What is faith?
As Christians, we talk about faith all the time. We talk about putting our faith in Jesus. We talk about having faith that things will work out, or that things will be OK, or get better. Putting our faith in something intangible is hard. I think lots of people like things that are concrete, that they can see or touch. Looking ahead to the future is hard because it’s so uncertain.
As I go through this journey I just have to have faith that things will work out well for me. That God will heal me. Getting a cancer diagnosis is hard enough, but then when you ask (or are told) about prognosis and get told its a short amount of time – that is hard, really really hard.
I remember being in the hospital, for the purpose of expedited care, and getting the results of my PET scan much sooner than expected. Getting results right away usually isn’t a good sign. I remember getting the prognosis of 2 years, which is the average. Imagine being about 25 weeks pregnant and being told you have 2 years to live. Imagine thinking about not being there to see your little baby, who is still living inside you, grow up. Imagine not being there for your other kids as well. That is hard.
The prognosis changed for the better, but not the best after my latest PET scan. Now I am getting a range of 1-5 years if nothing changes. My oncologist said that had it been the liver that cleared up instead of my bones then the prognosis would be even better than the 1-5 year range. Even a prognosis of 5 years is hard to take.
I have faith that God will continue to heal me, to keep me healthy despite all the chemo and treatment that I am facing. I don’t have much control over the cancer anyway, so it is easy to put my faith in God and Jesus that they can take care of it. I think a key part of the journey is to stay happy. If a person has something to live for, to fight for, then the outcome will be better. We can’t just be a passive player in the fight for our lives. We need to take an active role, to research, to try new things, and to rely on God and Jesus. Jesus can give us comfort in the most trying of times. He can be our shield and protector. It can be hard to find someone who understands your situation unless you know someone who has gone through this before (or is currently going through it).
Jesus DIED for us. Think about that for a minute. Jesus died for you. He died for me. He suffered many horrible things so that you and I could one day have freedom from sin. So that someday we could be in the presence of God and away from sin, death, and all the nasty stuff that happens to us. I have put my faith in Jesus, and having Him to cry out to is comforting. He will listen, and not judge. I don’t always get a response back, but I do feel better. Sometimes I’ll hear a song that resonates with me, or maybe someone will say something.
I am blessed, though. God has been good to me throughout this ordeal. He has given me energy and strength. I read and hear all the time about how chemo just wipes people out emotionally and physically. God gives us many tools when we ask. In my case using the ketogenic way of eating (I dislike calling it a diet) was one of the biggest ones. I don’t know how much of it was God alone or God through keto, but I haven’t really had any days where I have been so exhausted that I couldn’t do anything. That is a real blessing because I am responsible for taking care of children at home. I also didn’t have significant problems with nausea, especially this second time around on chemo.
What is there to lose by putting your faith in God?
The biggest thing is the penalty of sin – death. Romans 6:23 says “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus, our Lord.”
I still have all of myself. I’m still me. I’m still in control, but my life is more Christ-focused than before. I enjoy going to church and helping out with my kids’ Awana club, and other things. And I’ve gained someone that I can yell at (if I wanted), whine to (if I wanted), and complain to (if I wanted), without feeling too bad about it.
Do I ask why I had to have cancer? Not really… I have started asking “how can I use this for Your glory, Lord?” I want to use my journey to bring people to God. I want people to see His love. Even though I have cancer I am not angry at God. It takes a lot to be able to honestly say that. Early on in my journey I wanted to be able to give others hope, not just generally, but I wanted to be able to share how God has been so good to me.
On that note:
Romans 3:23 – “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”
Romans 6:23 – “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Romans 5:8 – “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Acts 16:31 – “Believe (trust) in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved.”
Do you want the peace of God in your life? Think about your situation. Think about how you have sinned and have offended and saddened God. But also think about how God, like the loving father He is, has given you a “Get out of Hell free” card. He loves you so much that he sent Jesus to die for you. God wants you, he wants so much for you, but you have to receive the free gift that is His Son, Jesus.
If you want God in your life then:
1) Confess your sins (apologize sincerely for what you’ve done wrong)
2) Ask for forgiveness (be real, be sincere) and repent (stop doing the bad stuff)
3) Ask Jesus to be your Lord and Savior