However, as you can imagine, it hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows. Because I belong to the King now, Satan knows that when I die I’m going to Heaven so he has to try and get me to be a bad example here on Earth. I have had to rely on Christ to help me stand against the temptations of Satan pertaining to some of the sins in my past. I’ve also had physical obstacles to overcome.
In 1997, at the age of 25, my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer. She endured chemotherapy, radiation, and multiple surgeries. She was cancer-free for about six years. During this time, she started classes to receive her nurse’s degree. However, cancer came back in her bones and lungs. For the next three years, she fought and endured chemotherapy again. She worked as a CNA on the mother and baby floor. She loved her job! However, she was slowly losing mobility in her left arm and hand due to radiation of the lymph nodes, so she had to quit her job. In May 2006, she was told that chemotherapy was no longer an option. Her body just had enough.
And like an animal, I was willing to mangle myself as long as I could ensure my own survival. As if I could fight my way out of hell and climb high enough to ascend into heaven. What else could I do? God had abandoned me, and so I could either rot, or save myself. God did not find me valuable enough to waste the effort himself. If he did, why would he allow me to be subject to such crushing pain and agony? I must have lost his love and favor. I could not rely on him to take care of me. There would be no presents under the tree from him.
Can I trust God? I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t asked myself that question over a million times. Walking by faith and not by sight is no easy task, and even though I grew up in a Christian home, it’s something I still struggle with. I’ve always believed that “God will carry you through the storm” (Isaiah 43:2) and I’ve heard countless testimonies that confirm that He will make good on His promises, but I lacked that one-on-one experience with God, which made it so hard to trust His word, to trust Him.
I struggle to adequately explain this feeling- it goes beyond words, beyond my understanding. It was then Jesus reassured me, “You never have to go there again.” I suffered that night, after giving birth. I carried the pain and trauma of bringing that one little life to the world.
Blood, sweat, tears, surrender, new life. With the recent celebration of Easter fresh in our hearts, these words make us think of our sweet Savior and what he has accomplished for us! His labor of love, his perfect life, his willing sacrifice, his ultimate victory and living presence with us! I deeply believe that God designed an analogous process for mothers. This labor can ultimately give mothers a rich appreciation of the cost and reward of heaven.