She sat rigidly in front of the big oak desk, her purse clutched tightly in her lap. She kept reminding herself to loosen up every time she noticed her own white knuckles. She heard footsteps in the hall and turned expectantly to the door, but the steps echoed past her room and down the hall.
"How silly" she thought. She got up and began to pace around the office. The exam had been simple, quick, and painless. She couldn't have prepared herself better for it. She had given herself the customary pep-talk that she did before every exam and had convinced herself that everything would be fine. Why was she worried about the results?
She glanced at pictures on shelves and on the desk. Family photos. Two sons and a daughter, perhaps a couple of grandchildren. She smiled, thinking of her youngest in college. "I'm getting too old for all this," she thought, biting her lip and fighting the butterflies.
As she gazed around the room, the door opened. The younger man walked in and smiled, greeting her with a handshake. "Mrs. Williams, so good to see you again." She nodded and smiled, afraid that if she opened her mouth, nothing would come out but a squeak. He settled behind the desk and pulled out a manilla folder and began perusing it intently. He was silent for a moment.
He closed the folder, folding his hands on top of it, and looked at her. "Mrs. Williams. Your tests were outstanding, just like last time. There is nothing for you to be worried about. Tell your husband I said hello and I will see you next time."
"Thank you," she whispered and she hurried out the door.
The phone rang in the dorm room twice before a familiar voice answered.
" Lydia! How are you dear?"
"Hey Mom. I'm good. How are you? How did your appointment go?"
"Everything is fine. Doctor says it all looks good. No sign of recurrence. I'm still in remission."
"Oh Mom, that's great. That's such good news. I can't really talk though, I have finals and everything."
"I know, honey. That's okay. Just don't be nervous. Say a prayer, prepare the best you can, give yourself a pep-talk and trust in God."
"I will. Thanks Mom. I love you."
"I love you, too." Lydia hung up the phone and her mother sunk into a deep armchair, breathing a sigh of relief. The exam was always the same, the anticipation was always the same, the anxiety was always the same... thank goodness God is always the same!