Yesterday I wrote about how I didn’t care about being diagnosed of cancer when I was 22 years old. I was young, unmarried, and could clearly understand Paul’s famous words, “To live is Christ, to die is gain!” Death had little sting, for I felt I had little to lose.
Interestingly enough, my view of death changed dramatically once I relapsed. (Remember, I had been told if my cancer ever came back, I could only have two months to live?)
When I received the news, I was newly married to the man of my dreams. My husband Todd was on a military deployment, and not expected to be home for 3 months. I did the quick math, called him up and basically told him if he wanted to see his wife again (this side of Heaven), he’d need to come home.
All of a sudden, I realized how much I stood to lose if the cancer caused my death.
I was no longer “okay” with dying because I now understood and felt that unconditional love I had only once only dreamed of. I now had an incredible husband whom I loved more than I ever thought I could love another person. I now had a marriage and the life-long partner I wanted to grow old with. My idealistic childhood dreams were coming true, and now my cancer was seen as a threat to those dreams.
I no longer felt peace that Heaven would be better because I was living in a pretty amazing “here and now”. I could not imagine a life without this man (even though in death, I may or may not be aware of the concept of time). The thought that he could re-marry and someone could “take my place” was devastating for me. I didn’t want someone to take my place, I wanted to keep it, hold onto it and protect my place. I fell into fear, anger, and an almost depressed state, believing the cancer could tear me away from this man I so loved, cherished, and adored. Cancer had now become the enemy and death was not something I was okay with. I no longer saw death as something to be gained, but something that would destroy what I thought I wanted more, at least for now.
My view of Heaven didn’t change. I still believed it to be everything I’d read in the Bible. But I became selfish towards death. Again, if it was all the same to God; I preferred to stay on Earth and live out this dream first. I knew I would go to Heaven eventually, so what was the rush? Why hurry?
I had finally bought into society’s view of death and had become fearful of its sting!
Stay tuned tomorrow for part 3 of this series. My 3rd relapse with cancer, and once again another perspective.
Q. Are you fearful of death’s sting? If so, why?