One year ago today, April 17, I sat in my office trying to work while anxiously waiting for the call. It was now Tuesday and I should have heard yesterday. The call finally came and resulted in my “one-bad-year” with triple negative breast cancer. I am not very good at recalling dates, unless it’s my wedding anniversary, but this date won’t easily be forgotten. This was serious. I was told triple negative breast cancer can be more aggressive and difficult to treat. Also, this cancer is more likely to spread and recur. I was now in a small subcategory of all breast cancer — only 15% of breast cancers are triple negative. Those are not the results you want to hear.
In the midst of my “one bad year” it felt like it would never end, yet here I stand on the other side, able to look back and recognize God’s faithfulness to the smallest detail. While waiting for my results, God told me that He would take me through cancer, He would not abandon me there. I knew from the beginning that life wouldn’t end in that place. That I would be going through — to the other side fully alive and cancer free, which is where I am today.
It is always a crisis of faith when you hear from God in that way. Was it just wishful thinking? Was it my positivity (which I never seem to have)? Did I really hear God and should I tell anyone about it? What if I am wrong? This is life or death and no one I know has the ability to predict that. At first, I only told my husband. Remember him? I still call him HOTY (Husband Of The Year). Then I knew I needed to speak it as truth which meant reliance on and complete surrender to the One who counts my days. Oh, God is so faithful! God’s Word tells me that He’s the one who created the heavens and the earth with His great power and outstretched arm. Therefore, nothing is too hard for Him (Jeremiah 32:17). So, I should expect no less, even when life is difficult and I am laying in bed day after day. Some times that is easier said than done. And sometimes it doesn’t feel like He is working for my good.
Well, today it is good to feel good. To remember how bad I felt during chemo and compare it to how I feel today most certainly amplifies how good I feel. Renewed strength and growing energy makes every day feel like such a precious gift. It is the same as looking back to what Jesus did on the cross for me (and you). He bore the dreadful weight of my sin and paid the price in full by dying in my place. My sin (any sin) requires death (For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord – Romans 6:23). And yet, Jesus, who knew no sin, took my sin upon Himself and died in my place. That view of the cross amplifies His great love for me and the radical grace He freely gives me (and you), so that we can live fully alive today and into eternity with Him.
This weekend is Easter. I have been given a fresh view of the resurrection. Not only did our God create the heavens and the earth out of nothing, but He brings life to that which was dead! (This is where I wish I was from the south because I just want to shout, “Girl, that’s truth!” with all the sass I can muster.) Man! To say, “God’s got this,” is more real than we often are able to believe. My faith was considerably smaller a year ago. Today, I know He moves mountains. He creates something out of nothing and brings life to what was once dead. He forced me out of my comfort zone, took me out onto the deep waters, held me tightly in His hands and enlarged my faith beyond what I knew was possible.
Last year was “one-bad-year.” Today, I eagerly anticipate what’s next.