I went for my second thyrogen shot to prepare myself for a thyroid uptake scan and came back with the Gifts of Cancer.
I was met by Judy, an older woman whose beauty and light wrinkles dwelt together in such unity, it made me instantly think that aging couldn’t be so bad, if I could age like her. The vibrancy of her face was matched by the vibrancy of her heart.
She changed my day.
She may have changed my life.
Some nurses are kindly dutiful. Others are sympathetic. The rare ones make you feel like they picked up one end of your cancer and carried it down that sterile hallway. Her conversation proved she had read my chart and understood my health situation.
When she saw me taking a picture of the bedpan with the shot paraphernalia she laughed and said she hadn’t seen that before! I told her I was a writer and wanted pictures to help journalize my story.
She was so excited and told me that she tells her cancer patients to journal their journey as part of the healing process. When they reach the end, they can read what they wrote and be amazed at their strength and their growth.
As she kept talking about the cancer, she almost made my heart stop.
you just have to find them
and embrace them.”
She must have thought my look was disbelief, but I didn’t speak to clarify, for fear she would stop her serenade on suffering.
Cancer just doesn’t take from you.”
She spoke of family, of personal maturity and other lessons learned along the journey.
I have experienced that, I believe that, I just hadn’t heard it expressed so succinctly, so positively.
The GIFTS of CANCER I am Embracing:
- The Lord Jesus Christ
- the INDESCRIBABLE Presence of the Holy Spirit
- His strength when I am weak
- new insight to Job’s life 🙂
- the love of my family
- the love of my friends
- the kindness of strangers
- new priorities in life
- new appreciation for each day
- truly learning to be thankful in all things
- comfort from the Lord to give to others
- the Scriptures speak more deeply to my heart
- experiencing JOY as a spiritual choice not a circumstance
- being chosen to share in His sufferings- because if I suffer with Him, I shall be glorified with Him
- physical help from friends, neighbors and family
- cards, letters, and emails with thoughts of love and appreciation
- the ability to forgive those who make mistakes that affect my health
- watching my kids grow in their OWN faith
- watching my kids meet needs without me asking
- watching my kids serve me, when I should be serving them
- the love of a man who doesn’t see the scar, the weight gain, the skin issue
- a Mommy and Daddy who still take care of me
- prayers of faithful Christians
- the power of having my arms upheld in victory – when I too weak to lift them anymore
- learning dust isn’t poisonous
- learning to accept help when offered!
- learning hospitality comes before pride – even if company has to shove stuff off my couch to find a place to sit
Since not everybody is going through cancer, but everyone is facing something challenging, whether it’s related to health, relationships, or finances, we can actually think about the Gifts of Suffering. The Lord always has suffering and glory walking hand-in-hand through the Scriptures and through our lives.
What trial has the Lord allowed in your life?
What Gifts of Suffering has He given you?