Well.. I’ve heard that question a lot lately. The answer: Not Good 🙂
I first was diagnosed in 2011 and fought a little fight with Melanoma cancer in my back. I had a couple of surgeries and some painful recovery, but after a few months they felt it was gone. I remember times of driving down a road before I had the surgeries and out of no where I would think about my daughter and the day she would be married and me not being there to walk her down the aisle. I thought about my son, rocking out in his first band and me not being there to cheer him on.. it was a roller coaster. Oh I still believed then and I believe now that Jesus is my healer. I also remember so many praying for me back then and being able to come to all my friends and family with the news that the doctors said.. IT’S GONE!!! I was all clear!!! I was able to experience the heart of Christ. In Isaiah 53:5 we read that by His stripes we are healed. I had to believe that He meant that. That the price He paid, the pain He endured, the blood He sweat in prayer and shed on that cross (meant for me) was all for me.
I could have died. I did not.
I slowly crept back into life. If anyone knows me, you know I live at 100 MPH, it’s only in the past few years that I have learned that there is a cruise control button. It’s called REST. The Matt of a few years ago viewed rest as a waste of time. It actually stressed me out MORE to have rest than not to have rest. I was in danger of a life collision if I didn’t have balance in my life.
I have found that a simple, memorable rhythm is the most effective rhythm. I remember a friend once said to me.. “I have no idea how you do you”. She meant I did so much and was amazed that I got anything done. Oh.. I still do a bunch. it’s just in my DNA.. but now I have something different… I understand rest. Jesus said my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
If I’m carrying too much, I miss the point. Last I heard if I miss the point or “miss the mark” that is sin.. YIKES!!!!!! I had to repent. Repent of wanting to do too much. Repent of taking on too much. It was like a cancer in itself and that feels horrible!! Why would I want to take that on?
So.. fast forward a few years to now. I’m living in this new rhythm. I have changed my schedule, made some non-negotiable rest stops in my week and found the cruise control button.. then… one day at church.. I started coughing up blood. That was different!
Well… I went to the doctor the next day and they took and x-ray and found a mass in my lung.. no problem.. the symptoms lead them to believe I had pneumonia. They gave me some antibiotics and said come back later to see how I was doing. Well after a week on that drug.. NO CHANGE. I went to a different PA and he said “Matt, I don’t think this is pneumonia”. Not the words you want to hear. I was scheduled for a cat scan the next day. This time they confirmed this mass.. not really sure what it was. In steps Duke again. They reviewed and didn’t like what they saw. The whole time, I’m thinking I had some wild pneumonia thing going on. After several more tests and putting my body through pure you know what for 2 weeks, I sat in a room with my wife and the doctor hesitantly said. this is Stage 4 cancer. Stage WHAT?! How in the world could this possibly be???? I just have been fighting through a struggling business (the business of my dreams I might add) and living through the pain of closing that dream down only to find I now have cancer…. AGAIN!!!???
Let’s just say I’m glad you all couldn’t tap into the video screen of my mind then. It was definitely an R rated experience. I was FURIOUS!! I was confused. I was desperate. I was hurt. I was sad. I was depressed. It all comes rolling in like a freight train. We had just lost Robin’s mom to this horrible disease only a few months prior. I HATED it for my wife. What was she thinking and feeling?? All this in less than a year.. lose your mother, we lose our business and now your husband has stage 4 cancer. This just SUCKS!!!
So much was going through my mind (and still is).. but back to that rest part.
I now had a new rhythm. Wait a minute. What is really going on? I am a man called by God. The CREATOR of the universe. The one who said that we should pray for heaven’s will on earth. There is no cancer in heaven. But my mother-in-law.. who I loved dearly died!! I don’t have the answers there folks.. trust me.. I will ask Him.
I remembered a scripture.. “As for me and my house.. we will serve the Lord”. I read that Jesus said He paid a price, that He desires us to be well. “Well Matt.. why do babies die?” “Why do bad things happen to good people”? Well…. We live in a horribly infected world. Infected with a disease stronger than cancer.. it’s called sin. We’re out of order and the only order I’ve ever found in my whole life has ever been Christ. He did it. He won. He defeated death. I MUST TRUST HIM! He didn’t give me cancer, so if that’s the case.. the fight is ON!
So another scripture comes to me in 1 Thessalonians 5:24 “God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful”. That is it!!! #Godsgotthis
I must fight. I must believe. I must rest. If I’m not trusting, I’m not resting.
Oh.. there’s more to this story.. stay tuned and check back next time.
God bless you friends.. until then, remember.. God’s Got This!!!