We all want an A+ grade for our reputation and our kids’ good behavior , don’t we? But the gospel says our kids aren’t projects to ace, but sinners in need of grace.
In October 2010, my husband and I sat on the floor in our boys’ bedroom as they ran around us in a pre-bedtime frenzy. Surrounded by bunk beds, toys, and trains, we told our young sons I had cancer.
Angiosarcoma has a five-year survival rate of 30%. My boys were six and four, and their little sister was 18 months old. I closed my tear-filled eyes and started begging the Lord to give us those five years. I wasn’t bold enough to ask for more.
My cancer diagnosis shattered my illusion of having control over mine or my children’s lives. I knew my children would face suffering, but I assumed I would be the one to comfort them, pray for them, and guide them through the hardships. I couldn’t imagine not being there as they grieved.
Mothering through cancer was never easy. I hated missing school programs, awards ceremonies, tee-ball games, birthdays, and holidays. I hated letting others care for my family while I fought for my life in another state. I hated the harshness of our present circumstances and the uncertainty in our future.
But God was always at work.
I learned to rest in his presence with us through the hard times. When I wasn’t able to trust his plans, he poured out his peace. When our needs were extreme, so was his provision through the body of Christ. When I wondered how my children would be impacted, he showed us how he was filling them with his strength.
I revisited the familiar promises of God’s word, seeing them through the new lens of a cancer diagnosis. Did I believe that God loved my children with an everlasting love and would continue his faithfulness to them? Did I have confidence that he would work all things together for good, even if his plans involved suffering and heartache?
Because it all comes down to this: Is God enough?
I still struggle to pray, ‘Thy will be done.’ But I’m thankful that I can plead the righteousness of the One who prayed those words with perfect trust. As he grows my faith, I am able to more wholeheartedly believe he is truly sufficient.