I am trying to put my thoughts and feeling in print so please bear with me as I am not always good at expressing myself.
I am a Christian, as a child I went to church every Sunday and Bible School every summer. As I grew older I strayed from the church as I got too caught up in life - married, had a daughter, worked full time, you know – the usual excuses for being too busy to go to church. I still don’t go to church but I have never felt I had to just to talk to God, I believe he listens to my prayers and conversation wherever I am. I’ve always believed in God, although I can’t explain why, I just believe. I don’t know if I believe in Heaven and He!!, I think I do but I have never really spent much time thinking about it.
When my friends and family learned about my cancer diagnosis I had many people, even friends I haven’t heard from in years, who said they would keep me in their thoughts and prayers. I think this is when I realized I hadn’t been keeping God in my life and hoped it wasn’t too late for me to reaffirm my faith. I have always talked to God, not necessarily prayers, but I would talk to him when things got tough and ask him to help me find the right answer or do the right thing but I would neglect to thank Him for everything I had.
I wouldn’t say I’m a born again Christian but I now pray each day for others and to give my thanks for everything I have. These past 2 years have been tough for me and my family, we lost my brother to cancer, I lost my job and health insurance, my husband and I are facing bankruptcy due to my job loss, my daughter attempted suicide because of marital problems, I was diagnosed with 2 types of cancer and my husband is undergoing treatment to slow the growth of macular degeneration. I think I’m amazed that all of these hardships have reaffirmed my faith and brought me closer to God.
I don’t believe the typical sayings, “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle” or “it’s all in God’s plan”. I think it’s just the hand we have been dealt and we have to deal with it the best we can. I don’t believe I got cancer because I’m a bad person or did anything to deserve it (other than being a smoker).
I don’t try to force my beliefs on others and I certainly don’t preach to them about how they should live their lives or tell them they must believe in order to be saved. I know praying is not going to cure me of my cancers, my doctors and the on going research for cures may prolong my life but nothing will cure me. When I respond to a post on any of the cancer forums I usually do not tell the person who has posted that I will pray for them unless they mention prayers in their post as I feel that I am pushing religion by doing this. I try not to get upset with others for what they say as I now more than ever feel life is too short to waste my time being upset or thinking ill thoughts.
Cancer has definitely changed me in ways that I never thought possible, I am more patient and tolerant of others, I am kinder and more giving of myself and I try to find good in others and what they say. Would I change it if I could – YES!!! – but I have come to realize that all the prayers in the world are not going to change anything so I just deal with it day to day and try to enjoy the time I have left.
I’m sorry that this post is so long but I really felt the need to put this in print. Before I finally stop writing I would like to share an experience I had last night. I had gone to bed and was having my nightly discussion with God and suddenly had the strongest feeling of calmness that I have ever experienced, I can’t explain it but I suddenly felt completely relaxed and at peace, almost as if I were floating and didn’t have anymore worries. It was an incredible feeling of safeness and serenity, I like to believe that God was telling me to stop worrying and that everything would work out for the people I had prayed for.
Again, I’m sorry for making this such a long post and I hope some of you can understand my thoughts and feelings. And YES, I will be praying for everyone on this site – even those who do not ask for my prayers - LOL
Stay strong and keep smiling!!