In life we all have times when certain life events can through us off the back of the proverbial “horse”. It can be embarrassing to be tossed from the horse because as humans we always want to portray that we are in control no matter what life throws at us. The truth is life has a way of unseating us seeming at will. It is not a matter of whether you will every get bucked from life, but when.
In the book of Proverbs there is a verse that says:
For a righteous man may fall seven times
And rise again, But the wicked shall fall by calamity. Proverbs 24:16
In my own life I have fallen several times, sometimes by my own hand, but other times through no fault of my own. Either way, the majority of times I get back on the horse quickly and try not to get into the same situation again.
How did I fall?
This time around my “fall” as I would put it was my cancer diagnosis. As far as the doctors tell me I did not cause this to happen to me but I have been doing everything I can to make sure it doesn’t happen again. The good news is that I have been cancer free for 2 1/2 years now. Praise God! The not as good news is that I am not fully recovered from the extensive treatment that I went through to help me to be cancer free. 3 years later, I am still dealing with side effects of treatment and am only about at 60% of my old self that I was before I got sick.
While that would seem like the “fall” that is the major thing in my life, for me, there is another fall that I am still struggling with. This fall is the testimony that I have been given. For the 1-1 1/2 years of my battle I was avidly blogging about my experience. People would come to my site for encouragement and I would also be encouraged by them.
Along the way the road got hard. I was no longer battling cancer, I was battling recovery. I thought I was going to have some treatment, recover for a couple of months, and then go back to work. Now, I have no set time on when that will happen. I am still believing that I will return to a “normal life” someday but I don’t know when that will be.
This is where my true fall has taken place. for the past year I have not shared about what God has been doing in my life. I have stopped talking to people. I have stopped sharing and being a part of my local church. I died socially. Part of that was because I didn’t have an answer anymore. When I spoke with folks I didn’t have an update as to my status. “Have you gone back to work?” someone would ask, I would reply “no, not yet”. “Are you going back?” they would continue, “the doctor says someday, but they don’t know when”. “Oh” they would reply and the conversation was over. It was awkward and it got old. After 6 months of the say Q & A session I just didn’t want to play anymore so I withdrew.
What do I do now?
This has been the question on my mind for the last year. What do I do now. I am not laid up in the hospital but I am not well enough to return to work either. What do I do? I tried helping out at church but it was too much for me physically and I fizzled out after a couple of months. I graduated from physical therapy which was great but quit the YMCA after 1 week because it was too much for me. The question slowly changed from “what do I do now” to “what CAN I do now?”. That’s the scary question.
This has been the question that I have ben hiding from all this time. I haven’t wanted to talk about it and I have done a pretty good job of eliminating everyone around me that would ask anything close to that. I stopped pushing and challenging myself. I had been knocked off the horse and decided that the ground was a good spot to say. After all, I couldn’t ride the horse – right?
Where I’ve been and where I’m going
So that is where I have been, for a while now. While I didn’t die from cancer, I gave up on life. I gave up on it because I didn’t want to think about being limited in this life. I didn’t want to talk about it and honestly I really still do not want to.
The reason that I am writing this though is that I have to talk about it. I cannot stay where I am. It is not fair to all of those who helped me to make it through cancer only to check out on life because it got hard. I know life is hard without cancer and all those things. To be honest though, life is harder when you are trying to be a husband, father, son, grandson, friend, business man, and all the rest and you are recovering from cancer.
See, I did not know about this recovery thing. I guess the doctors really didn’t talk about it because they weren’t sure that I was going to make it to this point. Well I did. Now I have to fight hard like I did when I was battling for my physical life, only this is more mental, and spiritual.
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.
“Eat and drink!” he says to you,
But his heart is not with you.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
I believe that these truths have not been as much of a focus in my mind as they were when I was battling cancer. After I got victory over it I relaxed but that was not the time to do that, the next battle was just around the corner (it always it).
So what changed?
What changed for me was the death of my grandfather who was 101 years old. I spent time with my father celebrating his life and saw what God was doing in their lives – He was blessing them. I realized that the same blessing that they were experiencing was also waiting for me.
I don’t want to have been saved from cancer only to die spiritually. God turned the thing that satan intended for evil into a glorious testimony. God used faith, prayers, doctors, medicine, surgeries, and a whole host of other things to heal me so i could be here today.
Yes, life is different and harder then I thought it was going to be. This has taken me by surprise but it did not surprise God. He knew that there would be this chapter in my life and His plan is to bring me through this to the next chapter. Everything that I need is available through him. He did not bring me this far to leave me here.
I also know that he has given me a story to tell so that it can give other people hope. Yes, God can heal you from cancer. Yes, God can provide for you even if you haven’t worked for 3 years. Yes, you can fully recover from extensive cancer treatment (this is the one I am working on).
It is my job to tell the story of where God brought me from and also where He is taking me. I cannot shy away from it, that is a disservice to Him and everyone else that put their faith out there for me too. It may be hard to put myself out there and not everyone may receive my message, but that is alright. As long as I know that I am doing what God wants me to I will be alright.
So what happens now?
My intention is to finish the book that I started on this website. I had more then one of my family members tell me that I should write a book about my experience. Yes, I should. I also want to write here more. This site helps me to be accountable to the message that God has placed in side of me. I cannot say when and how often that will happen but I will make a concentrated effort to post here more.
So if you have made it this far congratulations and hopefully you have been inspired by my writing. I am not a perfect person but I do love God and am thankful for what He has done in my life. I believe that I can truly demonstrate my thankfulness by letting others know of the hope that I found in Him and His Son. I hope that is what you see when you read what I have written here.
Until next time…