Wow! It’s been quite an emotional couple of weeks. Some moments have left me speechless. Others have left me angry. And still, others have left me in tears.
The expression, “When it rains it pours,” comes to mind.
Transparency isn’t always easy for me. Some may say it’s rooted in pride and they would probably be right. However, as I have been praying about whether or not to share my latest health issues with you, I sense the Lord prompting me to do so in the anticipation that my struggles will encourage and help someone else.
If I share my struggles with you, and you happen to be going through a similar situation or know someone who is, and what I share with you encourages you in some way or causes your faith in God to grow then my struggle and transparency will have all been worth it.
2 Corinthians 1:6 If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.
Most importantly God is glorified when we humbly admit that when we are weak, He is strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
So, it is by God’s grace, for His glory, and for the good of others I share this with you.
On Wednesday, May 22, 2019, I went to the hospital for a follow-up mammogram. Follow-up, because 6 months ago I had a surgical biopsy that turned out to be benign.
Leading up to and the day of the mammogram, I never once considered that there would be an issue. After all, I had just been there 6 months prior and all that had been determined to be cause for concern had been removed.
For one quick moment, while driving into the parking lot, a fleeting thought came to me about a possibility of an issue but I quickly dismissed that negative little thought and proceeded.
Once inside and all checked in, I didn’t have to wait long to begin the procedure. After the images were taken, I was directed to wait in the waiting area until further instruction was given.
I was sitting there interacting with the women around me, prepared for opportunities to be an encouragement to them or possibly pray with anyone who had received a negative diagnosis.
To my shock and amazement, the one receiving a negative diagnosis that day was me. As I was guided back into the imaging room and shown the images that had just been taken, I was numb and confused.
Many questions were going through my mind and my mouth was searching for words. How could this have happened in such a short amount of time? Why is this happening to Me? What is it? Is it cancer?
I was trying to trust God and resist the temptation to fear at the same time. I have to admit a little fear snuck in.
More images were taken and more waiting as instructed. All I could think was, “I have to tell my husband.” I went to my locker to find my phone.
While sending him a text, there was a woman standing beside me. She said something leading me to believe she may be a Christian. I asked her if she was a praying person and she responded that she was. She asked me if I was a Christian and I responded that I was.
As I cried, I told her about my situation and we prayed. She was done with her mammogram and was free to go but she wanted to stay with me as long as she could.
I had arrived there that morning prepared for God to use me to comfort someone in need and that person in need turned out to be me. He provided exactly what I needed at the exact time I needed it. He is our on-time God!
From there, I had a consultation with the radiologist about my area of concern and the need for a biopsy. I went upstairs to see my doctor and surgery was scheduled for the next week, Tuesday, May 28th.
In between that time and my surgery, I had many people praying for me. Everyone had encouraging and positive words for me.
To be honest, I was saying positive things and I was praying and asking God to cause this to all turn out to be nothing, as it had been before, but in the back of my mind, I sensed that this time may be different. But I was still hopeful.
I had the surgery and all went well. The area of concern had been sent off to the lab. I had no pain and no nausea. Glory to God! Post-surgery nausea has always been a problem for me in the past. Thankfully, not this time!
My surgery was on Tuesday the 28th. Thursday the 30th I received the call from my doctor with the lab results. I was hoping to hear, “I have good news, the area of concern is benign,” just as I had 6 months ago. To my dismay, that wasn’t the case this time.
Instead, he told me I have early-stage breast cancer. As the doctor informed me of my next steps, my head was spinning.
Honestly, I never thought that I would ever hear my name and the word cancer in the same sentence. I was shocked!
As I cried, I began to mentally review my “good deeds” resume’ with God. You know the one; I eat healthily, I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I go to church (even on Wednesdays), I volunteer at my church, I read and study the bible, I pray for others and share the gospel with others. I don’t deserve this! Why is this happening to me?
Then the Lord reminded me that He is love. He is good. And He is sovereign.
He doesn’t love me because I do good things. He isn’t good to me because I do good things. He loves me and is good to me because it’s who He is. I can’t earn His love and goodness.
He didn’t stop loving me that day. He didn’t stop being good to me that day. He didn’t leave me that day. He didn’t fall off of the throne that day.
Once all of that was settled in my spirit, the fear left and the peace of God came. 1 John 4:18a There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.
God allows suffering in the lives of believers. We can see it throughout the Bible. For example, look at the lives of Joseph, Job, Peter, John, Paul, and of course Jesus.
God allows suffering for His greater purpose, His greater plan, and His greater good; a purpose, a plan, and goodness we don’t always see or understand right away.
I heard Joyce Meyer say once, “We live life forward but we understand it backward.” That’s so true!
What should we do when we don’t understand?
Trust the One who does!
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.
I may not understand why or how this is happening to me, but I am determined, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to trust God and to submit to His will for me. I know He will lead me to victory; whatever that may look like.
I don’t know where this journey will take me but I’m honored and humbled to be able to share it with you. One thing I do know is that no matter what happens, God will be glorified. That, after all, is my purpose.
Dear God, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that You raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do Your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.