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This is where it all got real. I was wheeled into an operating room, a place I had never been before and hoped that I’d never go.
I was scared.
Surgery meant that this cancer thing was real and when I woke up that I would have things in my body that were not there before. These things were meant to help me but at the time I did not see it that way.
The surgery was to implant a mediport and a feeding tube. The mediport was what they would use to give me chemo. The feeding tube was so that I could eat since the chemo and radiation would probably make it even harder to do.
Did I mention I was scared?
I was terrified. I am not trying to be too dramatic but this was a huge deal to me.
This was absolutely huge.
I was in that hospital bed being wheeled into the operating room but everything in me wanted to get up, rip the IV out of my arm, and run without looking back. I have no idea why the thought of surgery scared my so much but it did.
Thank God for anesthesia because the knocked me out just as I got into the room for the procedure.
When I Woke Up
The surgery went without a hitch and I actually felt pretty good that day. They gave me some pain medication and that helped. I felt so good the next morning I actually did laundry. Unfortunately the good feeling did not last as later that day I started to wean myself off the pain meds and began to feel the reality of the surgery.
I wasn’t able to lay down flat on my back due to combination of the locations of the feeding tube and the mediport. This lasted a few days and then I was finally able to sleep better. The combination of the pain meds and lack of sleep made that a pretty difficult week.
God and I Have a Talk
During this time I tried listening to a lot of preaching messages since my body and my spirit were not doing so well.
Up until this time I had not really spent quality time with God to address how I felt about the cancer situation and to get His perspective. I wasn’t running from him or giving Him the cold shoulder but I wasn’t engaging with Him either.
That all changed after “The Message”.
The message was from Pastor Peter Haas of Substance Church in Roseville, MN. I had listened to him on a pretty regular basis since he had spoke once at our church. He is a young guy and I always felt that I connected with his messages.
This particular message was called Mourning into Dancing.
The message was more of a testimony then anything given by his mother-in-law. In that message she shared her story of her husband’s battle with depression, eventual suicide, and how God helped her through it. It is a very emotional message as you can imagine.
The message can be listened to and downloaded here:
Mourning into Dancing – Peter Haas – Substance Church
The part that spoke to me the most is the part where she described how she was angry at God but felt bad about being angry at Him. After a while she expressed this to God and felt like He told her that her anger could not hurt Him. He was bigger then her anger.
See, I was mad at God.
How could He allow this to happen to me? Why didn’t He protect me? Didn’t He Love me?
All these things had been inside of me since the day I was told I had cancer. I was angry but I did not know how to interact with God about it. This message helped me to do it.
I sat there that day in my bed angry, in pain, and in tears telling God exactly how I felt about Him, my life, and the cancer. I cried. I wept.
“Why won’t You heal me? You are able. You are all-powerful. I am a dad and I would never allow my son to go through this if I had the power to heal him.” I told God.
I felt God say “I will heal you through the doctor”.
That was not good enough for me.
“Why would You want me to go through this terrible man-made treatment when You could just say a word and I would be healed.” I asked.
“Because when I heal you I don’t just want to heal your body, I want to heal your heart and soul as well” I felt God say.
I stopped. This meant something to me as my mind went to the past when I was in a men’s Christian rehab home. I had gone to the home after getting in trouble and had nowhere else to go. While I was in there I saw guys come, go, and then come back again, sometimes multiple times. Each time they came back they were ten times worse then they were before.
After seeing this time and time again I made a pledge to God. I promised that I would stay there as long as I needed so I could learn what I needed so I would never have to come back again. I stayed there 6 months. That was 15 years ago and I have never been back. I learned the lesson that God had for me there.
There were lessons to be learned in this situation.
The only way I was going to learn those lessons and not find myself in this place again was to go through this treatment the way that God wanted me to. No shortcuts, no skipping steps. Every doctor’s visit, every treatment, every procedure was there for a reason.
I told God I would do things His way because I knew that when I was done I would not need to go through this again. I was OK with that, I was good.
Now I want to be clear about something. I am in no way saying that God brought this situation into my life so that He could teach me a lesson. He only brings good things into a person’s life as the bible says:
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. – James 1:17
Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people. – Matthew 4:23
God is a God of healing, not of sickness and disease.
He does help to turn those things that have happened to us into good things if we let Him.
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. – Romans 8:28
I believe that God did not create this situation in my life but He did take advantage of it to bring my out better then I was before.
Next Post in this Series: Treatment – The First Week – Coming Soon!
Or Start at the beginning: Having Cancer as a Christian