As I battled with cancer, I faced an array of emotions.
I felt like I was struck by a bombshell … then tried to pretend everything was normal. Eventually, I hit rock bottom and experienced a rude awakening when I realized my life was never going to be the same again.
If I had relied only on my own strength, I have no doubt I would have remained in that emotionally dark place.
Thankfully, as believers, we don’t have to rely on our own strength. God promises that He will always be with us and He will work all things together for our good.
Accepting that truth is the only way to truly win the battle of emotions. Just see what I mean in this excerpt from my book, Why? Answers to Weather the Storms of Life.
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Stage 5: Acceptance
This is the most important stage of all … acceptance. We must accept that what is happening is from God. Now, that’s not fatalism. That’s not giving up. It’s not saying, “Whatever will be … will be.” On the contrary, it’s a very active faith in God.
Through acceptance, we believe God’s lordship over our lives and allow Jesus Christ to have control and work in our lives.
I learned that acceptance is so necessary. When I began cooperating with God and trusting what He was doing in my life, I found peace. I had come to a place where I said, “I’m not going to quit. I’m not going to give up.”
There is hope. As long as there’s a God in heaven … as long as Jesus is Lord and sits on the throne in heaven, there is hope.
We can battle discouragement and loneliness and win. We don’t have to allow our emotions to control us. We can control our emotions. We can make it through our weakest moments with God’s help.
In fact, it is in our times of weakness that we can truly shine.
I remember one day when I was particularly ill and just didn’t want to go to work. I especially didn’t want to go to chapel that day. The doctor had told me that because of my chemotherapy, my chances of catching a cold or the flu were greater and that I should avoid being around a lot of people. And to be honest, just walking across campus was an ordeal that left me drained. But at the last minute, I decided to go.
I entered the building quietly and went up onto the platform where I normally sat. It took a lot of effort, but I made it. The service was fairly uneventful … until the very end.
After chapel was over, a student walked up to me. What he told me made my every effort to get there that day worthwhile.
“I’ve got my car packed,” he said. “I’m discouraged and homesick. I’ve got financial problems, and I was on my way to the business office to quit school. I just wanted to come to chapel to say goodbye to my friends.”
Then, with tears in his eyes, he continued. “But seeing you here … If you can face your crisis and not quit, then I can face what I’m going through without quitting. I’m staying in school! Thank you.”
We should not count ourselves out just because we are struggling with depression, anxiety, disappointment, or fear.
Sooner or later, we all find ourselves face down in the ring, waiting for the count, just like Rocky. On some days, we feel like we are beaten down by life and on the losing end in the battle of emotions. That is when we must get back up! Rocky got up after that last blow knocked him to the ground. He was battered, bruised, and beaten, but he went the distance. We all can.
When people ask me how I coped with cancer, I tell them, “One day at a time.” I got up every day. I trusted God for that day … that moment. I didn’t rely on my own strength — I had none. I plugged into the Word, leaned on my friends and family, and prayed and rested in God’s arms. And I found out that the weakest moments of my life can also be the times when I find my greatest strength in God.
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Maybe you’re going through a storm in your life right now … and you haven’t quite made it to the acceptance stage yet. If so, hang in there!
God will get you through it — He won’t leave you down for the count. But you have to do your part, too. Draw closer to Him every day, and I promise you, He will draw close to you. You will be victorious!
I hope you enjoyed this excerpt from Chapter 2 of my book, Why? Answers to Weather the Storms of Life. Check back next week for another passage from Chapter 3. Of course, if you can’t wait, you can order your own copy of Why now for just $8.99.
Whatever you’re going through — or will go through in the future — my prayer is that this book will help you find the answers to the “why” moments in your life.