I am very aware that not everyone who reads this shares my religious views. With that being said, I do not apologize for the things I believe in. I do apologize if anything I say comes of as offensive or naive. I assure you that I have nothing but love for all of you. I have cried on the phone to an atheist who brought me great comfort, laughed with a dear gay friend as he cheered me up. An agnostic friend has made it a priority to call me regularly to see how I'm doing. These people, all people, are precious to me for the goodness that is within them and I hope you all know that I love you for who you are.
That being said, I want to share some really sacred experiences with you about having cancer. Things that have pulled me through and given me a renewed desire to live.
1. We believe in something called the priesthood. Here on this earth the responsibility of using the priesthood to bless others rests on the men of the church. They use God's power to bless the lives of others (men, women, children, the sick, tired, lonely, elderly...) It seems to me that every month or so I feel like I just can't do it on my own. My body and spirit are breaking and I don't know what to do so I often ask Michael for a blessing. The words he speaks are inspired and often have the immediate effect of my body being encompassed by peace and the love of my Heavenly Father. Time and time again the words Michael speaks in those blessings address fears and concerns I haven't even spoken about with Michael. One time before I knew I had cancer, but was experiencing excruciating pain in my knees from "bursitis," I asked Michael for a blessing. He told me I would become an example to the women of my church and the pain in my leg would eventuality diminish. I wrote those words down in my journal even though they didn't make sense at the time, and months later began sobbing as I read those words. That blessing was true. Through my experience with cancer, so many women have come and told me what an example I am to them and low and behold the pain in my leg, as a result of a painful but successful surgery, is usually nonexistent. Like many personal spiritual experiences, this one personally showed me that God was there looking out for me and was very aware of my circumstances. He knew even then the pain and suffering I was about to endure in order to be healed.
2. I went through a phase where I was constantly terrified of death. I didn't want to die and felt almost with a certainty that that would be my fate. I talked to a friend that is very very special to me, Amy, and she said something to the point of, "Maybe whether you live or die isn't really the important thing you should be focusing on, but how you live your life." I completely believe those words were inspired because she changed my life. When I stop to think about it I do start to feel anxiety about leaving this beautiful world that I love, but ultimately what's important is what I choose to do with my life now.
3. There have been many times when I have just laid down in bed and cried, feeling overwhelmed by pain, sickness, and the seemingly never ending road before me of just more sickness and pain. In those moments I truly have felt God's arms wrapped around me filling me with his love and peace. He doesn't always take away the pain, but he does always remind me of the love he has for me.
There are so many more things I could share with you about how God really has assisted me and my family on this wild journey. However, I think the most important thing is that you know that I know, that through all this I have never been alone. I have felt inexplicable peace during times of immense trials. Thank you, Heavenly Father, for loving me and supporting me through this crazy journey regardless of my sometimes imperfect faith and occasionally drowning myself in unwarranted self-pity.