Proverbs 17:22 - "A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones."
The other day, I started a blog post about having joy and laughter during my cancer journey. It is based on the above scripture and is chock full of laughable funny moments from my journey. Then I spent a day in a place I have never been in my life. A friend of mine Mother is dying from cancer. She is most likely in the last day's of her life right now at Yale's Cancer Hospital. So as I was walking through the halls of the Cancer Hospital, a 18 wheel truck somehow got in the building and ran me down. All I saw was the license plate with the big letters G-U-I-L-T.
It was the first time in 2 1/2 years, I felt GUILTY for being a cancer survivor. I was so OVERWHELMED with this feeling that it took my breath away. For the last 2 1/2 years I have proudly worn my purple survivor shirts, donned my survivor pins/ribbons and had my survivor rock in my car. I was proud to have survived this horrible illness. Then came the TRUCK. My head was filled with guilt and shame as I looked in each room. People who looked so small, curled into uncomfortable positions on these huge hospital beds, things beeping, and tubes connecting them to at least 5 machines. All these people are in the last days of their own cancer battle and the families by their sides grieving the coming loss. These people are no different then me! Why did I survive and they aren't? I have nothing to be "proud" of!!!! What a jerk I have been! Oh man, did those thoughts take over my head and worse...took over my heart.
For the last two days, I have been allowing those thoughts consume me. It has not been a fun battle.
Finally, I confessed these thoughts to a very wise friend of mine. She said in quite a firm voice (it may have even been a slight yell) "YOU HAVE TO GO BACK TO HIS SOVEREIGN PLAN!!! You are here for His PURPOSE. They are there for HIS PURPOSE. Each person, survivor or not, is playing out their own roles and purpose in LORDS SOVEREIGN PLAN. God is NOT the author of GUILT! So STOP it right now and fulfill your purpose." Okay. It is not so easy to do. When the G-U-I-L-T creeps into my soul, I have to say SHUT UP and go back to see His Sovereign plan for my life and those around me.
For less spiritual counsel, I talked to my wonderful oncologist at my follow up appointment yesterday. His take on it was that, what I experienced is similar to that of a PTSD survival guilt. He explained that we as a society are charting new discoveries in cancer and the feelings associated with cancer survivorship. Never before in history has there been more people surviving this horrific disease. This is a GREAT thing. He said that my Joy during my battle was contagious and it DID impact many of the people I met along my journey. I should not take that Joy lightly. He also said, unfortunately there are thousands of people dying every day from cancer and if you succumb to that reality and pain for each and every life, you will be forever lost in sorrow. There are also thousands of people surviving every day. There are also thousands of babies being born each day. You must move forward with each wonderful day that you are allowed to be here.
Funny thing about God, He always gives you the right person or right scripture at the right time to remind us of His plan and purpose for us. As I said above, my "draft post" about Joy had the scripture from Proverbs, but also in the draft it had another one that I was sure how I was going to apply it to my "funny" post, but I copied and pasted it just in case I figured something out. As I was writing THIS post, I remembered it.
"Nehemiah said, 'Go and enjoy choice food and sweet
drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is
sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your
strength.'" Nehemiah 8:10
I may NEVER know why God allowed me to win my cancer battle and not allow my friends mom and thousands of others not to to win theirs. However, I do believe he has a plan for each and every one of us. So I will do my best not to grieve, but to SHARE my "food, sweet drinks and JOY" with those who have nothing prepared. My strength, my survival and my JOY only comes from the author and giver of life. I can not feel guilty for being alive. I just have to make sure I give credit to the one who deserves it, not myself! I have to make sure that I am thankful for each day He gives me to share His LOVE and His JOY. I must seek His face and His purpose for each remaining day I have here in this earthly body.
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All about the chronicles:
Welcome to the Potter's Wheel! We are so glad to have you stop by! Although one may be tempted to think you are on a blog about pottery, don't let the title fool you! This is a collection, a chronicle so to speak, of my world as a piece of lumpy clay on the crazy spinning wheel of The Potter. It is my view, as I see it, while spinning wildly in what sometimes feels like an out of control ride at the county fair. Although it appears that way to me and to the casual observer, the wheel is under the full control and guidance of the One. The One who can take a lumpy piece of clay and eventually turn it in to something beautiful in His eyes. My stories will cover so many topics that I have tried to break them down in an easy manner with the tabs above. Look up at the top purple row please. You will find posts about family issues (including homeschooling), my life as a cancer survivor, fitness, food, ADHD and a whole lot more. My posts are best read under the guise of each tab instead of in chronological order as mosts blogs are found. It is part of my ADHD, so you will have to deal with it! I hope that something I write will provide you with a "golden nugget" to put in your pocket for your own journey. Get out your motion sickness pills... Love ya, Lumpy
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