Our family is going through what so many thousands of families in America have experienced. My mom called me a couple months ago and said, “Beki just left my office.” I could tell my mom was upset. I could hear tears in her voice, but I couldn’t imagine why. “She’s been diagnosed with breast cancer.”
“What?!” I couldn’t catch my breath. “Our Beki?” I couldn’t comprehend. I asked my mom to start at the beginning. It all started with a bug bite that left a lump. That lump was benign, but thanks to that bug, they found two other spots of breast cancer that couldn’t be felt. My brother’s wife, Beki, only 39, was diagnosed with Stage I invasive breast cancer. Then, they found another spot of cancer in the other breast. Beki had a bilateral mastectomy the end of September and thanks to a little tiny spot found in a lymph node, she was “upgraded” to Stage II and is now getting ready for 12-weeks of chemotherapy. It has been God’s grace at every step that this cancer has been found and treated. (You can read about her faith-filled journey at her blog.
I have a friend who walked through a similar journey three years ago and while I had complete peace for my friend then and I have peace for Beki now, it is still an emotional journey. Besides the obvious, “I want to be sure all my girlfriends have their mammograms done right now!” there is some fear to deal with as well. It hits home how widespread this disease is and that it steals friends and loved ones. I don’t want to lose anyone! According to the American Cancer Society web site, there are 2.8 million breast cancer survivors (including those still in treatment.) There will be about 232,340 new cases of invasive breast cancer, about 64,640 new cases of non-invasive breast cancer and about 39,620 women will die from breast cancer in 2013.
Breast cancer, like so many things in life, is something we can’t control. It’s a trial that seemingly pops up out of nowhere. And suddenly, it’s a fight for life. And it’s a life that will never be the same.
But – our God IS the same. He is not surprised. He is our comfort and our strength to walk through any trial. If we let Him work in us through it, we will even grow in our faith and in our trust in Him. “Why do these things happen at all?” people ask. Entire books have been written to answer that question, but a couple things we know: We live in a fallen, imperfect world where there is disease, hardship and death. But in this fallen place, there is God’s redemption and His love. We know from Romans 8:28 that He works all things together for our good. And Joshua 1:9 tells us, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged,for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
God is with us. He is for us. His love for us will carry us through anything! We are strong and courageous and we fight. And we rely on the Lord every moment, knowing it is His power, giving us strength. Praise be to God. We trust in Him.
What trials are you facing right now?