Every day I get dressed and put on “my hair” better know as the wig and pull myself together to go out looking as normal as possible. The first thing I do when I get home is “let my hair down”, almost literally. It’s one of the first things I do when I get home, remove the wig. Today, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror as I did and for a moment realized what a difference a little “stuff” makes or does it? Every day I put on “stuff” that makes me feel and look as normal as possible, all the while I know I’ll never be the same. Change is good, if it causes growth.
As I looked for a moment, I realized that to the outside world I look like I have it all together. It’s easy to appear as though you have it all together, each day I put on a wig to cover the loss of hair, a little more make-up to “cover up” the loss of color in my skin and a prosthetic to hide a scar that will forever mark this season in my life. At first it’s easy to “hide” cancer but over time it takes on a whole new look. There’s very few people who have seen me without all the “stuff”. Why? Because I don’t identify myself by cancer, it’s not who I am. I identify myself with Christ, that’s the identity I want live under. At the end of the day, no matter what cancer does to my body it cannot steal my identity.
I am blessed to work with amazing men and women of God. We are a company made of imperfect people trying to live like Christ and serve churches. We have fun and we love what we do. I have a great team that I serve with. We often laugh and crack jokes at my cancer, please note I said the cancer not me. Today a good friend of mine teased me and said that we may be the most “politically incorrect” team he’s ever seen. He said it with a smile on his face and was taking a stab at me about our humor. It made me think for a moment and he’s right, we may be but I’m o.k. with that. If I ever thought for a minute that anyone was serious it’d be a whole different conversation. I know for me that I will not let cancer steal our joy and any opportunity that we can poke fun at it. Not to be disrespectful to anyone, I know it is an ugly disease, but it doesn’t get the last laugh on me. So I will be politically incorrect about my cancer because the power that lives in me is greater than cancer.
I know some may wonder if God caused my cancer. My answer is a solid, shout it from the rooftops….NO!!! I do believe He allowed it to happen. What’s the difference, He could stop it, prevent it or heal it. And sometimes He does. But I know that we live in a fallen and broken world full of things that break his heart. This is not what He intended when He created the world. It is up to us to choose what we’re going to do when we realize this, it is His desire that we would cry out to Him in recognition that we can’t do it on our own. We can’t work our way to heaven, we’re not good enough no matter how hard we try to earn our way into eternity. It is only by accepting the gift of salvation from a father who sent his son to die on a cross for our sins. He is the way, the truth and the life, No one comes to the Father except through the son Jesus Christ. How do we do that? Submitting our will, acknowledging that we’re not the boss of our life and asking him to live in our heart. It’s knowing and admitting that we’re not in charge. We were created in His image and the longer that we fight that the longer we live dissatisfied. This world is temporal, this is not as good as it gets.
At the end of the day, when all is stripped away, I look in the mirror and it’s not the look of cancer that I see but Christ who is changing me to be more like Him.
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” — Genesis 1:27
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God , who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” — Galatians 2:20 – 21