Did you know that one of my favorite things about blogging is YOU? I love to hear from you. Your comments and emails bless and challenge me. Thank you for taking the time to read this blog and to respond as you feel led. I really do consider it a blessing to connect with you and encourage you in your walk with God.
With that said, the recent posts concerning my mother’s cancer and her recent passing have generated some great questions from some of you out there. I thought that I would use this blog post to address some of the questions I have received via email, in hopes of encouraging those struggling with the following questions as they apply to your current season.
I truly believe that one of the beautiful things about community, be it “in person” or “online” is that we can walk through the ups and downs of life together. I am not claiming to have “the” answers here. Nor am I perfect. The following is just part of my story, raw and unedited. God has brought me to this place one degree at a time…and He isn’t finished with me (or you) yet. Praise Him!
Question: Did you ever get angry at God because of your mother’s cancer? You seem so happy and at peace about her death.
Yes, anger filled my heart when I heard my mother’s diagnosis for the first time. I remember thinking that it wasn’t fair, and that God had missed how “good” of a person my mother was. I became angry again when they told me she was no longer in remission. I was upset when they found more cancer in her brain. I became upset when I realized she would never see my kids enter Kindergarten or get married. Yes, I know anger.
However, please keep in mind, that my mother’s cancer journey lasted 11 years. I have had a lot of time to express, process, and accept. I have gone through several cycles of anger, fear, and feeling depressed. God was patient with me through it all. He listened and I learned how to be authentic before my God. Throughout this trial, I saw my anger turn from God to the cancer itself. Cancer is nasty, and I hate it because it has taken so much from my family.
While I am not happy about my mother’s passing, I am at peace about it. What you are reading in my posts is a sweet victory between God and me. He brought me through her cancer to this place of peace and joy over the ending of her suffering. Though this season still hurts, I see where I am at now as a victory, because the Holy Spirit has helped me overcome many moments of sadness, anger, doubts, and fears.
Question: Did you ever pray for God to take your mother’s cancer away? Why didn’t God take it away if He can do so?
Yes, I prayed for her cancer to go away. I prayed for her hair to grow back. I prayed for the feeling in her hands to return so she could hug and play with my son. And for 5 1/2 years she was in remission. Her hair did grow back. She did have moments with my kids that were beautiful. She somehow managed to go to Hawaii, and to Disneyland with Chad and me. She was well enough to travel to the hospitals where I gave birth to Jackson and Katie.
As I reflect on these precious moments, I believe that God did answer all those prayers for healing, with her ultimate healing happening on October 8, 2012, when she entered Heaven.
As to why God didn’t take the cancer away…that my friends, is where I have to write that I just do not know! I do believe that God can heal anyone of anything. We have all heard stories of the miraculous. We know that the Scriptures record that Jesus raised Lazurus from the dead. However, prior to that moment, Jesus also allowed Lazarus to die and be buried, and for the family of Lazarus to mourn. Sometimes we just don’t see the big picture about how God will glorify Himself. And when it comes to my mother’s cancer, I just don’t know the answer.
So, I have a choice to make: I either focus on what I do know to be true (Philippians 4:8), or I allow my mind to be consumed with assumption, what-ifs, and whys.
I am choosing to stay focused on what I do know to be true:
- My God is good, just, merciful, patient, forgiving, and loving.
- I am thankful that I had a Godly mother and that I had a wonderful relationship with her.
- I know that my mother and her story has touched hundreds of lives, and that our story has encouraged some of you.
I could go on, but the bulleted list of truth above is enough for me. I don’t need an answer anymore, I just need more of Jesus.
Question: Based on Scripture and what you have told us about your mother’s faith, you believe she is in Heaven. That’s great, but the promise of Heaven doesn’t make pain go away. How are you getting through grieving your mother’s death?
True the promise of Heaven doesn’t automatically take pain away. But I know that once I pass away, and Heaven becomes my eternal reality, my pain will cease for good. (Revelation 21:1-4) The reality of Heaven and the truth that I am just passing through this life, gives me hope and the strength to keep walking through my grief.
In this season of Holiday “firsts” without her, I am taking things one day at a time. I pray for God to help me through the sad moments. I continue to pour my heart out to Him. I try to look at my circumstances and emotions through the filter of God’s Word. I remember my blessings, kiss my husband, and play with my kiddos. I do my best to encourage you via this blog. I surround myself with mentors and friends that pray and listen. And each day the Holy Spirit helps this imperfect daughter move forward, one degree at a time. Praise Him 🙂
Thank you for letting me share the thoughts of my heart with you today. We all handle grief differently. I pray that you will allow yourself to be real before your God. That you will pour out the pain and pour over His Word. That you will ask for His comfort, listen for Him, and recieve His comfort. May His presence be evident to you today.