My Fitness

Friday, March 11, 2016

why I appear to be fine with my mom's cancer

Christmas Eve 2015 my family learned that my mother had breast cancer. When I heard, my heart sank for my mother. I imagined her losing all her hair and being queasy for the next year. I imagined that she'd be quite uncomfortable.

People started calling me and texting me to make sure I was okay. I would always think, "Why are you calling me?" The calls keep coming and I'd like to encourage you to focus your energy toward my mother. She could use your encouragement and calls and texts. I'm fine. She's sick and she'd love to hear from you. She is my opposite: where I tire of people easily, she is in constant want of more people. Introvert/extrovert.

How can I be fine while my mother is DYING? First, breast cancer is very treatable. She will likely only have memories of cancer in five years. Second, the worst that can happen is that she suffers and dies. My happiness and security is not placed on any person except that Person of Christ Jesus. If my mother dies, she gets to go to heaven. What a relief to finally be counted worthy of eternity with her Savior. Well, not "worthy" but I digress. 

Here's what I want you to take away from this post: We are all, each and everyone one of us, facing death every day that we live. Having a cancer scare of a terminal disease only reveals the illusion of control we have over our lives. I could choke to death this evening. You could fall down the stairs and break your neck. 

My mom called me once and was understandably sad and needed to be reminded where her hope rests. This might sound odd but I told her she shouldn't be scared of getting cancer and dying next year because she could be hit by a bus tonight. 

I appear to be okay because I have faith. I do not have faith that my mother will live. I do not have faith that everything will be better in the end. I have faith in God and that faith translates to an eternity spent with Him. I have faith that God allows no bad thing to happen that does not better conform us into the image of His Son if we allow it. 

It's easy to trust God. 

I was just in a Bible study where the women were saying how difficult it is to trust God. I disagree. I voiced my disagreement there and I say so again here. If you dwell on depressing thoughts, then you will find your trust waning, but if you take every thought captive and cast your worries to him because he cares for you then you will find your faith increasing too.

How is trusting God so easy for me? Because it wasn't always so easy. Every time I found that I didn't have faith in God, I would stop and pray and read Scripture that reassured and demonstrated that God was trust-worthy. I've been told this is a manifestation of the gift of faith. If this is a gift, then I think you have it too and perhaps it just needs to be exercised and trained. People have different demeanors and personalities and will react with anger, sadness, and confusion in varying degrees. I don't know if having faith takes that reaction away necessarily. I think perhaps having faith means that you trust God despite what your emotions say and despite your circumstances. 

I'm sad that my mom has to experience pain. I'm sad that my friend's child choked to death last week. I'm sad that ISIS is slaughtering everyone they hate. I'm sad for every child at St. Jude's Hospital. None of this sadness rocks my core because we were never promised an easy, pleasant life. I wish we were. I look at my wonderful life and know that at any moment it could all come crumbling down around me. That's okay. I pray that this won't be tested any more than it has been already (we've had some rough years). But it's okay. 

I appear to be fine because my God is bigger than this fleeting life that will end for all of us eventually anyway.

addendum: I want to emphasize that it's ok to not be ok. It's ok to cry. It's ok to be sad. It's ok to mourn. Americans are promised the right to pursue happiness but Christians are to pursue Christ.
Everyone dies. Be ready.

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