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Remember Me

Posted by: John_Hamilton on 05/20/2012 10:56 AM Updated by: John_Hamilton on 05/20/2012 10:59 AM
Expires: 01/01/2017 12:00 AM

Respirit – Week 18 “The Miracle of His Complex Plan” By Catherine Lewallen

Murphys, CA...About a month ago, I analyzed the work I was doing through my fight with cancer. I doubted I was doing enough. Things were feeling stagnant, and it troubled me because I am deeply compelled to do all I possibly can to make the most of this situation. Little did I know that awesome changes were on the horizon. I am now reminded that I am exactly where I’m supposed to be....

There are several reasons I desire to make a huge impact, and none involve personal attention. That is perhaps difficult to swallow for many people. After all, a lot of the way I manage to promote change is by utilizing public avenues. As most of you know, I live in a very small town. That has been a significant factor in my health battle. First of all, it feels like everyone knows what’s going on. This can be a great advantage. Everywhere I go, people ask how I am doing or share that they are thinking of or praying for me. On the flipside, allow me to relay this ridiculous story. Somehow I’ve managed to remain looking fairly healthy I guess. At least perhaps my physical appearance does not meet the assumptions or expectations of people in my community. Anyway, one of my friends shared that someone actually asked her to confirm if I indeed had cancer or if I was faking. Unbelievable. There are so many issues behind an accusation like that I will not even begin to address it. I think it speaks for itself. Suffice it to say, living in a small uneventful community has its disadvantages as well.

But in a town such as this, things like owning a business or representing the county as Miss Calaveras bring about a certain humble notoriety. People know who I am and are curious about my situation. That provides an opportunity to share one of the reasons I hope to generate inspiration or change. I desire showing what God’s mercy and love do for me every day. He helps me through every situation. I cannot even begin to imagine how someone would endure this struggle without Him in their life. Every component of my suffering and every moment of triumph have His stamp on it. In the life of a non-believer, therein lies the great tragedy. These people desperately search for a reason for their situation or their problems. As a Christian, it all makes perfect sense. Devout Christians die every day. I am well aware of that fact. Many seem to be taken too early or in tragically unfair ways. But there is a deep trust that lies in every circumstance when you truly believe in God’s plan. Facts remain inexplicable, but comfort remains nonetheless.

Another reason bringing about change is important to me, is that having cancer is really hard. If you remove any positive impact that this disease has developed in me or in the people who encounter me, it’s just a horrible horrible sickness. This week, I was treated as a new patient in the Neurological Radiation Oncology department as I prepared for brain radiation this week. Therefore, I was bombarded with countless questions about how I feel and how I am handling my disease. It was crazy to spend probably half an hour discussing my pain, my many side effects and struggles, their frequency and severity. On your average day, I try not to talk about such things. They take up enough of my time and certainly more than enough of my energy. To hear myself rattle through a list of complaints was perhaps revealing, even shocking, to my parents who were listening.

But every time a mother tells me she spends extra time with her children with me in mind, cancer becomes worth it. When I hear of someone squeezing every drop out of each beautiful God-given day because my story inspired them to do so, I wouldn’t change a thing. When I meet new people who bring me joy and love who are brought into my life initially because of this disease, I shout for joy that I would do it all again. Initially I thought these incidences would be limited or few and far between. That is definitely not the case. Just when I think I’ve reached everyone I could possibly reach, and I worry that I can’t do anymore, God delivers.

I am amazed and in awe at the complexity of His plan. Really, to go back to my childhood, the groundwork for this journey began. I have always been a writer. I would write stories constantly when I was a kid. Second, I have always been extremely motivated. Sitting back on my heels has never been enough, and certainly wouldn’t be enough in this situation. Also, I have always been a public speaker. In elementary school, I participated in competitive speaking whenever possible. And what I do now? I aggressively speak and write. Perfect.

I almost want to make a list of the miraculous blessings He has bestowed upon me in the last year. They are so amazing I don’t want to forget any of them! I get to write every day in an attempt to help people see God or to at least live their lives more fully. Grand opportunities to be published and to speak nationwide are being offered. New people are brought into my life by amazing circumstances and turns of events. This disease has actually saved me from troubling or dangerous situations. I’ve gained the freedom to live exactly how my son and I want to live which we had never before experienced. The people I am surrounded by are truly with me out of love and grace, literally expecting nothing in return. Everything negative in my life has fallen away. The amazing complexity of how He brings about change is mind-boggling. There is no way a human could devise such a creation.

So I am left with cancer still. Seriously… so what? I take pills every day that give me sunburns and require daily naps. I throw up sometimes and I limp around with joint pain. And only my hairdresser knows the true condition of my hair (and she’s been sworn to secrecy). I’ve got 3 new brain tumors this week. We will have disintegrated them by Wednesday.

It is desperately important to keep the problems in your life in perspective. And perhaps it is even more important to try to find God’s plan for your life. It cannot be your plan. It has to be a plan that is revealed to you through prayer and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. This will make your struggles worthwhile, I promise you that. If an incurable cancer can do that for me, I cannot imagine what set of circumstances you may be enduring that cannot provide you with the same miracles and joy that my disease and God’s work within is doing for me.

Editors Note...Catherine's fight with cancer and the manner in which she has fought it publicly has been an inspiration to many. If you would like some context and a more personal look at her battle you can find it on the Caring Bridge Website Here! We would like to welcome Catherine as one of our contributors and we hope her story can help you along your journey in life.

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