*A weird collection of thoughts on various subjects*
I'm some thousands of feet in the air. My game lives have run out, there is no free Wi-Fi, and I don't feel like watching TV. My body, which has been in pain due to the steroids, is now crushing me with pain. No position seems comfortable. I try to will myself to sleep, but the pain doesn't allow me. So I turned to my thoughts. And my phone note pad. To write to you all. With my thumbs. Warning, I'm feeling very philosophical. My mood is brought on by two things. One, my AYA coordinator is on the same flight. Last week, at the monthly meet up I was unable to attend, they spoke about religion. We spoke briefly about God before the flight. The other thing is how many people, when told about this conference, asked if it was a Christian conference. No judgements passed, just fact, but I was really surprised how many people asked if it was a Christian conference. Answer: no it's not.
But I've been thinking. What is the church doing about this. This is the biggest conference of its kind, and quickly sold out. Cancer is an ever growing epidemic, with no sign of diminishing. We are young. 15-40 is the official age range. Everyone goes through a time of questioning what they believe. Why do they believe it. Is it their faith, or their parents faith. Reflect on your own life, no matter what your religion. Did you accept or reject what you were taught to believe. Are you still searching for satisfaction?
Now superimpose all those feelings on pain. Physical pain, like I'm in now. Psychological pain, of never growing up or achieving your goals. Emotional pain, of the daily battle against cancer. That is us. The young adults of this cancer world. So many questions... non-cancer kids have questions. Imagine our questions. We didn't cause our cancers. We didn't have a choice. What random force of the universe destined Us to this exclusive club?
I believe in God. Not a god, the God. You may think that this is surprising, given my cancers. I've thought it surprising before. I have questions for Him. Lots. Of. Questions. Why did I get cancer? Why did I live? Why am I here still? Why did I get all these new diagnosis? Why do little kids, teenagers, adults have to suffer so much through cancer? And on. And on. I don't know the answers. I can't even guess at most of them.
God is sovereign. It's like math... Everything can be proved. It's like gravity. Stuff falls when you drop it. Normally I don't stand there wondering why the egg fell to the ground. I know the egg fell because there is a mess on the floor. I don't wonder if there is a God. I see the evidence. Nothing can calm my heart, and no one can feel my pain like he does. I'm not trying to be spooky or anything. I have hope. We all crave hope. How else do we keep living? Each of us goes to bed with the hope that we will awake in the morning. We drive our cars in the hope that we will reach our destinations. Same thing. Everyday I drive the car of my life in the hope that I will reach my final destination: heaven.
I'm trying to explain this but I can't. If you don't have hope, God is there. Life is never hopelessness enough not to live.
To those of you Christians, share the hope you have. Cancer is a long and wearying journey. Sometimes even I don't seem to have the hope to continue. Encourage others. Reach out. The hardest thing through my cancers was seeing Christians, who have the hope and love of Jesus, keep it to themselves. We are a hurting group. We can use a little extra love. Don't abandon us. Maybe you don't know what to tell us when you hear we Are diagnosed with cancer. Maybe you are scared to become friends with us because you think we will die soon. Maybe you are frightened of saying the wrong thing. I don't know what it is, but they are all excuses. We know you don't know what to say, or are uncomfortable but we want you to give us a chance. A chance to help you out. Don't make trite statements about God, or why he allowed it, or how he is going to help. You have no idea what we are going through or if we are even speaking to God right then but don't judge us. Say hi. You can text us good morning. You can say have a great day. You can ask how are we doing. You can send us are snap of flowers. Or a picture from a party. You are on social media, just include us! You can Skype us from the hospital (thanks Leah) You can bring the latest movie to our house to watch (thanks MHS). You can just come and hang out ( thanks Christina, Craig, Sharon). Maybe we'll fall Asleep. Sorry. But the fact that you cared enough to come will never be forgotten. Drop of some fresh flowers. Or a silly balloon. Or a card ( thanks Heather) Or a piece of chocolate in the mail ( thanks Isabella). Or a silly cartoon you think will make us laugh. Ask us what you can tell us about your life. We are still teenagers. Ask us how you can help us. We can give you plenty of suggestions. Don't forget our families. Our siblings hurt with us. Our parents do too. Bring some treats for the sibs. They'll enjoy the movie too. Take them out somewhere special. They can use some extra loving. Bring dinner (thanks Simkanins, Denise). Food is always welcome as it sustains life. Bake some cookies with the family. Bring the dog around. Send a fun scarf or headband (thanks April). Our heads do get cold. Send a pretty bracelet (thanks Jenni). Just because we are bald doesn't mean we don't want to dress up and feel pretty. So much more but I don't have time or space to list them all.
Whatever you do, do. Not. Be. Silent. Your silence hurts so, so bad. It still Hurts for me sometimes. I wonder what I did to cause it. You loose so much through cancer, the last thing you want to do is loose your friends.
For me, God gave me a totally new, unexpected, and amazing group of friends. Who did the things listed above. Who are still by my side, daily. Who I wouldn't trade for the world. I'm thinking of everyone of them who prayed I'd be able to go on this trip, and shared in my excitement. Who are praying even now that I'll have a good trip. Thank you is inadequate. Thank you for hurting with me through cancer and these new diagnosis. Thank you for staying with me, and encouraging me. Thank you for loving me and accepting me as I am. Thank you for texting me.
We are beginning a descent. Writing this has brought back so many memories of the love that has been shown me. The bodily pain is still there, but my heart has found great joy in the remembrance of love.