When you are going through breast cancer treatment, sometimes it seems as if the pain, agony, disappointment, fear, anxiety, and all of the other emotions that accompany what you are going through, will NEVER end. I found myself asking, “How much longer? and Will this ever end? Will I ever be NORMAL AGAIN?” Trust me when I say that if you have ever asked yourself these or similar questions, it is NORMAL. It is a NORMAL RESPONSE to question the longevity of a trial. So please, do not feel like you are weak for wanting it all to be over with. Please do not feel that you are weak for asking yourself, “Can I do this? Can I endure another treatment? Am I strong enough for surgery, chemotherapy and radiation?”
I am a believer in God and a follower of Jesus Christ. I have a strong conviction that whatever I encounter in this life, God has orchestrated it for my better good. As a Christian, I am not promised that my path in life will be void of challenges, trials and temptations. In fact, I am promised to have challenges, trials and temptations. I am however, promised that ALL THINGS will work together for my good. Now, whether or not I discover what that “good” is, depends solely upon my attitude and point of view throughout the trial. It is sort of like viewing the glass as half empty or as half full. I choose to see the glass as “half full” because frankly, it makes me feel happier. Just saying the word “full” out loud, conjures up a better feeling inside of me than saying the word “empty.”
Before sin was introduced into the world, God created us to be at peace with our reality. He created us to be happy, creative and loving with those things within our immediate environment. He created a perfect world for us to enjoy (see the book of Genesis 1-3 in the Holy Bible). However, once sin was introduced by satan, the state of peace was rudely interrupted with a state of fight and flight. Adam and Eve immediately became ashamed, fearful, and anxious as they hastily attempted to hide themselves from one another (their physical bodies) and ultimately from God.
Breast cancer is a RUDE INTRUDER. It interrupts life. It oftentimes causes us to retreat into a place where negative emotions and depression roam. It causes us to question our lives, its purpose and duration. It also causes us to come face to face with our mortality and the inclination we have to pursue life, fight for it, and live. This disease necessitated me to see and feel the immense presence of God and to see how much BIGGER He is than breast cancer. His ways, His thoughts and ideas and His purposes are unfathomable by mankind. In fact, God says in His love letter to us, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9
Looking back on my breast cancer experience of 2011, I can see how that trial made such a difference not only in my life, but in the lives of others who observed me go through. I have had women tell me that they have become more serious about their breast health by doing self breast examinations and scheduling mammograms. Secondly, people have told me that they have become proactive with regard to diet and exercise in hopes of living a more health driven life. Thirdly, people have told me that they have chosen to reduce stress, embrace and enjoy their family more, and are learning to listen to their bodies with regard to resting. Lastly, as a result of my trial, people have found Christ or have chosen to renew their relationship with Christ. Knowing that my experience helped to change the lives of many, gives me much satisfaction and joy. After all, I believe that I am living in order to influence others lives for good. I am living to show others Christ.
I would like to challenge you to reflect upon experiences in your life that you thought you would never make it through. Would you say that your experience helped someone else? If so, how? More deeply, if not, why?
In case no one has ever told you, I want to inform you that YOUR LIFE MATTERS. YOU MATTER, not only to me, but to God. Psalm 139:17-18 of the Holy Bible says, “How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them, Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I am awake, I am still with you.” Isn’t it stirring to know that God thinks of you?
Always remember that others are watching how you live your life. You are more of an influence upon the lives of others than you think. How you choose to live, or NOT live your life is solely up to you. God created us NOT to be robots, but to be independent thinkers. He created us with the freedom of choice. However, because He created us, His want is that we genuinely hunger for a deep and loving relationship with Him. I encourage you to look for God, pursue Him through communicating with Him each day. I hope that you will choose to exude love in all that you do.
One of the deep secrets of life is that all that is really worth the doing is what we do for others. ~Lewis Carroll
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