I read an awesome article by Peter Chin from Christianity Today called “Why me, God, But in a Different Way,” which inspired the heck out of me. The basic premise of the article was as Christians, we shouldn’t be asking ‘Why me?’ when a difficulty or tragedy strikes, but we should be asking ‘Why not me?’
Our Christian witness is built on how we react to those things. We are not to be defined by these things, but by God in our lives. So with that introduction, I have to tell you I have just been diagnosed with breast cancer.
When my precious Dad died, now over 20 years ago, I had to search out my beliefs and make a decision my faith wouldn’t fail over this, but I did grieve, and it was so difficult. It took me ten years to overcome depression. I was a wreck, but God was always there with me the whole time. I grew a lot, spiritually, during that long, sad season.
Life goes on, and we’ve had so many blessings since that time, and we’ve had hills to climb since then, as well. Tim had his heart attack three years ago, then he fell and broke his shoulder last year, and now cancer, but it’s me this time.
However, I refuse to be defined by breast cancer. Do not say, “oh, no, poor Elizabeth.” God defines me as His child, adopted and grafted into His family tree. Ephesians 1:5 says this: He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will. That means, when I accepted Jesus as my savior, I became adopted as God’s daughter. I walk in that, and I walk in faith that there’s more than this plane of existence.
Now some will ask, if there’s truly a God, why would He allow this, since I am a believer. I guess I don’t know all the answers, but there’s nothing in the Bible saying God is going to make it easier for Christians than He would for anyone else. In fact, there’s a whole lot about us suffering, suffering for our faith, telling people about our faith when we suffer, and generally, the whole world will hate us. But we draw together as a Christian family through our joys and our sorrows, and if the world hates us, then there is so much more for us in heaven. That is where we will be eternally healed. We will be able to hear without our hearing aids, see without our glasses, walk without our canes.
So I am going to be defined by God, as His child, with all my scars and sorrows and joy. This disease is not going to define me except in how I fight it, how I believe God through it, and how I have all the joy I can eek out of it.
I am praying I live through breast cancer. I really am, but I am also excited to see how God works out His plan through me, through cancer…
And ladies reading this, get your mammograms. This one may have saved my life.