August 19, 2011.
That day is forever burned into my memory. It was the day my comfortable little world was rocked to its core. That was the day I learned that I had cancer.
The word “cancer” has incredible power. It can make someone who has a solid testimony of the Plan of Salvation to suddenly start hyperventilating because of all of the “What If” scenarios. That was me. I knew that God lived. I knew that my Savior had suffered and died for me. I knew that when my husband and I knelt across the altar and made sacred covenants with each other and with God that we had the opportunity to be together forever. So why did hearing one silly little word suddenly make me feel like my footing was shifting? Wasn’t I planted firmly on the bedrock of my testimony of Christ and that great Plan of Salvation?
Apparently there were some shifting sands in between me and the bedrock that I thought I was planted on.
Listening to the Spirit
In the nearly six years since that day, I have had the opportunity to fall to my knees on countless occasions and, with tears streaming down my face, plead with my Father in Heaven to give me peace and comfort. Through those prayers, the faith that I thought was already burning brightly has grown into a blazing fire as I have been gently reminded by the Holy Spirit what the Plan of Salvation really has to offer me.
I have no need to fear about dying and leaving my young children. All will be well because death is not the end.
Yes, I can be sad in my thoughts of leaving this life sooner than I have anticipated, but I do not need to linger in that sadness. Our loving Heavenly Father has a plan for everyone, including me and my family. I have learned that I need to trust in that plan and know that God will be with us through every storm, big and small.
Because of the Plan of Salvation, I do not need to worry about all of the things that I would be missing–daily interactions, dances, graduations, weddings, etc. While all of those things are beautiful earthly experiences, they cannot compare to the experience of living with our Father in Heaven forever.
I have made covenants with God in which He has promised me that I will be able to live with Him in a state of glorious exaltation if I will but keep my end of the bargain. As I have struggled to know how I can overcome my fears of “missing out” I have realized that I often let fear replace one very important part of my end of the bargain…exercising faith in God’s plan.
God’s plan is bigger than cancer. It is bigger than any trial or affliction we have to endure here.
We will all have plenty of opportunities to adjust our footing and find the bedrock of Christ. The shifting sands will always be there, but so will that bedrock. Don’t let the shifting sands distract you from planting your feet firmly in your faith in the rock of our Redeemer and the great Plan of Salvation that our Heavenly Father has given to us.
“Brethren [sisters], shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward. Courage, brethren [sisters]; and on, on to the victory! Let your hearts rejoice, and be exceedingly glad. Let the earth break forth into singing. Let the dead speak forth anthems of eternal praise to the King Immanuel, who hath ordained, before the world was, that which would enable us to redeem them out of their prison; for the prisoners shall go free.” (emphasis added)