Friday, April 13, 2012

Profit for Loss

It's interesting how the Bible places emphasis on losing things.  For example, Jesus said in John 12:24, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit."  Also, in Luke 9:24, Jesus said, "For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it."  Hence, the Bible describes the value of losing your life and getting something great in return, that is, you truly discover life.  Not only life, but life in abundance.

Reminds me of the old saying which states, "If you love something, set it free.  If it comes back, it's yours.  If it doesn't, it never was."  I was contemplating this idea of profit for loss recently while thinking of my cancer journey.  Because of cancer, I lost so many things.  You could say they were forcibly removed from me.  For example, I lost my natural born bladder and now have to depend upon an artificial bladder which was created from my small intestine.  As a result, I have to catheterize myself up to three times daily to make sure my artificial bladder is empty and avoid urinary tract infections.  I also lost part of my hearing due to chemotherapy.  This has been extremely distressing, as I struggle to understand daily conversations with my family and co-workers.  Of course, losing part of the sensation in my feet has been bothersome.  Consequently, when I try to jog or walk up steps, I hit the pavement or stairs abruptly since I can't feel the majority of sensation in my feet.  I am also more concerned about falling with the altered sensation in my lower extremities.

What have I gained as a result of my physical losses?  First of all, it has allowed me to test the waters as an author, perhaps something I never would have done before cancer.  My manuscript, "Bladder Cancer: Revealing News About A Hidden Threat" which was published in the April edition of Nursing2006 was an offshoot of what I had learned after having major cancer surgery.  Later on, my book, "A Place I Didn't Want To Go: My Victory Over Cancer", came to be written after I had suffered the rigors of chemotherapy.  Second, my losses have given me a platform as a speaker.  Due to cancer, I have spoken at several nursing and nurse practitioner conferences.  I'm continuing to pray for more opportunities to speak in the future.  Finally, I have gained new insights into the ways of God.  His ways are mysterious, but, believe it or not, He actually can use pain for His glory.  Even though cancer may be a life-altering diagnosis, it may eventually be a blessing.  Ultimately, as author John Piper states in his publication, "Don't Waste Your Cancer", cancer can actually be a gift and not a curse.  Having been gifted with cancer, I'm confident I'll be reaping many benefits in the years to come. 

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