It was interesting when I was diagnosed with cancer how many people, in an attempt to encourage me, said things like, “Why you? You don’t deserve this! You’re so young - your whole life is ahead of you! It’s not fair...” It would have been really easy to agree with them. There is always that temptation to wonder if God really knows what He is doing when He allows “bad things to happen to good people.” And then it struck me... Romans 3:10, “There is none righteous; no not one!” I realized in all honesty what I “deserved” was far worse than cancer. But by the grace and mercy of God, what I deserve has been withheld and has been replaced with abundant life in Christ. Well, looking at it from that perspective sure changed my thinking and my language!
Recently I was asked I ever questioned, “Why me?” My answer? “Why not me?” Let’s look at some real facts: 1 in 8 women in the US will get breast cancer in their lifetime. That’s rough. Really rough. But let’s also look at what women all over the world go through. It is estimated that 800,000 women and children are victims of sex trafficking across the world. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, every 9 seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten. According to World Food Programme, 1 in 9 people in the world do not have enough food to stay healthy. I could go on an on. It makes what I have gone through seem like a piece of cake.
Ok, so if I’m being real, I didn’t always have this really great attitude toward having cancer. About 8 weeks in to my second round of chemo treatments, I was feeling pretty horrible almost all the time. Don’t get me wrong, the first round of chemo and the double mastectomy had been pretty horrible, but with the Lord’s strength I had pushed through. During the second round though, I threw one heck of a pity party and wallowed in my misery. For four weeks in October of 2011, I was woman most miserable. October is already a difficult month for some breast cancer patients. While we truly appreciate awareness for the disease we are fighting, and without a doubt we are grateful for any money raised to fund a cure and support those who are suffering, all the pink ribbons serve as of the constant reminder of the struggle. And that October, I let it get to me.
I wish I could tell you that I came to my senses and realized the power that I have in Christ to overcome the pain and the fear. Nope. I wallowed. A lot. I don’t exactly know what snapped me out of it. “God is good” is all I can say, and He didn’t let me stay there in that place.
Psalm 40:1-3 “I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord.” (NLT)
So here I am, five years out from that horrible month in 2011. Five years is a milestone for cancer patients...we officially become "survivors" at five years. And this October I have a new question: "Why me?" Why have I been spared when so many are not? Why do I get to go on living while many more holy, more selfless, more powerfully dynamic than I are no longer here? I have no answer. I just make it my prayer every day that I will walk worthy of the calling that He has placed on my life. As long as I live I seek to glorify the One who has withheld what I deserve, and has given me abundant life.