Ten years ago today I had a minor surgery (called a lumpectomy) to remove a small tumor. In a matter of minutes I went from having breast cancer to not having breast cancer. Of course, that was just the beginning. Chemo and radiation followed in the months to come. The journey had ups and downs, highs and lows, joy and pain. Some memories are good, some are not. However, I have come to the conclusion over the last 10 years that the details are not nearly as important as the lessons. The one for today – sometimes you get cancer.
I love hearing stories about people who are cured miraculously from disease. God can, and does, work powerfully in that way often. But, sometimes you get cancer. And guess what? God still works powerfully in the midst of disease! God’s power does not depend on your health. He is not more powerful if you are sick, or if you are not. He just is. Our circumstances change around the constant that is His power. When God does not change the medical chart to reflect good news, it’s ok. Not easy, not preferable, not fun… but ok.
So here I am, 10 years after my cancer diagnosis. I survived. It is not lost on me that so many other young women who also battled cancer are not around to write these words. Honestly, I hated cancer. I still do. I may never fully understand why cancer came into my life, but it honestly does not really matter. It did. God was not mean, He was not absent, He was not un-loving. He was gracious. Gracious. Bad things happen in this life. Our hope is not that things will get better, but that He will be with us. And He is… He was.
I’ve been curious to know what emotion I would experience today on this anniversary. Surprisingly, it is peace. I am looking back not at how hard life was 10 years ago. Instead, I am being reminded of God’s faithfulness, mercy, and grace. I am remembering the many family members and friends who walked with me through the hardest times. My husband was, and still is, everything I could have asked for in a companion. I am blessed. I was blessed 10 years ago, too. For you see, sometimes you get cancer. But, it’s going to be ok since we are only passing through…
Copyright © Rachel D. Butler and Only Passing Through. All Rights Reserved.
New American Standard Bible Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, California. All rights reserved.
Photo credit Rachel D. Butler