I’ve reached my “100th post” mark, and nothing could be sweeter than sharing it with a friend.
Kim has been a true blue friend of mine for many years. Our girls grew from toddlers to beautiful young ladies together – near to each other and from states apart! Honest, real deal friendships are hard to find. I know ours is a gift. Kim is generously allowing me to share her words regarding her personal journey with cancer and her walk with her Maker, The Creator of us all.
I know she will touch many hearts…
After you read her letter, would you please say a prayer for her and God using her in this way to serve Him?
Cleaning Up After Cancer ~
When I was fighting through my cancers I thought that I’d eventually be glued back together. Sure I’d have a few physical aches, pains, and scars but I’d make it, be back to my old self in no time, and maybe even be a little triumphant. I’d be a survivor. I’d be the pink warrior on top of the mountain having slain not one, but two giants. Right?
Well, it doesn’t seem to be quite that way. At first I did feel like a conqueror. I had beaten two formidable enemies and stood proud. I had survived! I was in awe of and thanked God with a most humble and grateful heart for his healing grace. I didn’t want mediocre in my life anymore. I was going to live and love fully for all the days I had left. However, as I put more time between myself and my last treatment, I felt sad. Really sad. With each passing day I still wasn’t feeling like my old self and the sadness increased. Then joining my sadness was doubt and fear. Was I ever going to feel well again? Is this as good as it will get? When will I lose all this weight I gained? How long before I have my energy back… ANY energy for that matter? As I pondered these and many more questions the biggest surprise of all awaited me – GUILT.
All the while I was trying to enjoy life because I had lived and dare not complain because I had lived, I felt guilty because of the others who didn’t and won’t. Husbands missing their wives, children growing up without moms, others suffering inconceivable pain of treatments and it all overwhelms me. I still have aches and pains to remind me of my scars, but the internal scars feel far worse than the external ones. I can see other’s pain and suffering so much more clearly now and empathize more deeply than before. I wonder if that happy go lucky girl (the one that always saw the glass half full and encouraged others every chance she got) will ever return. I wish I could laugh more, like before.
So how do I deal with this? How do I “get over it”, fix me, and move on? I’ve tried talking with valued friends. Their advice, while true and coming from a place of caring, is not always that helpful. They say that God has great plans for me. “Well isn’t that just hunky dory”!?! No pressure there. A truth that once gave me great comfort is nothing but another source of anxiety for me now. More anxiety is something I could truly use less of nowadays. What I do need is something to hold onto. A truth I can cling to and that will fill me with hope. So, I started reading scripture in search of that truth.
In reading scripture, God’s promise to me, I discovered His beautiful love letter filled with promises written to me before even one of my days came into being, waaay before I ever heard the words, “You have cancer.” Reading scripture has brought me to the understanding that God has given me these words, His words, exactly for this time in my life. He loves me and wants to guide and encourage me. He knows for me that going through the cancers and their treatments wasn’t the hard part. Picking up the pieces and trying to fit them back into place is much harder, maybe even impossible. It’s in this after cancer clean-up God has revealed such an encouraging promise to me…
I Peter 5:10 (NIV)
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
What!? God himself will restore me? The Lord of the universe who created everything will restore me? What a promise! Now this is something I can grab onto. So, I dug a little deeper to try and understand exactly what this promise means.
The God of all grace: God is the supplier of every needed grace, of every kind of grace, and of every means of grace. “My grace is sufficient for thee”. God’s grace is all encompassing. It is complete for any need of any believer at any time. – This means that God has a plan for every situation I face in life. Every problem I encounter God has a divine solution for it.
Who called you to his eternal glory: A divine invitation that we shall be saved according to the gospel. To be in abiding fellowship with God forever. – I don’t need to worry or be apprehensive that God will ever leave or forsake me.
After you have suffered a little while: The Greek translation is, “having suffered a little,” and can refer either to length or degree of suffering. In either case, our sufferings are short in comparison to eternity. – There is an appointed time for my suffering. Even if I suffer the rest of my life, it pales in comparison to the magnitude and weight of eternal glory with God.
Restore you: mend the broken, equip, perfect, complete, make one what he ought to be. – God will mend me and make me what I ought to be, what He wants for me.
Make you strong: God will give me strength to bear my sufferings.
Firm: The Greek word means “to set fast; to fix firmly; to render immovable.”
Steadfast: lay the foundation, to found, to make stable. – God will set me to rest on His firm foundation. This foundation will give keep me supported in all my trials and sufferings; it is there to help me resist and overcome all my enemies. He wants me to abide in the truth of grace.
Yes, this is a lot to digest. But, I love the encouragement and God’s promise to me found in this verse. So, what do I do now? I guess I move forward the best I know how. I can’t put the pieces of my broken spirit back together. I’ve definitely proven that out here on my own. Does that mean I just sit back and wait for God to do miraculous work in me? No, I don’t think so. I still believe I have quite a bit of work to do, but God has promised to equip me, be my source of strength, and move me closer to the person I ought to be. Now, I just need to get out of my head, out of His way, and let the work begin.
For a list of all the days in this series so far, click here.