The Bible clearly states that all things will work together for good for those who believe.* Well, I believed. But in the years 1997/8 I couldn’t see how all this treatment and suffering could ever work for good.
A few years after I finished treatment, my oncologist hired a bus and took a group of us to a daylong seminar at the Cape Town University. There I gazed in awe at the thousands of healthy looking people, men and women, who laughed and mingled with one another. They all had one thing in common: cancer. Everyone in the large auditorium had experience of cancer, either in their own bodies, or in someone they cared for.
I had been reluctant to go to the seminar. I anticipated a depressing and disheartening day. I was so wrong.
The speakers, all cancer survivors, were upbeat and positive. The atmosphere was joyful, and at times hilarious. Many people gave testimony to the blessings that they had received as a result of cancer.
On several occasions we heard statements like, “I am so grateful for cancer.”
Well I couldn’t say that I was grateful for it, but I could certainly see many blessings that it had brought about, particularly in the family circle. Rob and I had grown closer than ever before. Our relationship with our sons had never been better. Family and friends, with whom we had little contact, started to get in touch with us. Love developed where it had grown cold.
I began to understand that God, my heavenly Father, could take the bad experience of cancer, and turn it into something good, if I would only let Him. At least, that was the theory. But to be able to say I was grateful for cancer? No ways.
Yet now, nearly fourteen years since my diagnosis (in 1997), I can look you in the eye and say, “I’m grateful I had cancer.” It changed my life and enriched me as a person. Because of cancer, I am now a published author. Because of cancer, I have taken two trans-Atlantic flights and attended two American writers’ conferences. Because of cancer, I have a book of devotional messages for those in the cancer valley coming out in the States next year.
I’m not going to lie. I pray every day that I won’t need to go through it again. But yes, God has worked things out for good, and I’m glad.
How about you? Can you identify any good that has come into your life through your cancer experience? Please share it with us. And if you have a positive experience to share with us, please email me.