Cancer is a strange word. It evokes so many emotions on so many levels. For some it stirs up fear and pain but for others it symbolizes strength and courage. When I first received my diagnosis, I was terrified. Not so much for myself but for my family. What would happen to them if I wasn’t around? How would this affect them emotionally? Who would take care of my kids? How would the bills get paid? and the list went on and on. After several rocky years, life was starting to smooth out for all of us. I had found love again and the kids I were just settling into our new family life. Then this! It just didn’t seem fair. My husband lost his first wife to breast cancer and now he was forced to go through it all over again with me. We hadn’t even had the chance to celebrate our first anniversary yet when the diagnosis came in. I went from being scared to angry. “God, why this? why me? and why now?” I cried and screamed out to God but all I could hear was a still small voice in my ear whispering, “Be still. I am with you.”
After a few days of wrestling with God, I finally gave in. A song kept playing on the radio that really caught my attention by Hillary Scott called Thy Will. The lyrics kept going over and over in my head. I started to pray the lyrics and really mean it. “God, whatever it is that I have to go through in life, I pray that you will give me the strength to make it through.” Soon after, an outpouring of love and support from family, friends and church started rolling in. With every message, every meal, and every card sent, my spirits were lifted. I knew I wasn’t alone and I knew I could beat this!
With each passing day, my Faith, my Strength and my Joy began to be restored and renewed. Little things that use to seem so mundane have become celebrated accomplishments such as going to the grocery store or picking up my kids from school. Issues that seemed so monumental and consuming before, now seem so trivial. I have been extremely moved by the goodness of God and how He works through others by witnessing first hand how so many have offered help to our family during this time. It is a reminder of how beautiful humankind is. Honestly, I haven’t experienced this much joy in a very long time which is kind of an odd thing to say in the midst of battling cancer but God does work in strange ways. I have always known that life is a precious gift, but now that I have had to face cancer, this truth has become even more meaningful. We are never guaranteed tomorrow. No one really knows when their last day will be so we might as well live each day as our last and and enjoy every moment given to us. This can be hard to do when going through a difficult time, but even when we are at our lowest if we can find that one thing to be thankful for, I guarantee a shift in thought patterns which will in turn begin to ignite the spark that lies within. It is not easy mind you, but with determination and strength from above, it is possible! Despite what we might think, life brings more possibilities than problems. We just have to start looking in the right direction.
For everyone out there who is also fighting this disease, I wish you joy and strength. For those who have overcome, I wish you continued health. For those who have lost loved ones to cancer, I pray for peace and healing. And for those who have not had to encounter this word, I pray that you never will.
With all my love,