My absolute trust in God and believing in a sovereign purpose for my cancer was my confidence and hope while in treatment. My attitude remained positive and upbeat to the amazement of the medical team and nursing staff. I was in the race of my life and the goal was to get across that finish line and go home. From being a runner and having participated in races, I knew the determination it took to get across that line and the relief and elation when the race was over.
I believed in Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” I also knew Psalm139, that God knew all of my days before they even happened as well as Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you . . .” These scripture verses were my confidence and hope that my cancer was not accidental nor was it in vain. Because of these truths, I was never angry with God nor did I question Him with this disease.
When I got home I felt like someone picked me up and turned me upside down and shook everything out of me; my normal, my control, who I was and my life purpose. I clung to the truth that God knew of this new and different kind of suffering but my explicit trust became fuzzy as I turned inward and worrisome.
Before cancer I thought I trusted God. I lived a descent and godly life hoping that I reflected Christ in all that I did. I kept busy with my family, I worked, I kept physically fit and I served our church. I lived a very predictable and stable life, everything was as it should be. But when I look back now, my foundation was a thin layer of glass with heavy bricks built on top called “me”. If I did this, then this should happen resulting in a sense of security in what I did – what I did.
So cancer dislodged my bricks and my predictable, stable life and all that it should be was crushed becoming dust. I believed if I lived just so all would fall into place just as I thought it should; we would retire, we would go to church, our children would marry and we would become proud grandparents.
In recovery I was gravely made aware that living just so didn’t guarantee a long life, that nothing guaranteed a long life including being nutritiously sound and physically fit. My sense of security and feeling safe in my controlled world was wrestled from my grasp and the lordship I held over my life was challenged. When I got home from treatment I expected my life to return to normal but my old normal was dust. With a shattered foundation and crushed bricks and no understanding of what “normal” was my vulnerability was the first step in rediscovering who God was and His lordship over my life.
The process of understanding God and developing a deeper trust in Him took time. The assurance of my pursuit was once again found on the truth that all things work for the good, there was a goodness to be realized. In my weakness my recovery and discovery was nudged along by the steadfast love and acceptance of my family, the empathy expressed at my cancer support group, a friend who let me talk, an insightful counselor who helped me adjust to and accept my cancer, a Bible study that affirmed God’s sovereignty and the layers of revelation read in God’s word, the Bible.
Thankfully and gratefully this defining journey came to a peaceful conclusion. I learned I cannot control the events of my life, my life rests soundly in God’s overarching sovereignty, He is lord of my life and He is lord over every day of my life. He knows my last breath and it will not come too soon nor will it come too late, it will come the day He designed. God knows my body and I must entrust it to Him. The foundation in which I now rest is strong and sure, deep and wide. My trust is renewed and has a new depth of understanding.
My life has a calling and it is purposed by God. The good that He is bringing about in my life after cancer is not only all things work for the good but also this good results in my being conformed to the likeness of His Son, Romans 8:29. May God use my life and may His name be glorified.