Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Maybe Now I Know

When I was little, I spent a lot of time in a Baptist Church. One thing that I remember from those formative years of learning is that we are not suppose to question God. His plan may not be known at the time, but he would test us, challenge us, and we were to go through these moments without questioning why. For none of us knew what his plan for us was.

Let me tell you, when you get handed the cancer diagnosis, that is exactly what you want to do. Ask Why.  Sometimes it comes out in the form of a How question. How did this happen? And the medical community responds to that. They talk to us about diet, exercise, genetics, and other environmental factors. Sometimes their explanations lack substance and we are still wondering why.

I still do not understand how I got cancer. Much less why. In my head I rationalized it by thinking thoughts like, I would do this ten-fold if it meant that my children would never have to. But honestly, I relied heavily upon those formative years of biblical upbringing. I accepted that His plan for me might be revealed later in life. Or maybe I would never know.

Yesterday, I was put in the right place at the right time and I saw exactly why I might have been put through such a challenge.

I encountered a co-worker. I knew she had been out of work that morning with a doctors appointment. Upon coming back into work, she sat down beside me. I was busy doing my own thing but something/someone tapped me on the shoulder and made me look in her direction.{In case you missed it, no one literally tapped me on the shoulder. It was a very odd feeling to look in her direction.}

I noticed quickly that she just looked distraught. Her face was white as a ghost, her eyes were watering, and she was trying hard to breathe deeply. I asked her if she wanted to step outside and she quickly said yes.  Alone, she started talking, more to herself than anyone. But, I was there. She said she had gotten back some  very bad results to some test. She was young, had young children and never thought she would have those words said to her.

She did not have to tell me what the results where. I knew. In a flash I knew how she was feeling. I knew her fears. I knew her thoughts. I stood there listening to her knowing all she was going through. Has it only been two years ago when I myself was saying the same things?  She said she sat in her car for the longest time before walking into work trying to convince herself she could come in and pretend everything was normal. Like anything can be normal after you hear that c word said in relationship to your health and future for the first time.

This is the second time I have been in this place in the past month. A friend of mine from way back reached out to me and I listened to them tell me their diagnostic story. Just as with the coworker, I have no fancy words to make it better. I can only tell them that they are not crazy, and their reaction to this news seems to be "normal". Or at least it is how I reacted.

During both conversations, it occurred to me that this is exactly why I might have been given the challenge I was given. I was tested, went through an experience that was not pleasant...more like going through Hell. I can tell you, as I stood before each of these women and listened to them and shared their fears and heartbreak, there was no where else I would have been.

I carry these two women with me now on a daily basis. I send them positive thoughts. Mental hugs. I say prayers and chants even. I wish them peace. And knowledge. And grace. But most of all, I am wishing them health.

I hope you will lift them up as well.

1 comment:

  1. Pam, you are such an amazing woman. I believe there is a reason why we go through things. You can either move forward with what you go through or let it hold you back. I'm glad you are able to move forward and be the strength that your friend and co-worker need. Be encouraged friend that your struggle was not in vain.