I’m a Survivor: Part II
My own diagnosis came June 24, 2005. I was in Texas with my husband, his brother, and his grandparents. The call came and I just completely crumbled. I’m sure the doctor said many kind things, but to be honest, all I remember hearing was…cancer. Shock, anger, fear, denial – they were all there, though, in the moment, I would never have been able to differentiate them for you. I was losing it and quickly doing so at that. Oddly enough, one thing I do remember is apologizing over and over to my husband. I told him how sorry I was to be putting him through this and how sorry I was that he would have to deal with something like this. We had not planned for this. In our whole 6 months of marriage experience, we had not thought we’d ever face a day like this, let alone so soon.
How do I know that God is real? How have I seen God’s loving presence in my life? A few months prior to this, while in the euphoria of newlywed bliss, we decided to get a dog. Not just any dog, but a male Boston Terrier puppy. We already had the name picked out – Winston – and all that we were waiting for was a call from the breeder to tell us that there was one such puppy available for us. On June 24, 2005 I got what is possibly the worst call of my life when the doctor called to tell me that I did, in fact, have cancer. Wouldn’t you know that less than an hour after that call, though, I received a far more welcome call? It was the breeder, calling to tell us that the very night before, our little Winston had been born. Coincidence? I don’t think so. For me, that phone call, as simple as it may sound, became a defining moment in my faith. God was going out of His way to remind me of something: that the same God who cared enough to know the desires of my heart – in this case, the desire for our very own puppy – was there for me in this huge, daunting journey of cancer that I was about to embark upon. Surely, if He cared enough to know my simple desire for a pet dog, He could carry my life through cancer. He saw me. He hadn’t forgotten me. And, most importantly, He wasn’t about to leave me anytime soon.
That’s the kind of God that I serve. The God who knows my every heart’s desire and, like the loving Father that He is, meets them in ways that are beyond what I can even imagine. I knew in that moment that while my journey may get hard, God was going to be with me. And guess what? He was!