On October 23rd, 2014, no one told me God was good or that prayers had been answered. Who prays for cancer? Who would tell someone God was good when they got cancer? It sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it?
On August 3rd, 2015, I was told I’m in remission. Everyone spoke of God’s greatness and of prayers answered.
But what if the cancer comes back? Would God no longer be good? What if death came because of cancer? Does that mean God didn’t answer our prayers?
See I’ve struggled with all of these things in the past when my loved ones got cancer, went into remission and ultimately died of this disesase. And then I got cancer, and my outlook on God, His goodness, answered prayers, life and death all suddenly changed.
On October 23rd, 2014, God was good – great, actually! My cancer was discovered. That’s actually an answered prayer to a prayer that was spoken over twenty years ago when a 19 year old me found out my daddy had stage 4 cancer. If I ever were to have to endure cancer, I prayed they’d find it before I was terminal. Telling your children you’re going to die is horrible!
In April of 2014, I had prayed God would help me with my faith. That he’d help me let go of the burden of constantly feeling “less than” and “unworthy” of His greatness. Be careful what you pray for because the way God answers prayers isn’t quite like you imagined when you requested it. God spent from April until October preparing my body, mind and soul for the diagnoses I had no clue was coming. God was good! God was about to use cancer to teach me the ultimate lesson on faith and the rewards that come by being faithful. God was answering my prayers.
As I left the doctor’s office on Aug. 3, 2015, I was full of praise and joy as I thanked God. I was in remission! Then God asked me, “Would you still be full of joy if you weren’t? And would you still have faith in me if you came out of remission? Would you praise me then too?” Oh, these tough, tough questions! See, we’ve been conditioned to believe when we get our way, we celebrate! We give thanks, we give praise, and we are joyful. We will then shout, “God is good!” to anyone who’ll listen. The fact is God is ALWAYS good even when we don’t get our way. He can bring goodness from destruction and create beauty from ashes. That’s amazing!
Death and cancer are close friends. That’s why hearing “You have cancer” is so frieghtening. That’s why at 19 I never wanted to hear those words. I never wanted to tell my husband, my children, my family or my friends those three words either. But even with a cancer diagnoses or in death, God is good and prayers are answered. I remember begging God to take the pain away from my dad. No, I didn’t want him to have to die, but I also didn’t want him to have to suffer anymore either. My daddy was at peace with death. I couldn’t comprehend that at the moment. I can now. I remember a conversation with God before I had ever even been told if I really had cancer or what stage, rate or grade of cancer it was. During that conversation, I was covered in a type of peace no earthly words can describe. God assured me, no matter the outcome, if I had faith and trusted Him I would be blessed, my family would be blessed, and many others would be touch by my faithfullness. Death was no longer something to be feared. Dying wasn’t scary anymore.
God used cancer to teach me the ultimate lesson: Faith in God, true 100% faith, removes all fear – even the fear of dying!
God is good. God is great. God answers prayers. But Isaiah 55:8-9 might explain it best.