Thursday, August 21, 2008

Life Happens

Today was pretty much a bummer of a day. This morning I found out that a friend of mine, a friend that I've been volunteering at the shelter with for the last several years, has colon cancer. She went to the ER on Sunday with abdominal pain, and a few hours later was having surgery to remove part of her colon. This cancer that she just discovered has already spread to her liver. She is in her late 40s--several years younger than the minimum age at which you're supposed to get your first colon cancer screening.

It's not generally in my nature to be Debbie Downer, but this news left me so distraught today. It was such an abrupt and shocking reminder of the frailty of life. I don't mean to be overly dramatic or philosophical, but it really just makes you think about life in general. It makes you think about the fact that none of us really knows what challenges we might face in the future. None of us can know how long we actually have on this earth. So here's my take: I know God put each of us here for a purpose. We all just have to do the best we can to figure out what that purpose is in the time we have. We just have to try our best to become the people God has called us to be, and hope that He gives us plenty of time to get there. Challenges like this one my friend is facing are just tools He uses to grow us, to change us, and to draw us closer to Him. They are part of His perfect plan--a plan that seems imperfect to us because we can't see the bigger picture.

I know these aren't any brilliant words of wisdom--they're just the thoughts that have been bouncing around in my head all day. When life happens, it certainly makes you think.

Oh, and if you think about it, say a quick prayer for my friend. She has quite the battle ahead.


Michael said...

Sorry to hear about your friend, and as you now know I know first hand how challenging it is to hear this type of news. Similar to you, my dad's cancer has caused me to rethink my life on a daily basis. But, your comments in the second paragraph were so touching - take you for sharing. Take care, and prayers to you and your friend.

amber said...

I echo Michael's sentiments of gratitude for what you wrote. You are right on that God does have a purpose for our each of our lives and that even trials like this have a bigger meaning, but that doesn't make them any easier to accept in the present moment. It's so easy to become complacent and focus on the other busy-ness of our lives that we take for granted good health, relationships, and the many material blessings God has given us. The comfort I take is that for believers, we have such a grander future to look forward to in Heaven. I am praying for your friend and for you as well!

(As an aside, Michael, did you know that you know me? :)

Beth said...

Oh, that is sad.
It must have been incredibly shocking to get the news. Any word on the prognosis? We will keep her in our prayers.