When I was younger my dad used to tell me this, “First you go to school, then you get married and then you have babies… in that order!”. And as a young girl I used to say, “Okay Daddy”. As I got a little older and he’d tell me the order I’d say, “Hmm… Okay, first I’ll have babies, then I’ll go to school and then I’ll get married!”, and I’d laugh my head off as he’d frantically say, “NO NO NO NO NO! You’ve got it all wrong!”. But I knew that he was right; school, marriage, babies. Got it.
As I grew up, I always pictured my life would follow this order. I imagined that straight out of high school I’d go to university and get a degree and somewhere in those years I’d meet a boy and once we were both graduated, we’d get married. We’d both work for a few years in our perspective careers and then start having kids. And once my life reached this point, I figured I’d just see what happens.
I know that we can’t all plan out our lives but I figured this was vague enough to be possible. School, marriage, babies. However, very quickly I realized that not everything goes as planned, no matter how vague the plan.
At 16 when the original tumor was found in my body, I still believed that my plan would be possible and it definitely still was. I didn’t go through chemo which meant that I still felt good, I still had plans to attend university and the fall following my high school graduation I did attend university. Although, I began to be in pain and my simple planned out life started to change. I no longer had any clue how things were going to be… I mean, I never actually knew anything, I just thought I had an idea.
News flash: You can’t plan out your life! You can have goals, and I think that goals are very important but to sit down and plan exactly how your life will turn out is sort of a waste of time and thought. Some people may disagree and say that plans are essential and that’s okay, I just know that in my experience, planning didn’t exactly work. The plan changed.
My friends and I used to say, “You plan, God laughs.”. Only God knows how things will turn out and His is the only plan that matters. I thought that at this point in my life (according to MY plan) I’d be in my third year of university in some sort of science based program, living at home with my parents, working part time somewhere. Instead I’m married, living part time in Arizona for cancer treatment, with 3 semesters of university under my belt and literally have no idea what the next 6 months look like. Oh yeah, and I have a dog… and no job. I’m not complaining, I’m just astounded at how different my life looks like.
Although my life doesn’t look the way I originally thought it would, I wouldn’t change anything. I have a great life. Everyone has struggles, my struggle right now is my illness but if it wasn’t that, it would be something else. Life is not easy for anyone. It’s not supposed to be easy… if it were, we wouldn’t need God, but we absolutely do. God allows us to go through tough times but He doesn’t let us deal with them on our own, we have the decision to lean on Him through these times. He uses these times to draw us closer to Him, to learn to trust Him and depend on Him, and learn that we can’t go through this life here on earth without Him. I have no Idea what I would do without Christ.
I’m not thankful for having cancer. I want it gone and I pray that God with completely heal my body. But, I am however very thankful for everything that I have learned by going through this experience. I’ve had to learn some tough lessons at a very young age. I was first diagnosed at the age of 16. At 16 I had to decide to trust God with my life when doctors were telling me that I didn’t have a chance. I had to trust God when he told me not to do chemotherapy while doctors were telling me I was crazy. (Doctors wanted me to go through chemotherapy but they told me that chemo wouldn’t work… but I should do it since it was my only option). I had to decide to be joyful in difficult times when someone looking in might not see anything to be joyful about.
So, I may not have chosen this life, and I definitely didn’t plan for it but all I can do is work with what I have and what I do have is pretty great!