Sunday, March 4, 2012

Why me?

When I was in my early teens, our pastor's wife died from colon cancer.  It seemed like a long and horrible suffering she went through, and each Sunday we would hear an update on her condition and request to pray for some new surgery or treatment.  It was awful and frightening to me and I remember thinking about how very sick she was and I prayed that the Lord would spare me ever having to suffer from cancer myself.  And yet, forty years later here I am battling Stage 4 breast cancer -- just exactly what I had hoped wouldn't happen.

Even so, out of the last 4 1/2 years since my diagnosis, I could count on one hand the number of days I've wasted by questioning "Why me?"  Sure, there have been a few where I have grieved for the life I wanted and the experiences this disease may one day rob me of.  But I don't dwell on questioning the Lord's wisdom in allowing this in my life, because I've seen Him use "bad" things for good in the most surprising and beautiful ways.

Not quite 20 years ago, when our sons were about 4 and 7 years old, I was laid off from my job at GTE.  I'd had a very good job that I loved and assumed I would stay at until retirement -- then our department closed and I was suddenly unemployed.  We lived in Southern California and relied on my job to supplement our family income, so this was difficult.  After losing my job, my health insurance was due to run out, so I decided to see the doctor and get checked out for some things I'd been putting off.

I'd noticed that one of my eyelids drooped a little.  That may sound silly, but we wondered if that might be an indication of a more serious problem, so I underwent various tests and scans.  As it turned out, they never did find the source of the eyelid problem, but in the course of my tests they discovered a potentially life-threatening condition I'd had all my life that had previously gone undetected.  I had an AVM, a malformation of arteries in my brain, that could at any time hemorrhage, causing brain damage or death.  I had been a ticking time-bomb and never knew it!  Because they found it before I had a hemorrhage, the doctors were able to treat it and this basically saved my life.

One of the most interesting and exciting things I learned through this, was that my two sons were miracles (now I had official confirmation of this!).  The doctors told me that given my condition, it was a miracle that I had survived not only one but TWO pregnancies and childbirths!  They said that increased blood flow usually causes a hemorrhage, yet in my case I'd had no problems!  I felt so blessed not only to have these two precious sons, but to have lived to be their mother!

When I look back at the chain of "bad" events, I am always amazed at how the Lord worked them all together for our good!  If I hadn't lost my job, I wouldn't have lost my health insurance and wouldn't have pursued my health problem which actually revealed a more serious problem, then getting the life-saving treatment I didn't know I needed and also revealing God's merciful and miraculous hand in the blessing of my two sons!

This is why I don't waste time crying "Why me" and I trust the Lord to know what's best for me.  He truly DOES work all things together for good, even though we may not see it at the time.

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