Friday, February 18, 2011

That word that breaks hearts

Cancer. We've almost all been affected in some way or another. Tonight I had the blessing of hearing Debbie Sobeski's testimony of God's faithfulness through her daughter's battle with cancer. The Lord chose to take her daughter, Hannah, home to be with Him in paradise forever. But instead of being filled with anger and grief, Debbie is filled with hope in the Lord and uses Hannah's story to share the gospel with young women. Because at the end of the day, no matter what you are going through; God is still God and God is still good.

I've been thinking about cancer a lot lately. As I listened to Hannah's story, I had to fight the flood of tears. My dad had cancer, which is hard to believe sometimes. It's only by God's miraculous provision of healing that he is here with me today. He was even treated at the same hospital as Hannah. I am so blessed to have him, there aren't enough words. I also follow two women's blogs about cancer. Their stories have touched my heart and their steadfast faith is so encouraging and inspiring.  Probably about 75% of the prayer requests I receive at Chapter are related to cancer. It is just so sickening. Almost everyone has been affected by it in some shape or form.


My Dad's 5th anniversary of being cancer free was recently, February 6th. I guess that is another reason why it's been on my heart lately. His healing is such a wonderful miracle to be celebrated! I absolutely can't believe it was 5 years ago. It all happened so fast. I usually don't think about it much. It feels like a bad dream that didn't actually happen.

I remember getting dropped off in front of my house and wondering aloud to my friend why my grandparents were here, because I didn't know they were planning on visiting. Dad said he had something to tell me. I never in a trillion years dreamed it'd be cancer. I remember Pastor Jody coming over and us all laying hands on Dad and praying over him. I remember the day before his surgery to get the tumor removed, he let Lauren and I take the day off of school so we could go to lunch and a movie with him. I remember him asking me who I'd want to live with if anything went wrong in surgery....what a terrible, terrible question. I remember him dropping me off at school and crying through my classes all day while he flew to Texas. I remember him coming home and being in bed for weeks. It was really hard to see him in so much pain and so disoriented from all the medications.

Most of all I remember our family's tears of joy the first Sunday at church together after Dad's cancer was gone. My entire family kneeled at the altar and we cried together and gave thanks to God for healing him. I am so blessed to have my dad here with me today. I don't know what I would do without him. He has always been there for me. I have so many reasons to give thanks tonight. Talk about putting things in perspective. No matter what the circumstance, God is God and God is good.

For more on Hannah Sobeski's story, check out hannahshopeministries.org. She may have only lived for a short 18 years but her life has brought more glory to God than most people twice her age.

Also, if you're interested in reading more stories of unwaivering faith in the midst of pain, follow the blog "Dont Waste Your Cancer" at libbyryder.blogspot.com. Or "The Shadow Proves the Sun Shines" at perrinthompson.blogspot.com