Someone asked me a really good question this week. How did I know that the path God has put me on has led me exactly where I was meant be? I had a couple days to think about this question. Trying to figure out the best way to answer it so it’s understood. I will do my best. I decided rather than replying privately I would use the opportunity to do blog post and hopefully it helps more people.
First before I get into the cancer stuff I will give you a bit of a background you may or may not know about me. Before I became a Christian I wasn’t really on a good path. I did things my way with no care in the world of how it affected others or myself. I abused my body, my health, I could care less what happened to me. Then God decided to change my path. He decided to make me a mom. I wasn’t a Christian at the time or really had an opinion on whether I was pro life or not but no matter the circumstances ( I was 18 and not married) I choose life. I became pro life. Who was I to decide to not have this baby. My friends who stuck by me ( I lost a lot of friends) were amazing. Some friends bought me my first bible. I started praying that God would take care of me and the baby. Family came around. Friends encouraged me and took me to church and supported me. I had a free warm roof over my head and a job that I put every cent away to care for my baby. I stopped doing all things self centered and started looking after myself. I endured a lot of pain in peoples words but I leaned on God and He helped me through the dark days. The day my baby was born was the best day of my life. I had a purpose. Someone who depended on me. This was not a sad occasion by any means. At 19 I was over the moon and full of joy with the incredible blessing that God gave me. I still feel this way. He is an amazing teenager now. Sometimes I wonder what would have happened to me if I didn’t have this child. (16 years later roles were reversed and he has often been my caregiver while watching me very sick). I am grateful. However at this point I still don’t think I believed in my worth. I did believe in the worth of the unborn though.
The years went by. Aaron and I were brought together by our beautiful son. We pursued love on terms that were real, not expected. We fell in love and were married and had 3 more children. Between Brandon and Dylan I lost 2 babies. Both were early miscarriages. Still heartbreaking. I think life got away with me and my faith struggled a lot. I went through many hard time with depression that are hard to even speak of or think about. My faith suffered so bad. The depression hurt. The anxiety was unbearable. No one understood, or I should say I thought no one understood. There was always the worry about what everyone would think of me. I always cared way to much about other peoples opinions of me. Was I being a good mom? Were my kids behaving to standards? Am I being the wife God wants me to be? On top of all this I suffered from chronic pelvic pain and chronic migraines. The Chronic pelvic pain resulted in a hysterectomy at 28. And how could we forget when Aaron almost died from sepsis and almost lost his leg. The weeks of hospitalization. Me at home while the house flooded with 3 kids 4, 2 and 1. 4 knee surgeries and 4 month of full time IV antibiotics. Not knowing if my husband was ever going to be ok. We have had our shares of trials and not all of them are in this post. Through these trials I was bitter. I was angry. I was sad. It got me no where.
So whats the point in me telling you all this? I am getting to that. Fast forward to 2016. I had been doing pretty good. We joined a new church which took us in with open arms. It was like an instant new family. I had still been struggling in my faith but it was getting better. I decided to work hard and focus on my calling as a mom and a child of God. Work had been going well. Always found so much joy in my job at William of Orange. So that summer I decided to be a counsellor at Stepping Stones Bible Camp. I did the teen week and in the end it was a giant blessing. The girls and my co counsellor were all amazing and the way you focus on what God has done and is doing in your life was so inspirational. I would say this was the start of a healing journey for me. My co counsellor is now one of my closest friends and is still such a support in my faith life. God knows what he’s doing. After summer things got tough again. I thought I was getting depressed again. I joined Freedom Session through a local church and was able to work on some past issues that I was holding on to. Unfortunately this is when things took a turn for the worse and January 25th, 2017 I was diagnosed with MDS RAEB-2 and so began my life as a cancer patient.
But that’s not how God saw it. God saw it as a time to strengthen my faith. I was not beginning my life as a cancer patient, I was beginning a life of incredible strength in Jesus. I was beginning my life as a Child of God who fully and completely for the first time ever understood without a doubt where my hope and comfort came from. The worries were there but not in the same way. Here’s where the imagine comes in.
Imagine you are 34 years old and have just been told you have cancer. Now imagine telling your loved ones. Calling your children because they can’t be there with you because you have been whisked away to stay isolated for a month. Telling your 8, 11, 12 and 14 year old that their mom has cancer and not being able to comfort them. Cry with them, pray with them. No one had a dry eye at the news. I was in a very ill state and if treatment didn’t happen asap , things would not last too long. Imagine being told the only way to be cured is to have a bone marrow transplant. Imagine getting the call that your one and only sibling is not a match. Imagine being told a 10 out of 10 match has been found, only to be told your antibodies will reject it. Your antibodies will reject any match. Imagine the feeling of realizing that it’s coming close to your time to meet your Heavenly Father. Yes a joyous thought. Going to heaven to be with Jesus is nothing short of amazing. However when you are faced with this you learn a whole lot about yourself. You think about your kids living without a mom , your husband without his best friend and wife, taking care of life at home all by himself. Leaving your parents before they leave you. It’s not suppose to be that way. Seeing your friends cry with the thought. How am I supposed to watch all this and not see how much I am loved. How much my life matters. I matter! Put yourself in those shoes for a minute and just image that this is you. You are valued. Your life is worth feeling that, its worth feeling Gods love and the joy you can get from that. Here’s where my quote from my first post comes in.
It’s funny how life takes you on journey you weren’t expecting, only to find that the path you have been led on has brought you to exactly where you’re supposed to be. The path may not be easy but choosing to embrace the good, the bad and the unexpected can bring you an abundance of peace and joy and fulfillment.
I look back at my life and see it all so clearly now. I didn’t in the beginning and you may not see it in your life right now but you will if you keep going and fight! I did at times see how God had worked in my life for the good. It wasn’t always difficult. I did see small blessings and even some big ones but never to the place I am now. God brought me through a lot! It took something incredibly difficult to get me to this place. My prayer for you is that you can also find this peace. It takes work. Find what helps you. Writing my blog helps me. Talking about my faith and struggles with my friends and family helps me. Prayer and bible study helps me. Church helps me. Christian music helps. Encouraging other as much as I can has been a gift for me. I never knew you could encourage people even when being physically unable to do much. Life isn’t perfect . I still have my fears and worries and struggles. I am a sinner who needs to lean on God. I know that and it has brought me closer to wanting to lean on Him more and please Him more. You want to focus your daily living on being joyful in Him. You see the blessings more. I don’t know if the cancer will return. It could come back any day . I have learned that everyday is a gift. I have watched people die and lost friends from the BMT clinic that I thought were going to be ok. The reality is we never know when our time will come. It could be a heart attack in a completely ” healthy” person or a car accident. Know your worth. Jesus gave His life on the cross for you. That is a pretty amazing gift of love right there. I will leave you with a passage we read at dinner tonight. I thought it was appropriate for this post.
1 Peter 4:12-19 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And, “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.