Out of nowhere a diagnosis of cancer.
Through my almost 4 years of sobriety I have learned many lessons. I have experienced ups and downs, the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly. It afforded me the opportunity to embrace my faith and let God begin a great work in me and through me. As I have walked out this path of faith, God has restored all that was missing and broken in my life. He began to develop a warrior. Life was on a seemingly endless upward trend. We could feel the elevation, sense the miraculous being done in our home. Then the unexpected. Out of nowhere a diagnosis of cancer.
Talk about a test of faith. We were instantly dazed with the news and wondered how on earth is this happening to us, just when everything was taking off so perfectly. I was reminded about expectations versus my acceptance, but would I actually follow the lessons I had learned so harshly through my alcoholism. We were not really able to verbalize our emotions. At first it drove a wedge in between Cindy and I. The facts of the diagnosis were taking their time to sink in. Trying not to show fear in the prospect of death. It felt as though the world was crumbling beneath us and as it did we found ourselves on solid ground.
Who did we trust?
We really had only two choices. Did we believe the diagnosis and the inevitable outcome of someone with an incurable and rare form of blood cancer or did we believe in our God and what He says. We are human, there were moments when we cried, wanted to curse life in anger, even wanted to throw in the proverbial towel. But as the storm of cancer raged around us we noticed that in the midst of it all we felt this overwhelming sense of peace. It was the solid ground that God had developed in us through our faith. Our faith was being tested and we had to answer only one question. Who did we trust?
We began to ask each other that question when we felt fear and weakness begin to creep in. God did not bring this disease to Cindy but we knew what He says about it. We began to speak God’s word over the circumstance and our faith just began to gain power and strength. Once we began to focus on the peace and joy in it and not the diagnosis, our mindset was flipped to how we saw this cancer that had invaded her body. We began to feel closer to one another than we ever had, we began to feel stronger than we ever had, we began to love more than we ever had. It was He that was in us who was stronger than that which was in the world.
A mess into a message
What we begin to learn as we embarked on this battle against cancer was just how good our God really was. We were seeing it and feeling it first hand. He was proving to us how He is always working in all things to our good. Instead of seeing a disease that they say will kill her, we see a mess that God will turn into a great message. An opportunity to let people see the goodness of our God. But let me also be very real with you, it is not as easy as my words may make it sound. It is not a magic wand that magically transforms in a cloud of fairy dust. It is a process that we had to be willing to walk out in faith.
There are days when I am sure Cindy does not feel like standing but she stands anyway. Seeing the strength and faith that grows on the inside of her only assures me of the power within us. There are times when our thoughts can become overwhelmed with what the facts say about her health. But facts change and God never does. He says that by His stripes we were healed, it has already been done. That this sickness is not unto death but to the glory of God. We choose to live by what God says rather than accept the defeat that the world wants us to receive. All I know is that she will live and not die.
I fight to bring light and life
My alcoholism led me to a place where I had to choose to live or to die. I looked up and asked for help, I wanted to live. From that moment my life has begun to change. I have grown through the pain and the felt the promise in the laughter. I have had to fight, but today it is not the same as it was in my early recovery. No longer do I fight to not drink, that life is far behind me, I fight to live. When I am fighting to fulfill my purpose in this life and I am focused on living, my past has no need to hang around my neck. It is never forgotten yet often used to bring light and life to others.
As Cindy says, we are exactly where we are supposed to be. I am thankful that in the heat of the battle I know where I am to turn and that never fails me. It is this faith that gives us the ability to see the message in all this. I told her this past Sunday that I wished I could take it all from her, that she did not deserve to have this on her. She calmly looked at me and said, “Then it wouldn’t be the same message now would it.” Wow, to be yoked together with such a woman of faith opens tears of Thanksgiving from my eyes. God has plans for us and this thing called cancer has only strengthened our faith. People are either living or dying. It all is determined by who they trust and what they allow themselves to think on. For us, we trust God and we are going to get busy living!