Whenever I think of someone who has suffered through many of life’s difficulties I think of my cousin Susan, she has certainly seen her share of misfortune. Susan has endured a troubled childhood, the loss of her father from Cancer, four years later the loss of her Mother in a drunk driving accident, then finally the loss of her brother and husband from a drug overdose that left her widowed and raising her three children alone, with no Parents to help. When life seemingly cannot get any worse, at a regular OBGYN checkup, Susan was told that she has cervical cancer. Per usual procedure, Susan’s doctors recommended an immediate hysterectomy followed up with chemotherapy and radiation. Overwhelmed with emotions, her thoughts were then consumed with fear for her children of being orphaned if she dies. Unable to bare such thoughts she comes to terms with giving it up and over to God in complete trust, surrendering and letting go of her anxieties. Now I don’t know about you, but faced with what she had to face I don’t know if I could say the same…I may want to hold onto a few strings.
Susan went through with the surgery. She would later tell that the pain of a hysterectomy was more agonizing than the going through labor, birth and having a C-sections. Besides the pain, the hysterectomy brought further unforeseen consequences. Susan was forced into immediate menopause, forced to also grieve the loss of her womanly body parts that cradled and nurtured her children. She also came to terms with the realization that she would never give birth again.
In the process of such a challenging recovery Susan received a phone call from her Doctor informing her that the pathology results indicated that her uterus was completely normal and free of cancer. The diagnosis was false! There was a mistake at the lab department…they cross contaminated her result with someone else’s………….????? OMG!!!!!!!!!! Can you imagine what thoughts were racing through her mind? The entire surgery, her fear, her stress, her anxiety for her and her children was all for nothing!!!!
From my personal perspective, the true miracle of Susan’s situation is her attitude. Instead of being angry and upset she was amazingly calm, full of strength and never lost her faith. Susan’s attitude was “I don’t understand what God’s plan was for all of this, but I believe he has a plan and it was for my good and the better of all involved”. WOW! Talk about trusting in God! She puts me to shame and that’s not the end of her story.
After the “mistake” Susan decided to leave her OBGYN and of course you can understand why. She had been seeing this doctor for years and notwithstanding everything it was hard for her to make this decision, after all, he delivered all of her children. Even though she knew he was not personally at fault, Susan’s uneasiness with the situation forced her to let him go. Unsettled with her decision, Susan prayed for peace and closure with the doctor. Just a few years later Susan’s daughter went into labor and her scheduled doctor could not be reached. Can you guess who the available doctor on call was that night to deliver her daughters baby? You guessed it, her old OBGYN. Susan saw this as an opportunity for healing not just for her, but for him too. She took a moment to pray, then approached him in love. It was a beautiful moment of forgiveness and celebration. Talk about walking the walk of true discipleship.
I have to tell you, I’ve known Susan all my life and I have watched her weather every storm put in her path and she still shows no signs of wear and tear. Every time I see her she looks more beautiful than the last. You would think she would have been battered from such adversity but she hasn’t. Susan is always smiling, laughing and enjoying her life and her family to the fullest. You might wonder how she accomplishes this? How does she continue to bestow so much trust in God? She will tell you that she has learned to look at life through a lens, a lens that always sees the glass half full. She keeps a journal to records her blessings and remains grateful for each one. She reads scripture reflections, and books filled with stories from others who have endured great difficulty; Susan also exercises, she is very focused on keeping balance in her life. Finally, right now, Susan is enjoying her most recent blessing—a beautiful, healthy Grandson.