As humans, we are arrogant sometimes to feel that our prayers will always be answered and our lives directed by what would be best for us. Sometimes a sad outcome for us is just our cross to bear. I can remember praying to God and begging Him to not let it be cancer. After I was diagnosed, I remember being so upset with Him. I could not grasp why He would do this to me; why He would allow this to happen to me. The suffering I experienced makes me remember the story of Paul praying for God to remove the thorn in his side and let him be healed. God said to him, “My grace is sufficient for you.” God’s power is made perfect in our weakness. That’s what God tells Paul. The storm was mine to walk through; it was my mountain to climb.
However, at this time I did not have the same understanding. I was so angry with God for allowing me to get cancer. I always asked Him "why me?"
It got to the point where I did not want to have anything to do with Him. I didn't pray anymore, I didn't talk about God, and I especially didn't go to church. I did not want to surround myself with people who could have so much faith in a Creator who could allow so much pain and suffering. In my life, and in the world in general. With little to no faith, I lost myself. I was not the same person. I was angry and mean to my parents and friends. I didn't want to do anything or see anyone. And if you know me, you know that I am the complete opposite of that. I never even wanted to look at myself in the mirror because I knew I had become a completely different person since having cancer. I blamed all of this on God and turned away from Him, instead of running to Him.
I kept asking "why me," when instead I should have been asking "why not me?" I sat in a hospital full of sick children who didn't deserve it more or less than I did. Yet, I thought that I should be excused from this disease. I had become someone I hated and I realized that this was not healthy...this was not who I was.
It wasn't until after I had a really bad reaction to my chemo and had to be in the ICU for days that I realized I needed to turn my perspective around. Yes, I had cancer, but I also had a lot of other things that some people don't get the joy of having. I had a family that supported me, a doctor and surgeon who knew exactly what was best for me, and a second chance at life. Which is something that many people who get diagnosed don't get. Even through this hardship, I realized that I was blessed. I wasn't being punished for anything that I did wrong. God took a bad situation in my life and He gave me the best possible outcome for me. I had to have a life changing surgery that broke my heart because it meant I wouldn't be able to play sports anymore. However, I could have had my leg amputated from the knee down, but God blessed me with the opportunity to keep it.
The Bible says that God gives good things to those who ask. Therefore, God cannot give me a bad gift. He loves me too much. So what was the gift in losing a big part of my life to cancer? I can honestly say I am a better daughter, sister, and follower of God. I am a better friend; I have a deeper understanding of loss and an even deeper capacity for compassion. I now appreciate the relationship and respect I have with God, which has grown from my dependency on Him throughout the trials and tribulations I have.
I will no longer presume to know and understand more than God does. I will always know the difference now between having hope and having faith. I realize that if God is not God of all, He is not God at all. I will remember to never negotiate with God or try to convince Him. He is God, He gave me life and a second chance at life that I didn't have to get. God is no less real because my prayers were not answered. Out of trauma, I now search for triumph.