Everything can be Redeemed
I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel.
Well, the big day is here. For at least six months, I’ve dreamed of what this day would entail. Last year, it was a hard, emotional day. I actually titled my post “My Personal 9/11.” I had so many emotions, and many of them included shock and pain from being diagnosed a second time. But as this day neared, and the reality that I’ve shown cancer who’s boss for 10 years now set in, I have become overwhelmed with joy and excitement for this day.
As I’ve thought about what to share on this annual post, the word that kept rolling through my mind was “redeemed.” Everything can be redeemed.
Everything can be Redeemed
“Redeem” is a churchy-word these days. Except when it comes to coupons. When you “redeem” a coupon, you give the clerk a slick, glossy piece of paper and in return, you get a benefit. Sometimes it’s $1 off, sometimes you get an item free. But once something that seemed worthless (a piece of paper with a bar code) has suddenly been redeemed and gone through the store’s checkout system, all of a sudden it has extreme value.
As I look back over my 10 years on this cancer journey, I have an abundance of joy this year knowing that my cancer is being redeemed – and only through my faith in Jesus Christ. What has seemed just hard and painful, and often worthless to me, has been made glorious and new because it’s been sent through the filter of Jesus Christ and the Gospel.
Opportunities from Cancer
God’s redeeming my cancer – and He’s not done yet. He’s opened up innumerable opportunities for me to share my faith and the Gospel with others. He’s given me an outlet and a way to connect with people who I would have never met otherwise. He’s helped keep others healthy, as I LOVE getting random Facebook messages from people asking me about their poo. He’s given me the experiences of a lifetime – whether it’s marrying my caretaker, modeling for a calendar, getting a tattoo, or even dropping the puck at a hockey game. And the biggest redemption in my book thus far; He used my second diagnosis of cancer to put on us on a path of domestic adoption – a path that’s recently let us to the baby girl we will be adopting within about a week.
10 Year Cancer-versary
God is good, and today, on my 10 year “cancerversary,” I sing his praises louder than I ever have before. As we sang in church this morning, “Oh God, you are my God, and I will ever praise you…” tears streamed down my face. A song of strength, as I’ve sung this to myself over and over to get through some of the hardest days. But also tears of joy, as I will soon be singing this same song to my daughter so that she can know and love God – and sing of his redemption in her life, too.
To all of my friends, family, physicians and support network who’s been with me for over 10 years, today I express my deepest gratitude to you. Thank you for loving me and supporting me on this journey. And while I had dreams to make this day a big celebration, or even put on a big fundraiser for the Colon Club… I felt it was best to keep it simple and point all things back to the Cross. That other stuff can come later.
As the verse I opened with in Philippians says, I count all things that have happened to me (including a young colon cancer diagnosis) as an opportunity to further the Gospel. I plead with you today, if you’re not sure of your faith, to send me a message and let’s talk. My faith in Christ alone has gotten me through my darkest days, and I guarantee that whatever struggle you’re doing through, whatever suffering you have, Christ is just waiting at the door, waiting to redeem your hurts, too. If you know Christ, but you’re struggling right now, don’t give up. Christ has you in His hands, and He will get you through this. He will redeem whatever struggle you have, too.
For I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.