On September 11, 2001, our country was attacked by terrorists who hijacked airplanes with the intent to kill thousands. Two hit the World Trade Center, one hit the Pentagon, and the other crash in Pennsylvania. Many on that day were sacred. I remember hearing what happened as my day began thinking the person telling me was kidding when in reality it was not.
I know many of you have your own personal stories that happened on that day. You may have even have lost a friend or someone in your family on that day. For me, September 11th has a more personal touch, but I am not referring to the day in 2001. I am referring to what happened on this day 10 years ago. On the evening of September 11, 2007, as my wife and I were ready to call it an evening, I reached by to my neck and discovered two lumps. I had no idea what was going. I told my wife and she said to call the doctor the next day, which I did. Thankfully, he saw me the next day and referred me to a neck and nose specialist who said it could nothing which we can remove with no long term effects or it could be leukemia.
Two days after my son's birthday, I went in for surgery to have one of the lumps removed for it to be biopsied. I was told we were not expected to get the results for a week. Well, we got them the next day. It turned out I have Hodgkin's Lymphoma, which is a cancer of the lymphoids. I was told over the phone, this is the best cancer to have because it has the best success rate as far as treatment.
I was told I had stage 2 Hodgkin's Lymphoma after a bone marrow biopsy (those do hurt even though you have been given a local anesthetic). I started chemo about a week following the biopsy. I had no idea what was going to happen. I kept thinking who was going to take care of my wife, will my son be mad at God for taking his dad, and who will walk my daughter down the aisle.
After five months of treatment, I had a PET scan where the doctor informed me the cancer was gone. I did one more month of treatment just to be on the safe side. My last chemo treatment was March 28, 2008, which you can tell, that was over nine years ago. I praise God for healing me and continuing to give me good health, but I also praise God for happened to me spiritually after the treatments.
I was questioning if what I believed about God was correct, in others words, was my theology sound. Somehow, by God's providence, I came across a post by Tim Challies that simply said Christians cannot live on Christian Living books alone, which is what I had a majority of in my library. After careful research, I began to listen to different preachers and have read more deep, theological books. By the grace of God, I discovered what I held as good theology was false. For example, I blamed myself for my cancer. I blamed myself for something I did to tick God off. That is what the health and wealth preachers will tell you just like Job's three friends tried to do.
By God's grace, I also discovered Reformed Theology. I started reading John Owen, John MacArthur, John Piper, R.C. Sproul, John Calvin, and more authors that it will take me forever to list. I looked at the Bible more intently than just reading it in a devotional setting. I rejected preachers who I once listened to as well authors I once read. God gave me renewed love for Him and His Word. My family and I grew closer during that time as well.
I do want to say that just because I went through cancer, it doesn't mean I am a super Christian. There is no such thing. I am not perfect nor have been already made perfect. I still struggle in the flesh and have temptations just like any other believer. I am still growing in the grace of Christ while falling flat on my face at the same time.
I share my story, not to get everyone to feel bad for me or think why am I am important. The Bible says to rejoice with those who rejoice. This day reminds me of where God has brought me and the grace He has given me since that day. The Bible also says to weep with those who weep. There are people hurting right now whether from cancer or a natural disaster. We must weep with them and pray from them.