this doctor is one of the best. They followed all the discretion they are required to by law. In truth, I’m telling this story from my point of view so I may be exaggerating a bit. Back to me and my Lamaze breathing techniques.
The doctor did the test and the nurse quickly left with a stick showing my intestines. Finally it was over and I’m allowed to sit up. A thought hit me. Can I sit this early after losing my virginity? I slowly adjusted into a sitting position and waited for some sort of phantom pain, but I was still intact.
“I was not able to perform the HPV Test because you were bleeding too badly,” He casually said as he typed away on his laptop.
“That’s a sexually transmitted disease and since that requires having sex, I can guarantee I don’t have it.” (Insert awkward moment here)
“Oh. Well if I’d have known beforehand you have never been penetrated, we wouldn’t have even done the test in the first place.”
Wait, did he just say perforated? No, I think he meant something else. I’m pretty sure I was just penetrated Doc, just not the way you’re talking about. I sat there ignoring his commentary shocked that I could have gotten away with not having to do the test in the first place. His next comment brought me back to the room.
“So, what church do you go attend?” he asked.
I hesitantly answered his random question and somehow it segued into my dating life or lack thereof. Seriously Doc? I don’t talk about dating with people I’ve known for years, much less someone I met 10 minutes ago. In his defense, he’s now seen more of me than anyone else, so I guess he has the right to have this discussion.
He went on to tell me I should consider going on mission trips to find the best guys because they are already pre-filtered. I’m not sure how they could be any more pre-filtered then the 29 dimensions of compatibility E-Harmony claims on their commercials, but financially it would be about the same cost.
He went on to share that he was going to sell his practice to go to third world countries to deliver babies. I should have congratulated him, but I was only thinking about how I was still naked and by this point need a shammey to clean up the downstairs. Instead I smiled and nodded pretending to look interested. He slid his chair back towards me.
“I thought we were done.” I said hesitantly wondering what else could be done to enhance the awkwardness.
“I’d like to pray for you.” He said. Awkwardness enhanced.
He took my hands in his and held them in my lap no less. The lap covered by a pink sheet covering my naked you-know-what. Was he going to pray over my…? Oh dear God, he was. Now would have been a great time for that out of body experience thing to work. I couldn’t really run away without any pants on.
Uh Doc, I’m not sure this is what God meant on that pray without ceasing verse. Oh crap, you are bowing your head. Oh crap, you are praying and I’m naked. Oh crap! I just said “crap” three times while someone is praying.
Some people who are reading this are freaking out right that my doctor prayed over me; maybe even thinking he overstepped his place considering the circumstances. The rest of you are slightly off your rocker thinking how adorably sweet the scenario sounds. “Adorable” is not the word I was thinking of at the moment. Granted, he’d be the one I’d want in the delivery room if I were terrifyingly screaming obscenities during childbirth, but life’s not fair, especially for me.
His prayer was the sweetest and yet most awkwardly weird thing to ever happen to me (mostly because I was naked, bleeding, and cold). I honestly believe it was God’s way of challenging me to let go of my pride. Or, maybe He was punishing me for speeding last week on the freeway. Ugh, I need to stop speeding!
To make things even more interesting, the nurse in the lobby walked over and hugged me as I was attempting to leave. What is up with people lately? Everyone is trying to hug me. How sad do I have to look for complete strangers to feel so sorry for me, it spurs them into physical affection?
After getting back to my car I had to call my mom. Not to tell her how weird my appointment was, (because she is so positive she doesn’t realize when things get weird) but rather, I knew she would be excited to know I’d be getting married this year, now that my OBGYN has prayed over my Whoo-Haw. I mean technically, he’s the last person on earth who hasn’t prayed for me to get married, so I should be good to go, right?
Apparently, I’m going to continue getting plenty of hugs to fill in the emotional gap while I wait for marriage. As I said earlier, hugs are so “comforting” when you are satisfied to hide behind the pink-sheeted walls of humor and curl up at night with the crunchy tissue paper of insecurity.
For those of you who are curious, my test came back clean two days later. As it turns out, I don’t have the flu.
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