Blessed to Suffer

Nurse Behind Intravenous TubeJane Jensen reminds us in her reflection on “My Suffering Is a Blessing” that God blesses us with His good gifts even while we suffer.

Three years ago I heard the dreaded words, “the biopsy came back cancerous.” I remember counting the tears that fell, only three before hanging up the phone. Crying is not going to do you any good, I told myself, start your stunned brain, instead. What should I do first? Pray? I’d already been doing that since the mammogram found the tiny spot. I decided it was time to put my head down and walk this path the Lord was showing me.

My friend, Cheryl, had taken me up to the hospital for the needle biopsy. She never hesitated when I asked if she could take a day off and go with me. A needle passing through your breast is terrifying. However, the technology, the doctor, and the nurses were all blessings from God. There was no pain, none. Those were the first of many blessings to come.

The Lord had the scheduling all planned out, another blessing.  Everything fell into place.  My daughter and son-in-law were with me when I had the lumpectomy surgery. Best friend, Bill, went with me to find out my treatment options. Friends called every day to check on me.  When the chemotherapy began, the support increased. Four times I sat in a chair to receive the drugs by IV that was mixed before my eyes. People almost fought over who would take me to the cancer center and wait with me.

The cancer center was only 30 miles away. I did not have to travel to Omaha which would have been 3 hours away. Here again the Lord had the best place all provided.

I received the blessing of new friends through chemo and then radiation. One is especially dear to me, keeping in touch by phone, letters, and lunches. Cards and letters of encouragement came four and five at a time. I started to scrapbook them, but they were so great in number I gave up and bought a beautiful rose covered box. I had to weight them down for the lid to stay on. People prayed for me. My church family and I grew especially close all because of their concern and love for me. It was humbling.

I lost my hair, and my complexion turned a strange color. Still, my friends comforted me and asked about me. Could they bring anything to me? That was when the tears came, not when I went under the knife, not during the torments of chemo or the exhaustion of radiation. The LORD God of heaven had provided sinful, sick me with a family that spoiled me and friends who did everything they could to cheer me. It was humbling and overwhelming. God had sent them all to me at just the right time. My cancer journey was a blessing. I can explain it no better than that.

Jane Jensen