Cancer Confessional – Behind the Mask

iStockphoto © PeskyMonkey

If you were to take the time to poll my family, my friends, and my co-workers asking them to describe my outlook on life, most if not all, would described me as an optimist…a glass half-full guy. Dig a little deeper into what makes me tick and spend a little time reading through my DISC profile (high D & I) you would learn that being an encourager is another characteristics which makes up who I am. Optimism and encouragement come naturally to me and throughout my career they have been utilized to build teams and help grow businesses.

However in the scope of writing blog such as Leveraging Life, I have a genuine concern, what comes naturally (optimism and encouragement) could be taken out of context or be misconstrued leaving readers with a false impression that I never have doubts, that I live my life without fear, or that I somehow trust blindly when facing trials or adversity. 

“saying trust God period and living trust God period are two totally different mindsets…one is contingent on circumstance and situation warranting that trust, and the other is influenced by a relationship which is nurtured through circumstance and situation creating an environment of trust.”   

Recently I’ve spent a good bit of time thinking about what I share on Leveraging Life and how I share it…specifically the potential of it’s impact, both positive and negative. A fear I have is my positive nature blended with unconscious self-editing (something we all do) could create this illusion that I have it all together-all the time (which I don’t). The last thing I want to happen is for someone to read what is shared, then dismiss what could be of benefit because they believe those traits are unique to me and self-driven. The reality is I’ve grown spiritually to this point and those traits are in all of us as they are Spirit-driven.

“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.”  2 Corinthians 12: 9-10

God is God

God waits for us, because He knows when we finally do choose Him we have reached the point where we have given up on ourselves. We are born with the ability to choose and discern what’s best for us, in our eyes; God gave us free will and when times are good it’s easy to look in and not up for where we are in life. But when we find ourselves in a season of life filled with challenge and struggle where then do we look…in, out, or up? I contend we first look in trying to “fix” it ourselves and when that doesn’t work we look out to our circle of friends and family with the hope they can “fix” it for us. Only then when our efforts and the efforts of those we’ve recruited fall short do we turn to God.

For me this is my proverbial “been there-done that” and it took me far too long to learn this lesson.

What I hope is evident, and what is a huge lesson learned from the paths I’ve traveled, is to look up first. Do it early and do it often, recognizing your efforts and my efforts are futile compared to God’s strength to endure and overcome…God wants you looking up to Him so He can guide your steps. Trust me this is something I know firsthand!

“In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight” Proverbs 3:6 NIV

What has resulted is a series of confessional posts where I’ll lift the mask on how I “try” to leverage my faith in the midst of adversity…cancer returning to my world. Trusting God period is a day-to-day challenge and some days are harder than others, but thanks to my personal relationship with my Heavenly Father on those tough days when I don’t have what I need, He is there to bridge the gap and our relationship grows deeper.  

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” Proverbs 3:5 NIV

What is your first instinct when facing adversity…look in, look out, or look up?

What area of your life is most difficult to trust God with?

~Tom

trusting God period!!

Next up: Cancer Confessional – Why Me? Why Now? 

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As a three-time cancer survivor, I share my story of how leveraging my faith and trusting God period was the key to moving past the diagnosis and learning to live a life filled with purpose.

I'm blessed to be married to Shari and stepfather to her teenage sons, Michael and Matthew. I volunteer with North Point Ministries as a Renew Mentor and serve on the board of the One Thing Men's Ministry.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.