There is nothing harder in my life than having cancer. When I was in treatment I had laser-like focus in beating this beast and I explicitly trusted God in the challenges of the ups and downs, victories and setbacks that chemotherapy brings. I found comfort in knowing that God already knew and set my life course before I even had cancer. I look back on those days with a sense of gratitude and thanksgiving as I felt His daily closeness to me. This intimate trust was sweet but once I returned home to recover a new journey of trusting God began and continues to this day.
TRUST is a noun. To trust is to have confidence; to rely on the integrity, strength, ability, surety of a thing or person. Trust also means to hope; a confident expectation of something.
While in treatment I had both a confidence and a hope but after treatment my trust began to falter. God did not change, I changed. I began to question “things” like if my body failed me once it could fail me again; I had purpose before cancer, what is my purpose now? Why am I weak in my faith after having such a confident trust in God all through treatment? My optimism shifted into a dark uncertainty.
I had many conflicting emotions but I think the bottom line was I was afraid, I was really afraid.
You see, being diagnosed with cancer rocked my world. And what defined “my world”? The following is what I wrote in my Bible March, 31, 2009, one month after my last radiation treatment and my 100 day post stem cell transplant appointment in which the doctor announced the good news, I was cancer free.
“I was asked a question, ‘What did you chose to worship this week?’ I answered, MYSELF, and the consequence to my self-worship was FRUSTRATION.
I am under the illusion I am ‘normal’ and I wrestle my life away from You. But this illusion slips back to reality and I realize I am not in control and I will never again experience my ‘normal’ of 49 years again. Oh, how I want control! But there is noting I can do and in my self-worship I grow frustrated.”
As a Christian and before cancer I was a determined and self-disciplined woman. Not realizing what I was doing, I controlled my environment and this control made me feel safe and capable. If I could control a situation to the best of my ability then I wasn’t vulnerable. Rather than trust God and allow Him to be Lord over my life I was my own lord and trusted in my manipulations.
This man-made and faulty foundation crumbled under cancer. Everything I knew and was familiar with was no more. When I heard the words, “You have cancer” there was nothing for me to do but look up and call to God; I fell into His arms and trusted in Him for all things during my treatment.
I trusted Him in our decisions we made, I trusted Him through my doctors, I trusted Him in my treatment protocol, I trusted Him when I was very sick, I trusted Him through my transplant and I trusted Him in life or death. Yet when I came home and tried to make my life normal again I couldn’t because my controlling grasp was now frustrated and slippery; my life had changed and in this change my trust in God stumbled.
And so my journey began, a two and a half-year shift from my lordship over my life to understanding and gladly accepting His lordship over my life.
(Sovereign and purposeful plan – part II, following)