“Inner conflict is often a confirmation of your calling. The enemy only fights those who pose a threat. If you haven’t had a head-on collision with the devil lately, it may be because you’re running in the same direction.” - Crash the Chatterbox
Nearly 3 years after she was initially diagnosed, I learned my mom had been hiding her diagnosis: metastatic stage 4 breast cancer. Why was it kept a secret for so long? The short answer would be that I have a selfless mother who didn’t want her loved ones to worry. Over time, we noticed changes in her lifestyle and appearance that caused us to worry anyway - a diet that consisted of an avocado as the only meal for the day, a cabinet full of holistic medicine, and dramatic weight loss, only to be consistently turned away and told that there was nothing to worry about. Not only were we worried of a pandemic that we were still trying to navigate, we were now also worried about my mom’s new-but-not-new diagnosis. I thought a disease this extreme could never touch my family because we were covered by God’s grace. But it did and it left me in a place of darkness.
I shared my moments of “Why is this happening to me?” “Why can’t this happen to me instead of my mom?” “How could you choose the most important person to me?” “What did we do to deserve this?” I’ve asked it all until there were no questions left to ask. My faith in God was tested and I could feel myself withdrawing from my faith. I wanted to scream at the Lord for forsaking my family. I reevaluated my covenant in Him because I was so hurt that my mom was slipping away and He was going to let it happen. I was so discouraged because I saw my mom’s health deteriorate in front of my eyes. She was hospitalized 4 times in the span of two months with each admission lasting a couple weeks, couldn’t walk and had to be pushed around in a wheelchair, accumulated fluid in her lungs and had to be hooked up to an oxygen tank at all times, needed to be escorted to the bathroom, required help in the shower, had no appetite, etc. My heart was breaking at every thought of how quickly she became helpless.
I lost all hope. But then one day… I got on my knees and I prayed. I prayed harder than I’ve ever had in my life. My voice was shaking, my body was trembling, my tears were uncontrollably running down my face, but I poured my heart into prayer hoping that the Lord was listening. If there was anyone that was going to save my mom, it was going to be God. He is the only one who grants miracles and I couldn't believe I was allowing myself to turn away from her only Healer. I begged God for forgiveness and made a promise to always have steadfast, unwavering faith in Him even in times of despair.
Sometimes, I still can’t believe I serve such a merciful God. I was so focused on blaming someone for this disease that I was blinded by His blessings along the way. I soon came to realize that He had been working in her even when I was drifting away from Him. The timing of the pandemic aligned perfectly because it kept me at home where I could spend more time with my mother and take care of her as she’s always done with me. Everything works in His timing and I couldn’t be more grateful. All the time spent at home gave us time to bond more deeply and gave me the opportunity to share God’s word with her every night at the dinner table. Since all church services transitioned to online, it allowed us to watch service together every Sunday morning which we wouldn’t have done otherwise because my mom is Catholic and I’m Christian. God was working in the both of us, simultaneously. Undeniably, it’s the most profound experience.
As we continued to commit ourselves to Him, Jesus did the same. My mom’s quarterly CT scans started coming back with more improvements each time - enough to take her off chemo. She can walk on her own, only uses her oxygen tank while she’s asleep, and very recently started taking her own showers. If there’s anything I’ve learned in this crisis, it is that God fulfills his promises and His love for us is indestructible.
It’s the biggest blessing that she is still with us today, and to God be all the glory.
Easter is a powerful message of mercy and grace. Jesus endured terrible suffering in order for me to have life. This is such a beautiful, unspeakable exchange. He paid the ultimate price and is worthy of all my praise. Even before this all happened, my faith was in need of a revival. Although this wasn’t the revival I was seeking, He led me to His firm foundation. Not only was my hope renewing, but so was my faith. In Him, I am transformed.
Jesus is my living hope, and through Him and only Him, my hope has been renewed.