I just found out that my uncle got diagnosed with bone and lung cancer. I feel so discouraged, sad, guilty, and just confused. It makes me so angry! Cancer in general is one of the terrible ways that life tries to tell us that the odds are against us. And since I have experienced cancer personally, I know how it feels to have all odds stacked against you. To fear that you won't make it through it to see your loved ones again. To be afraid of how they will deal with life when you're gone. To think that you will never be able to do all the things you wanted to do in your life. I know what it feels like to just give in to those odds. To accept that your life will be nothing that you had thought it would be. That it would end early and you would have to deal with it. What are we supposed to do with devastating news like this? What do we do when the doctors gives one of your loved ones six months to live?
When I was diagnosed with cancer at age 16 I felt so scared. I felt like the world was going forward and that I was going to be left behind. I felt depressed and alone, like no one could really relate to me. I felt tired of all the chemo and radiation. I felt defeated when I had relapsed six months after finishing my treatment. I felt like dying when I had to get a bone marrow transplant. I had given up. I had come to accept that my life could end and that I would never see my loved ones again. I had come to terms that I would never graduate high school, go to college, get married or start my own family some day. The odds were against me, and I was starting to be okay with that... But there was something I was missing as a 16 year old girl. Something that would have replaced despair with hope. Something that would have encouraged, and persevered even through the hardest times.
The thing is- even when we give up and feel as though there is no way we can defeat the odds against us, we have a God who is fighting for us! Even when the doctor tells us we have only six month to live and it is highly unlikely that the treatment will work, we have Jesus who has already overcome EVERYTHING in the world. We don't need to listen to what the world is telling us, because we have been set free from that burden.
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."- John 16:33
When I hear that someone I truly care for has been given six months to live, I feel angry! I feel angry that he has to go through one of the toughest battles of his life. I feel angry that his family has to sit on the sidelines and feel hopeless. Yet in the midst of my anger and sadness I feel hope..
When I think about my dad during the times that I was sick, I know for sure that he was giving everything he had to help me! That he was fighting for me like no one else I knew. He was pouring out all of his love, dedication, patience, and hope on me. He was willing to die for me. When I think about the love my dad has for me especially in times of despair I cannot help but think about God. Because from what I know about the character of God is that he deeply loves us as His children. I know He would give ANYTHING for us. Another thing I know about God is that He knows what He is doing and He is in control. So, when it seems as though nothing else makes sense in the world I need to remember that God would do anything and everything for us because He loves us like no other and that He knows what he is doing.
We face so many different trials in this life. We are knocked off our feet and many times are literally staring death in the eyes. We can't do it alone, and thankfully we're not! We have the creator of the whole Universe on our side fighting for us. When we have given up, and can't fight anymore He stands in and fights on our behalf. I don't know why things like this happen and it makes me so sad to see the people we love go through such difficult times. Still, when I am lost and nothing makes sense, I try to hang on those three truths about God: That He deeply loves us, He would do anything and everything for us and that He knows what He is doing.
Me and my dad dancing at my wedding.
My dad is still wearing the Livestrong bracelet that he put on when I was first diagnosed.