Your Evolving Relationship with God after Cancer

Is anyone else a little envious of people who no matter what happens to them they just say, “Oh, I trust God.”   I am.  I really have to work on trust.  It doesn’t come naturally to me.   It used to, but cancer changed  it.  And often during cancer treatment, I would feel angry when people would throw rather flip easy God answers toward me.  I’m not telling you anything God doesn’t already know!   There are no easy answers when people are struggling with major life crises.

Now I know I am not alone as I get many emails from women battling breast cancer  who tell me their relationship with God is different.  They struggle more or they find more solace or they have a mini-miracle happen or they can’t feel God’s presence at all.

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Never did I feel like God abandoned me.  Always, I felt His presence during treatment especially through my medical professionals, family and friends that did so much for me.  But cancer changes things.   Pre-cancer I could sit and meditate and listen to that “still small voice” for a very long time.   During cancer treatment and even now, it is very hard for me to listen as I can never get my mind quiet enough.    I can’t hear like I used to hear.  I need spiritual hearing aids!

Speaking of hearing aids, I have been helping my almost 80-year-old, very active mom adjust to hearing aids and have learned some valuable lessons.  1)  You have to have the right hearing aids for you which can take testing and trying out 2 or 3 different types of hearing aids before you find the right ones.  2) You have to follow directions from the audiologist.  3)  It takes time to adjust.   4)  Once you have adjusted,  you can hear more clearly and life is so much better and vibrant!

I am applying these lessons for my new spiritual hearing aids with God.  I write from a Christian perspective as I practice my faith as a Roman Catholic.   Hopefully, my lessons will help you no matter how you might be struggling.

1)  Find the right aids for you – that could be quiet time,  a cancer support group, a visit to a counselor or therapist, or finding someone who has been down Cancer Road to help direct your path.  If you are not dealing with cancer but some other major life challenge, seek out the new – perhaps a Bible study, a new group of like-minded individuals, a new craft or hobby or a support group for whatever you are suffering.

2) Follow directions from whatever aid you decide.  This is definitely not easy.  But often others can see what you cannot see.  Make sure you absolutely trust those giving you direction.

3)  Give your evolved relationship with God time and most importantly, give yourself time to adjust to your new life.   This can take years not months.  Be patient with yourself.  I hear from women who feel so alone after cancer treatment because once they are done with Chemo, everyone expects them to be back to their old self.  You will never be back to your old self.  You have changed dramatically.   Honor the changes in yourself and value the lessons you have been taught.

4)  Adjustment happens as you cooperate with the process and with the new God has in store for you.   One of my favorite scriptures talks about the Lord giving us “double for our trouble”.  I believe it, and I am declaring it to you!   Zechariah 9:12  Return to a fortress,O prisoners of hope;  This very day, I announce I am restoring double to you.

My new lessons are beginning to bear fruit on my tree of life.  Well, maybe not fruit yet, but at least I can now see many buds where before everything looked so barren.   There is hope…cling to it.

 

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6 comments

  1. I have to say, I’ve always been in awe of people who can so strongly believe and feel their prayers are reaching out to God. Their faith gives inspires me. I’d like to believe so deeply in what matters most. ~Catherine

  2. Denise, That was a wonderful post. What a blessing to hear this, and know I am not alone in my struggle with trying to find out how my cancer journey fits into God’s plan for my life. I’ve experienced spiritual ups and downs and still expect to have both. This cancer journey has certainly been life changing but not necessarily in a negative way. It might sound weird but in some ways I feel many blessings and joys as I’ve gone through the chemo and impending surgery and radiation. Thank you for this thoughtful post. Blessings, Katie Brown

    Sent from my iPad

  3. Denise, what a relief to read your post. I have been struggling with this and feeling so guilty because I know God got me this far through treatment so why aren’t I feeling closer to God?!! My relationship feels like it is “on hold”. I guess I’m not alone.

  4. Thanks, Denise, for your post. I’m an atheist, so I wasn’t sure I would find anything I could relate to, but you managed to offer something for everyone. I’m still looking for the right aids for me. I’m not a group-sharing type person, and I’m not sure about seeing a therapist. I think I’m just realizing that on top of this scary diagnosis and rough treatments, I’m back at work at a tiring job, and I’m worried about money, my kids, and everything else. There’s just so much stress that goes with all this, and we need to look for ways to handle it.

    • Thanks so much for sharing with us! Those of us who have been Breast Cancer Road Mega Doses have all seen the same scenery! We definitely share that no matter what our spiritual beliefs! I understand what you are saying because I’m not great in groups either and hate therapists like week after week. I saw a therapist for a “one shot deal”. He just knew where I was because he is a cancer survivor and could give me the advice I needed!
      Thanks for sharing part of your journey!

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