Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (Romans 5:3-5).
I work as a Phlebotomist, at an Oncology office. When I had my interview, as a possible new hire, I was told that this job isn’t for everyone. The office manager told me, about one specific new hire. They worked till lunchtime, on their first day, went back to the manager’s office, with tears streaming down their face, and replied. “I don’t see how anyone can work here, it’s too difficult, and I just can’t do it.”
At first my thought process was what? Not even a full day, surely it’s not that hard? However, once I started working there, I could see what she was getting at. I’m gonna keep it real! I LOVE MY JOB, but it can be draining some days. I get so attached to the patients, family members and friends, that come with them to appointments. It’s hard NOT to do so. Some come in for blood work and treatment 2-3 times weekly.
They’re more like family to me, than patients. One of the most difficult parts of my job, is watching their health decline, and seeing how Chemotherapy, takes its toll on their body. When we lose one, you feel the loss deep in your soul.
My Mama had throat cancer, and her only way of communicating, is by a voice stick. My Daddy passed away from COPD, but he also had colon cancer. I have several auto immune disorders, that I live with. I use to play the Why Me Lord card? Why are you making me suffer this way?
I truly feel, that God opened this door for me, at the oncology office, to show me something. Yes I struggle, but after seeing what oncology patients, go through and deal with, what I go through, doesn’t come close to comparing. To be honest, I am ashamed of myself, if I start to complain. God has shown me, my health could be worse than it is. I see that on a daily basis.
When a patient is first told these words
I am so sorry, but you have Cancer, I can’t begin to fathom, the thoughts that may cross their mind. Fear, Doubt, Denial, Shock, Anger and more. I am so incredibly thankful, that I am NOT the one, who has to deliver that news. I wouldn’t be able to do it.
The worst is hearing the treatment isn’t working, and they need to consider palliative or hospice care. I can’t tell you the countless times, I have been sticking a patient, as tears are streaming down my face. If I sense a patient is upset, I will close my curtain, let them have a good cry, and Pray for them on the spot.
Suffering produces endurance
I know how difficult it can be, when you watch someone suffer immensely. It will definitely teach you patience and Endurance. But God never promises us that life would be easy. But he did promise to discipline us, to refine us, to grow us in our faith. And while we don’t know what the end result looks like, we know God is ultimately good, and he has our best in mind.
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial, when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you…. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed, doesn’t dismiss the reality of suffering, but he reminds us, that we can become strong through suffering. (1 Peter: 12-13).
Endurance produces character
Character is being refined in us, when going through battles. In the hardest of times, it teaches us who we are, and what we’re made of. It transcends beyond what we may be going through, showing up in the form of wisdom, insight and courage.
I can tell you that I have NEVER witnessed more courage, than seeing my patients deal with what they do, and still have a big ole smile on their face and still claim, GOD IS SO GOOD! Upon seeing this, if it doesn’t bring change to your heart, nothing will.
I am in AWE of witnessing their Character even more.
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. (James 1:12),
Character produces hope
Hope in Jesus keeps you grounded, when walking with him, through suffering. Hope is found in the many promises, that God has given us. No matter what pain we may suffer, we can always hold onto the Hope, he lovingly extends.
He’s given us the best helper, known to a believer, which is the Holy Spirit. With him inside us, we will never have to walk alone.
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him my salvation and my God. (Psalm 42:11).
I want you to share with you, what my patients tell, me all of time. They’ll say THANK YOU for being who you are. Thank you for inspiring me. Thank you for always taking such good care of me, it makes my journey, so much more bearable.
I will reply with….I believe you have that backwards….YOU inspire ME! YOU keep ME grounded! YOU show ME that I need to be more like you! YOU lift ME up, simply by being YOU!
I dedicate this blog, to ALL those who effected by Cancer
Your Sister in Christ,
Hey Friends. Thank you for taking time out of your day, to spend a few moments in mine. As a follower of Jesus Christ, it’s important to me to share the gospel with you. I write about my ups and downs, my struggles and insecurities, but above all else, I share how God brings me through it all. Let’s continue our walk with Christ together.