It’s been about 6 months since I’ve posted. Ryan has been keeping most people updated through his blog and page about his recovery from cancer and treatment, but it’s probably time that I put down a few thoughts.
Looking back is a difficult thing to do but necessary. I admit it is very tough to look at some of the photos that we took over the last year and see Ryan as he deteriorated and wasn’t able to do many of the things that he used to. Cancer treatment took a toll on him physically and mentally. Not working for 6 months was difficult for him, not being able to pursue his studies when we had so carefully created a plan to finally make it a reality, not being able to play with his kids, cook supper, work out – there were so many things that can at best be described as difficult.
But today, looking back, we stand amazed at God’s fingerprints on it all. He provided for us, every step of the way. If you’re skeptical, I urge you to read on and then try to decide if it was all mere coincidence.
- Near the end of 2015, I applied for and was successful at obtaining a new job in Vancouver. This meant selling our home and moving our family away from the life that we had become comfortable in. At most points during the process, I wondered what we were doing and questioned whether it was the right choice. But I felt led to go and we did.
- We received confirmation that our house sold on the day we left on our cruise to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary. This meant a lot of stress was lifted financially (we had booked the cruise long before we knew we would be in the midst of upheaving our family) and we were able to really just relax and enjoy an amazing time together, pre-diagnosis.
- When we sold our home, we had already quickly secured a rental home that came with a year lease. We decided to put the money in savings and hold onto it until our lease expired and then we would look for a small townhome or some other way to invest our money. If we had purchased a home at that point and not rented, we would have depleted our savings entirely.
- Just prior to Ryan’s diagnosis, we decided, very last minute, to book an airbnb close by and spend some time together, away from regular life, as a family. We had an incredible time swimming, canoeing, hot-tubbing, playing games, and enjoying some quality family time. In fact, Ryan became completely relaxed on this holiday which is what alerted him to the fact that he was still having pains and aches that he shouldn’t be feeling as he wasn’t working. Which made him drive to the hospital and led to his diagnosis. The day after we came home from our trip. It was amazing to spend that time together and create those memories before life was turned upside down.
- Ryan received a few weeks of EI Disability following his diagnosis, but he eventually took 6 months off any kind of work. Which meant no income from him. Remember those house proceeds that we were saving until our lease was up? That money was enough to carry us through those difficult months without us having to worry about paying the rent or buying groceries. There was even some left that we were able to put towards Ryan’s new business once we had recovered from treatment.
- The house that we rented was about 10 minutes from the hospital. Remember, we had decided to rent this home prior to his diagnosis so proximity to the hospital was not a factor when we signed the lease papers. What a blessing that was as Ryan was not usually feeling well after 6 hours of treatment and could quickly be home and in his bed resting.
- Since we had moved towns, we also became members of a much smaller church congregation than we were used to. Through this tight-knit and loving new family we had been blessed to become a part of, and through family and friends across the lower mainland and Canada and even around the world, we were so well taken care. We received meals, gift cards, baking, help with the kids, prayers, cards and so much more. We were left in shock at the outpouring that continued to flow to us.
- Before Ryan’s diagnosis, I admit that I was not very committed to my daily Bible reading. During his treatment, I learned very quickly how much I needed to hear and know the Word and it became a priority for me again. It changed me and I became to know my God on such a level that I had never known Him. I wanted to share this with others like me so recently I began a Facebook group to encourage other women in our churches to pick up their Bibles daily. We even have small groups formed now where they not only read every day, but discuss it, share resources, have developed friendships and pray for each other. God was able to take me in my weakness and turn it to His good.
When I look back on all these events, how can I not see God’s control over it all? I may not have understood why cancer had to come into our lives, but He never once left us alone to figure it out on our own. And these are only the things that I noticed because they were big in some way. How many things is He doing, every minute, every day, for my good? I will never be able to grasp that on this side of Heaven.
Looking to the future, we have no idea what it holds. We now know that no matter the plans that we may make, we don’t have the control and they can all be swept away in an instant, just as they were almost a year ago.
If you are going through something and wondering where God is, He is there. Seek Him daily. Talk to Him and read His Word. He will never forsake you. And hopefully one day, when you look back on this, you will be able to see how He sustained you through it all.