Testimony

How having cancer brought me closer to God

Accepting my diagnosis was the first step toward freedom

 

 

It appears I’ve beaten cancer. According to the pathology report, the surgeon got clean margins, thus ridding my breast of the malignancy. And the CT scan of my trunk was normal; the cancer hadn’t metastasized to any of my organs. My brain MRI was normal—no cancer in my brain.

I made it out of the woods.

But this isn’t the interesting part of the story.

The more fascinating aspect of the tale, at least for me, is not that I beat cancer, but that I accepted cancer before I knew I’d licked it.

The upshot of beating cancer is human relief.

The upshot of accepting cancer, of accepting what God is permitting in your life, is growing closer to the Lord. This is a much better prize than relief.

Let’s backtrack. For weeks, I’d been fighting against the knowledge that I had cancer. I couldn’t grasp that I might get really sick and die from it. I didn’t want the cancer. It was icky. People like me didn’t get cancer. I was too above cancer. I was fighting it. I was being willful.

Fighting the reality, the truth of my illness, was making me sick emotionally. I was terrified, nervous and completely on edge. Depression set in. Death from cancer was all I could think about.

And then, suddenly, something changed. It had to.

One night, I said to God, “OK, God. If this is the path you want me to have, I’ll have it. I accept the cancer. I accept that you are permitting me to have cancer.”

And boy, after that, it was like a cloud of ugly fog lifted. I felt free. Even knowing I might die from my malady, I was basking in God’s love and in his plan for my life.

Shortly after I accepted my fate (about two weeks), I learned that all my scans were clear. I was completely cancer-free.

Coincidence?  Only God knows.

The security guard at the Akron Public Library has been following my cancer saga. He and his whole church have been praying for me. When I saw him last week, I told him I was cancer-free. He instantly gave me a high five.

“Now, my dear, you have to testify,” he said.

“I will,” I said.

So this is my testimony.  The Lord Jesus Christ has given me more time on this earth with my son and my husband and my family and friends. He’s given me more time to teach and to write. He’s given me time to spread the good news of his saving power.

Yes, I am relieved. How could I not be? But more importantly, I have grown closer to my God.

In our lives, we must be willing to accept the crosses that come in the journey God has handed us. If we fight them, we will only be miserable. And we will remain distant from our God.

So this story has a happy ending. Thank God!

Things at my house are getting back to normal. I’m cooking and cleaning and exercising and shopping again. (I have to admit the shopping is the best part. I really missed shopping.) I’m taking care of my family the way they took care of me when I was sick. My son Tommy is much happier. Having a sick mommy is no fun.

And my husband Steve is smiling again.

We’re all smiling again.

Praise the Lord for his saving grace and his healing power!

And praise God for giving us free will—to accept or not to accept.

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Laura Yeager

Laura Yeager’s religious essays have appeared at Aleteia.org, The Liguorian magazine, Canticle magazine, BustHalo.com, Guideposts magazine and writersweekly.com. She also regularly writes blog posts about mental health for PsychCentral.com. Laura teaches writing at Kent State University and online Creative Writing at Gotham Writers’ Workshop in New York. She’s a graduate of the Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa.