It is weird to sit here and think about everything that has happened in the last few months. In life you hear of other people who go through difficult times in your life but you never really know what is involved in their situation. As a Christian we often think because we are on God’s crew that those types of things will not happen to us. Unfortunately that is not true.
The Bible says:
…He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. – Matthew 5:45
The truth of it is that we live in a fallen world and while I believe serving God has its benefits, Christians still can experience their fair share of challenges and disappointments in life. Shoot, if giving your life to God guaranteed that you would have no more trouble in life everyone would serve Him. While serving God does not keep us free from trouble He can turn bad situations ultimately into good ones.
But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. – Genesis 50:20
My situation was being diagnosed with Esophageal Cancer at age 34 and it has been one of the scariest situations I have ever been in. The fear that comes along with a report like that ranges from “Am I going to die?” to “My God, what is the treatment going to be like and am I going to die anyway?”. Those are just the natural fears that anyone would have in that situation.
As a Christian you can add “Why did God allow this to happen to me?” and “What if I try to believe God for healing and He doesn’t do it?”. So I would say that as a Christian this situation can even be a little more difficult. I would say the current fear that I am dealing with is “what are non-Christians (and some Christians even) going to think about my perspective on God and Cancer?”. Regardless of this fear I will push though it just like I did all the other fears that I mentioned. Why? Because I have people depending on me to push through just like people expected me to push through on the other fears.
With the other fears I my wife and kids were depending on me to fight the disease so I would live and be the husband and father that I should be. I did not get married and have kids so they could live life without me. In the same way I write about my experience as a Christian dealing with cancer so that others can hear my store and be encouraged. God worked some mighty miracles (yes, I used that word) in my life in this situation.
There are things that happened to me that cannot be explained any other way. Some may say “It was just chance, coincidence”. OK, you can believe that if you like and stake your life on chance and coincidence. For me there were specific things that I asked for from God that happened in ways that cannot be explained. That is where I pin my hope and it is working for me.
Let me be clear with my intentions here. I am not going into this subject to try and convert anyone to my religion or way of thinking. I respect people’s beliefs even of I do not agree with them. I say that because I have friends and family who do not believe the way I do I think I usually a pretty good job at not stepping over “the line”. If they ask me I will share but as soon as the line is there again I respect it. The way I see it is if you are reading this you are interested. Nobody is making you read it, you can stop at any time. Again, my intention here is to share my experience in the hope that it is encouraging to others. In my fight it was hearing other people’s stories that helped me in my toughest times.
Whew! Glad that part is over. Moving on…
So, How is this Going to Work?
The idea is that I am going to share my overall experience and how I feel God was involved along the way. The interesting part is that this story is not completely over. I believe the outcome is looking good so that is encouraging but I am still human and not perfect.
Anyway I have outlined some posts below that I am intending on writing and when I am done with all of them I am pondering putting them into a free eBook so people can download them all in one shot. I am hoping that it can be encouraging to others in their fights that may be similar.
Here are the posts/chapters:
I will probably use this initial post as the forward of the book. I also will probably setup a page that has these posts/chapters and then link to each one individually that way it can be easier to read. Also note that the posts are probably going to be what I would call drafts. I will spell and grammar check the best I can but will probably go over them one more time before putting them into the eBook.
I want to thank those around me that helped my family and I during this time.
My first thanks goes to my wife who stood by my side the entire time. As encouraging as everyone else was she is the one that was there by my side everyday. Although what I went through was hard I believe she had it just as bad if not worse. I thank God for her being in my life everyday.
I thank those that stepped up and helped financially during my time of treatment and recovery. We did not ask but you saw the need and helped out. As difficult as this situation was you eased it through your contributions. I am eternally grateful for you giving hearts.
To the family and friends that prayed and gave encouraging words – thank you. At times we felt all alone in this situation but when we did you would step out and encourage us.
To the organizations and businesses that contributed to our well being. Whether it was counseling, financial, or through encouraging words your help made a difference. Thank you.
To anyone and everyone else that I may not have realized your contributed. You are not forgotten even if you are not know. God knows and I believe that you will be rewarded for you efforts.
Last but definitely not least. I thank God. I don’t thank Him for cancer but what I learned through this situation. I was stretched, poked, and prodded through this. You allowed me to see Your love manifest in my life directly through you and through others. You showed me that you are always there for me and that you do care. You didn’t always allow me to get what I wanted when I wanted it but I know you had a good reason each time. I am thankful for how our relationship grew through this time. I thank you for restoring hope and vision to my life and for showing me what is really important. I thank You for loving me and healing me. My life is Yours today and forevermore.
Next Post in this Series: The Diagnoses – Esophageal Cancer