This is a guest post by a mentee of mine, M.C.P., who is a breast cancer survivor. She lives outside of Washington, DC.
In August 2012, at the age of 32, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Many feelings overwhelmed me as I went through this major “disruption” to my life.
I thought to myself, “I’ve been seeking and serving you Lord, not perfectly, but with a heart intended to please you…did I do something wrong? Am I being punished? It feels like a punishment. I’m not married, nor do I have any children yet. You know these are some of the things I desire most. Now, my body is disfigured. Will any man want me? Will I be able to have children? What about the future? Do you love me?”
After several months of chemotherapy, a mastectomy and radiation, I decided to see a Christian counselor to help me deal with the emotional issues that developed as I went through this experience.
One of my assignments was to write a letter from God to me about this disruption in my life. Here is an excerpt from that letter:
I’ve been seeking and serving you Lord, not perfectly, but intending to please you—did I do something wrong?
I know that this past year has been very difficult for you. I know that you were not expecting breast cancer to knock on your door although you know many friends and colleagues who have been affected by the disease.
I know that you are afraid, but I am with you always. I know you are confused about this turn of events in your life and you feel unsure of where to go from here.
Don’t worry I will show you the path of life I have chosen for you. No disease is too difficult for me because I have overcome this world. I am the God who heals all your diseases. Not only was I wounded for your transgressions, bruised for your iniquities, and had the chastisement for your peace upon Me, but, with My stripes, you are healed!Has it been difficult lately? Afraid? Confused? Unsure? #CreatingALifeILove Click To Tweet
You are My precious daughter. I formed your inward parts and covered you in your mother’s womb. You are still fearfully and wonderfully made…one of My marvelous works. But you already know this. Your frame was not even hidden from Me.
I want you to have life and have it more abundantly. It is the enemy who sought to kill, steal, and destroy. Yet, My hand restrained his havoc. It was Me who kept you from the side effects of chemo that many face. You kept up with most of your activities including church responsibilities, work, and dance. Most importantly, I removed every trace of cancer.
So, even as shaken as you might be by all of this, I have protected you. Don’t worry about your future. Tomorrow has enough trouble of its own. Your times are in My hands. I have a plan for your life and it is good…plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a hope and a future. Remember, no plan of mine can be thwarted.
I love you immensely,
P.S. As men see you, know that a man that truly loves you will not be concerned about your outward countenance, but your heart. A real man will understand and appreciate that.A man that truly loves you will not be concerned about your outward countenance, but your heart. #CreatingALifeILove Click To Tweet
This letter was a fitting response to my thoughts because the letter helped me to see several things:
- God’s Perspective – Writing the letter helped me to see my situation from God’s perspective rather than my own. This impacted me differently because I was forced to look at all this through God’s lenses. This directed me to His Word. If I had written the letter from me to God it would have been full of complaints and anger. I also think the letter would have sounded more hopeless since I tend to be negative and pessimistic.
- God’s Faithfulness – I remember crying as I wrote this letter because it forced me to see His faithfulness in His Word and in my life at that time. My counselor said the letter had to be based on what I knew was true. His Word is always true and it is dispersed throughout the letter. There was no way I could get around turning to His Word. It’s how God speaks to me.
- God’s Protection – I also saw His hand of protection during the experience as evidence of His power, grace, and love. He was building my testimony and qualifying my faith. Many times I had heard people say, “no test, no testimony!” He wanted to see if I would trust Him through it all. He was building my faith. Now, I know Him as a healer.
- God’s Blessing – This letter was also a blessing to me because it began to replace the negative body image I had of myself. I did not feel as pretty or desirable as I had once felt. God says in Psalm 139:19 that my days were fashioned before even one of them came into existence, so He knew this challenge was coming. It did not take away from the beauty of His creation. This is a concept that I’m still in the process of internalizing. I know that I must see myself as He sees me. This will also attract the godly man that I desire to come into my life.
- God’s Promise – God promises to be with us always. He never said that we wouldn’t suffer. As much as we don’t like to go through it, God has a purpose. It can be used to encourage others and strengthen us individually.
Today, I am sharing my testimony with others in hopes that they will be advocates for their own health and rely on God when enduring adversity. The last part of the letter is my hope from God that lets me know that He is not through with me yet and I am so grateful. I’m looking forward to what He has in store for me.
Writing this letter to God helped my mentee, M.C.P., to see her situation from a different perspective. If part of your struggle includes questions for God, I encourage you to try this for yourself. Like M.C.P., you just may be helped by what you see.
- Has a major disruption in your life affected your emotions? If so, how?
- If you are distressed, how are you dealing with it?
- How could a change in perspective help?
- What could you see better if you wrote a letter to God?