Why Me and Why Now is the second installment in a series of posts called My Cancer Confessionals, where I lift the mask on how I “try” to leverage my faith in the midst of adversity. I outlined earlier my concern that my optimistic and encouraging attitude might lead readers to believe I somehow never have doubts, fears, or concerns…all of which couldn’t be further from the truth. For me, trusting God period is a day-to-day challenge, and some days are just 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 that relationship grows deeper.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” Proverbs 3:5 NIV
Truth be told, my world, my life, and yes, even my faith has ebbed and flowed in the midst of all the sub-plots in my life and was what I was referring to in my post entitled Paradigm Shift. As one dream was coming true, Shari and I deciding to get married and were signing up for our church’s 2:1 pre-marital mentoring program, a nightmare re-emerged as I learned my merkel cell cancer had metastasized. What was thought to be remote and isolated had now taken on a “popcorn” effect (one doctor’s term) and popped up in multiple areas of my body.
Shari and I had just learned that the cancer had most likely returned as we were writing our How’s It Going post. Yet with several tests still pending, it was too early to share that news. Even more so, we still hoped and prayed it might not be true…unfortunately it was.
For all of my adult life I had been waiting to meet and marry the love of my life, my one and only. At 46 this was a dream I had almost given up on, yet once I got out of my own way and let God take over, there she was. Shari and I reconnected last spring. We began dating last fall, and by Christmas , we knew we were eventually headed to the altar. Our plan, though, was to take our time and be intentional in our courtship not only for the good of our relationship but for the well-being of her teenage sons. That plan…our plan for our future didn’t include my cancer metastasizing. Who wants to start a marriage with ”for better or worse” and “in sickness and in health” already translating “worse” and “in sickness,” much less have it factoring into their engagement?
Was I angry with God…you bet, His timing couldn’t have been worse!
So yes I was angry with God. In fact, my hand still hurts from having pounded my fist into the roof of my Subaru…on more than one occasion. In the midst of my anger, I did my best to see and understand God’s plan for all this, and quite frankly doubted for awhile how this could possibly be part of any plan. Yet it was in those moments of anger and doubts that Proverbs 3:5 served as a reminder to lean into my relationship with God in the hope that understanding would come at some point and if not His grace would be enough.
“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
Do I delight? No, I’m not that spiritually mature.
Am I weak? At times, absolutely.
But when it is all said and done, God has counted me worthy of this trial. I know in my heart that the health scare I experienced in 2007 with a Sepsis infection was God’s plan to prepare me for what I’m experiencing today. And what is equally important and so reassuring, is how God also blessed me with Shari, a breast cancer survivor, as my wife, who herself is optimistic for me when uncertainty creeps in and is encouraging in the midst of my discouragement. It is the Holy Spirit’s daily reminder, however, of the grace I have experienced my entire life, and which has been particularly evident to me over the last four years, that allows me to trust in what I cannot see and have faith in what I believe to be true:
“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.” Romans 8:28
-Don’t wait on adversity to force you to let go and let God, what is one area of your life you need to let go of now?
-What’s stopping you?
trusting God period!!
Next up: Cancer Confessional – Peaks and Valleys
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