Faith Is Understanding

I have been struggling with my faith with God ever since I found out my mom had cancer 3 years ago.

Her story: She found out in the beginning of June 2011 she had uterine cancer, at the end of the month she had her uterus removed. We thought that's the end of it, no more cancer. Obviously that was too easy. Labor day weekend of that same year, she became very sick. There was swelling in her stomach and when I called her she was crying. My mom never cried, it had to be serious. I met my family at the hospital but had to leave before she was diagnosed. Later that week we found out the cancer had returned to her omentum, which was causing the swelling. She would need chemotherapy and radiation. She began those treatments, we thought, "We caught it, and it's going to stop." Again that was too easy, a week after beginning her treatments she had a massive stroke, completely paralyzing her right side. How could this happen to my mom, what did she do to deserve this!? She was one of those people that everyone liked, she would give you the last penny in her pocket even if it meant she had nothing. She was patient, caring and compassionate and also a woman who was very strong in her faith. We rarely missed a church event, even when she was at her sickest. On October 8, 2012 she passed away, just weeks before her 57th birthday. The next few holidays were tough and I still miss her daily.

My story: I wondered why God would do this to my mother. She had never done anything horrible or wrong to anyone. I spent a lot of time questioning God. I bought my giving key in July 2013, hoping my faith would be strengthened. Last summer, I also worked at a Christian summer camp. I had already seen God bring my dad, brother and I closer together, so I assumed that was one of the reasons my had to suffer.. so that we would have a stronger family bond. That was not the only thing he had in store. In 2013 I found out that two of my best friends parents' were diagnosed with cancer as well. Here I sat, having gone through the struggle of having a parent diagnosed with cancer, I knew God had me go through that in order to be there for my friends. I finally began to see God's plan for me.

My key's story: This summer at camp the theme was faith. I had a camper early on Thursday night come to me talking about how she was struggling with her faith and what God's plan was for her. Later on that night, I had another camper, Mae come to me struggling with her faith as well. I was speechless, God prepared me for this and I was finally able to share my faith story with my campers. Mae has struggled with a lot of people around her passing away over the last couple of months. She knew that it had to be a part of God's plan for her, but she still was struggling with what that was and why she didn't know yet. I told her about how I struggled with my mom and that also lost some faith in what God had in store for me. I reassured her that with faith, I was able to be patient and finally God was able to show me my plan.

I know that Mae will continue to grow in her faith and when she finds that person that needs it more than her, she will pass it on to them.