'Where's God?' Faith and Cancer


Faith can be a tricky thing when you are dealing with cancer.

Faith can be a tricky thing when you are dealing with cancer.

One of the hardest issues I had in the cancer experience was reconciling with God. At the beginning I remember my rantings and ravings going something like this:

“What the hell is going on in a universe that allows this kind of suffering? I have been a good person. I have never killed small animals. I honored the Ten Commandments to the best of my ability. OK, there was that library book from the University of Texas on William Blake that I never returned but come on.”

“If ‘His eye is on the sparrow’, why can’t He see that I’ve been throwing up for 18 hours and can’t take it anymore?”

“If I’m not supposed to get more than I can bear, how could He finally let me get pregnant after two years and then give me cancer and the possibility of not being able to mother the child I bore?”

OK — enough. Clearly, I needed a new perspective.

Somewhere along the way what I realized was that simply because I believed in God did not mean life was going to be perfect. Indeed it was the journey, the daily struggle that was the faith experience. “Why me?” became “Why not me?” I am not special except that I have faith that can be applied. We all have struggles — mine was cancer. God didn’t give me cancer but by believing, I have the tools to deal with cancer if I will only call upon them. Adversity has become a door to understanding.

Ironically, this gift was from women who were dying. When I finally came to a place with God where I could thank Him for keeping me alive, it didn’t work. I had to look around at the women I loved who were dying. How could this happen? These were wonderful, caring people. Women with young children. Why them, but not me? I am no more special. But from those who had a faith that I could only strive for came reassurance that the peace that passeth understanding is a real thing. Healing comes from the heart — and dying isn’t the worst thing that can happen.

Being hopeless and without the faith that nurtures and grows us is worse.

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