The Gift of Cancer

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It’s been almost one year since I last penned an entry. Many of you know that this past year has been one of cancer treatments and scans, questions and tests, new normals and unchartered territory. What you might not know is that the past year has also been one of the greatest gifts! I’ve said that to a few of you but I thought it was about time to explain!

In August of last year, I began to search the scriptures in an effort to try to wrap my head more around the idea that God loves me.To understand what that small seemingly simple phrase really means. It’s a phrase that at times has confounded me. Why does God love me? How could He love me. In my small, sinful, feeble state….how in the world could He love??? I know that He does. He shows love all the time, in various ways and my head knows that it is a fact. It’s my heart that was a little troubled as to why it was so! His word says it is so and as I thumbed thru the pages, my eyes recalled words that I knew but my heart was still aching. What I was looking for, I discovered ,was really more intimacy with Him. The kind of intimacy that allows our hearts and souls to know His love so deeply that it would touch places in me that had yet to be touched.

One of the prevalent memories I have early on in my diagnosis , was the evening in the hospital as I awaited surgery. I may have been sedated but I will never forget  the people standing around my bed, gathered fairly quickly ( as this was sudden and unexpected). My husbands assistant ,Fran, had driven a long distance to be there and her smile and sweet Spirit are something I won’t forget. My Pastor Sam &one of the elders from my church. Then dear friends, my family. One by one they came . I love them all very much but what they may not have known is that I saw God Himself in their faces, heard Him in their comforting words and prayers. He was saying “I love you dear child of mine”. Surely, He was present as well, but His tender loving care also showed up in His people. His love shone brightly as my sweet daughters and husband stayed with me as I recovered in the hospital. When I awoke fully, the beautiful flowers and cards spoke loudly of His love for me. When I returned home, I was welcomed by a giant bag of cards and letters. Words so touching that sent a message of resounding love not just from those that penned them but from the God that was saying…”I love you so much that I have sent an army to show you”.

The days that followed were filled by visits from His “love army”. Wonderful meals, sweet visits and calls,those that were willing to perform mundane tasks and whatever needed to be done. Some that came were those I had not seen in awhile. They came, they gave generously, they were extensions of His love and He reminded me of that each and every time. Each visit and each gift of sacrifice spoke so loudly of the depth of His love.

The days are too numerous to go into much detail but He was using my condition, my circumstances that might otherwise be looked upon as bleak, to tell the story of His love for me and to make it clear that just accepting this gift was something that deepened my understanding.

I can now honestly look back at this challenging, sometimes painful and often frustrating year and know that it was truly a gift. A vehicle for His love, expressed to me. An opportunity, for my heart to be filled, healed in some ways and to burst with the fullness of the measure of His love.

Life is returning to a new yet familiar routine. For that I am grateful! As I look each new day in the face I see thru new eyes. Eyes that see God’s love in a fresh new way. A heart that has new understanding and is overflowing with gratitude for the gift of cancer.

I am no longer receiving treatment for metastatic melanoma. My last brain MRI was clean and my last PET scan was “normal”. Praising Him for physical healing and the healing in my heart!

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8 thoughts on “The Gift of Cancer

  1. WOW…I needed to read that this morning! I to questions Gods love for me, even tho I know He does! Now I need to dry these tears and go to a meeting with a parent! 😪

    Love, Donna

  2. What a wonderful post in so many ways, Holly. You have been through so much, yet through your search for intimacy with God during this very challenging time, came a gift. I can’t even imagine what that experience must have been like for you – but I do know that just as you saw Him through the faces of your friends and family then, I am seeing Him through your writing now. Please keep writing! It’s truly inspiring for those of us (okay, me 🙂 who never stop seeking a closer relationship with the Lord. Thank you for sharing this.

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