On September 9, 1999, I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of thirty. I was a third year medical student at the time, and I was devastated. In my thirty years, I had overcome some bad relationships, finally graduated from college, and I had just started to have confidence in my ability to do some good in the world. I had finally been admitted to medical school after two years of applying, and I was studying so hard to become a successful doctor so I could help sick people. I couldn’t understand how a good God could allow this cancer in my life. I couldn’t understand why He would bring me to this point and then tell me, “No more.”
I struggled during that initial diagnosis and treatment, but God had a plan that I couldn’t see. After surgery, radiation, and more surgeries, I was cancer-free. It wasn’t easy, and I had to endure some physical and emotional pain. In fact, the scars will always be with me. The thing is, God wasn’t finished with me yet. He didn’t cause my cancer, but He chose to bring me wholeness again. I feel heartache as I realize that this healing doesn’t happen for everyone. There are many people, even younger than I was, who have succumbed to the effects of cancer, and their sweet lives on this earth have ended. Almost all of us know someone this has happened to. With all of my heart, I believe that God has His reasons. I believe that God’s protective and loving arms take some children and adults to be with Him before their earth years are lived out. It’s hard for us to accept losing someone we love so much.
Our days are numbered, and thankfully many of us have been gifted with many days. Job 14:6 says, “A person’s days are determined; You have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed.” What legacy will you leave behind one day? Who do you serve? How well you do love others? How well do you love who God made you to be?
Though we have a mortal expiration date, God can renew us each day. “Therefore do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” 2 Corinthians 4:16. This gift of renewal from God is there for the taking. He offers us strength and courage on this earth, and He offers us eternal life when we turn these short lives over to Him.
I pray today that God would open your eyes and heart to His wonderful plan for you. I pray that you would come to understand His great love for you. His love for you is specific and on purpose. He has a plan for you…a special plan for you.