“THE DAYS ARE LONG,
BUT THE YEARS ARE SHORT.”
-Gretchen Rubin (The Happiness Project’s One Sentence Journal)
Two years. That was my realization. What happens in a two-year-time-period? A lot.
Twenty ninth of July twenty ten (29 July 2010), was Mama’s schedule for her endoscopy and colonoscopy. We never experienced such a scene in our immediate family. A loved one was brought to the hospital for a number of tests and an operation, while the five of us were hoping for somewhat ~ a good news. While sitting in the waiting area, everyone was quiet and I was sure that a lot of thoughts came in and out of our minds ~ the possibilities.
As we waited, I opened my Bible to my scheduled reading for that day. It was Genesis, chapter fifteen, verse one where the words showed up in bold, highlighted and gigantic letters:
“Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”
It said there, “Do not be afraid”, but I was more than afraid because God said it like a warning or so. I asked Him, “Why should I not be afraid? What are you trying to prepare me for?”. I swallowed hard and took note of the words, “Do not be afraid.”
An hour or so passed by, Dr. “C” called us to enter a small room while our Mama was going to go to the waiting area. He showed and explained to us a diagram and drew some circular images. His ever gentle voice then said that there was an eight-point-something-cm sized-tumor found in Mama’s rectal area. It was cancer. We were numb. We just nodded at his explanations.
Then I was reminded of the verse that I read. It didn’t stop with the words, “Do not be afraid”. It continued on with the words, “I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.” These words became my hope. I trusted in these words. And I didn’t know that He would be that literal. That He would really be my exceedingly great reward.
When we got the news about Mama’s cancer, we were all devastated. It was a painful truth and reality about life that struck us – the possibility of death. During that time, a friend of mine was working in the same hospital. Away from my family, I cried to her. It was one of those painful cries.
It was also the same time when I was finishing my first self-published coffee-table book. That night while thinking about the final photos and words for the book, I wept. My Mama and the possibility of death hit me again. Then I started reminiscing about my memories with her since childhood. It was a painful process. But it greatly helped me. It helped me to stop looking at death and to start looking at life in a better perspective. It’s not the end, it’s just the start of more breakthroughs ahead.
After a couple of days, we were invited by Dr. “C” for another meeting and this time it was with his team of medical experts. I couldn’t believe that families go through this kind of process ~ the news/result, brainstorming with doctors and the S.O.P.s which include radation therapy, chemo therapy, so on and so forth. I have nothing against doctors but during that time we didn’t feel any compassion nor heart towards the patient and her family. It was all about the S.O.P.s, business as usual. And based on the people that I met who went through the same painful process of cancer – they all felt the same.
The experience with the mainstream doctors was actually a blessing. It made us research more about cancer, look for other options, and get advice from people who experienced this disease and who healed as well. God opened a door for us to try homeopathic medicine for Mama which includes organic diet and homeopathic therapies. We saw how this helped Mama – her cancer didn’t metastasis. But, it wasn’t just about about a change in lifestyle, it was more about a change in the heart.
In two years, a lot happened. Beyond the trials, I know it was another opportunity for God to bring forth His breakthroughs. He didn’t fail us.
October 2010, the desire to go to Israel started around this time. I was able to meet with people who already went to this country and with great enthusiasm ~ just listened to their stories and wondered when my time would come. I was holding on to this preview ~ a map of Israel which was given to me by my friend’s sister. She just knew that I love to travel but never knew about my desire to visit Israel during that time.
I never thought that this desire would play a huge part in my life in connection with the words He said, “I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”
To be continued…