This post is part of “my story” which starts with the post “Finding Purpose”
Not long after we arrived in Michigan I got a call from my step-father. He had cancer advanced enough that the doctors feared he would not survive to the end of that summer. Two years after my mother’s death from cancer, my step-father’s diagnosis was eerily similar and even more severe.
My mother was amazing. She was vibrant. She loved life, and nature, and people with a joy that few can match. She was healthy, and, were it not for cancer, she would have lived a long life. She was my life. As her only child, we were together all the time, just the two of us, until she was remarried when I was 13. After that, there were still many times she was my only supporter and defender.
I had done a lot of praying and crying when my mother was diagnosed, and I thought my step-father’s death would be easier because I was already comfortable with the answers I’d received before. It did not occur to me that those answers would change.
My step-father told me of the doctor’s prognosis and their plan to be aggressive in treating his cancer. I thought, this will be alright. I got through this before, I can do it again. I love my step-father dearly but I did rather automatically assume that he was about to die and I accepted that.
Then he said, “Honey, I think I’m going to make it. I’m going to go through hell, but I’m going to live.”
I felt the Spirit confirm those words. My step-father would be cured of his cancer.
I love my step-father, but it hurt to see the miracle I wanted most for my mother given to someone else. No one deserved to be healed of cancer more than my mother.
During that summer, I prayed and cried all over again. I didn’t want to be jealous. I wanted to be happy for a wonderful man. My mother was already gone, so why did it feel like she was dying once more? And this time, I was dying right along with her. At the end of the summer, when my step-father’s cancer was gone, my confusion and grief turned to bitter rage.
My thoughts ran around in circles that spiraled deeper and deeper. I was selfish for wanting no one to be healed if my mother couldn’t be. I was evil for wanting the deaths of others. But I knew I didn’t actually want others to die, I wanted my mother to live. I was asking for fairness, consideration, and love. The One that was supposed to be giving me those things, He was the one causing deaths and sewing pain.
My God, one of my best friends, who held me and comforted me when I was at my lowest, just stabbed me in the back. If He really loved me as much as He said He did, why didn’t He just cure her? He obviously could have done so at any time. It no longer felt like He had passively allowed her death because it needed to happen for some undisclosed reason. No, God had killed my mother. He didn’t love me. He was manipulative and just looking for ways to dig the knife in deeper so He could twist it later. I was so mad, I hated Him.
Nothing seemed to help. Everyone that tried just put more blame on my own shoulders. It was easier to hate God than to hate myself any more than I already did.
For some, when they become mad at God, it simply serves as proof that there is no God. This was not the case for me. I know there is a God. God is love. Until I thought he was a liar. Then everything turned to ash.
Regardless of how you envision God, fully formed personage or completely non-existent, it can be a struggle to find love and light in a world that is an unfair chaotic mix of hatred and darkness. We must all find some way to make peace with the world, some hope that our time here is not pointless. For me, the answer came in knowing God more personally and finding that to know God is the greatest miracle of all.