I have not ever been one that is a roller coaster fanatic so lets say that each one of these events has landed me on a different roller coaster. The first was not so bad, it definitely put me out of my comfort zone but it was bearable. We were able to quickly mark that experience off of my list and move on. The second encounter was the worst imaginable: forward, backward, feet hanging out there and free-falling like a crazy person. It makes my stomach turn just thinking about it.
This second experience was torture though, it was worse than the first from every angle. Emotional, physical, and intellectually this event in my life was forever changing who I was. That was not the worst of it though. Over the next few years after my Mom passed away, I would continually revisit the same roller coaster. Why? I think I can answer that question now.
God allows us to have good and bad times in our lives. During the good times we can easily say that "God is good," and not question our faith or his greatness. On the other hand though, He also allows us to encounter bad times. It is during these bad times that our faith and trust in God truly grows. I believe that during this time in my life I was continually taking the wrong approach toward God and allowing myself to travel down the wrong path. Don't get me wrong here, I never hated God or turned away from my faith in Him. My actions and my mindset were not that which would please Him. I would take my anger and aggression out on those that I loved. I didn't physically harm anyone, but I was quick to say hurtful things. My self esteem was down the drain, and I did not care about the relationships that really meant the most to me. God allowed me to continually revisit my roller coaster as a reminder that things were not right yet. It was a constant reminder that I was not Happy, and that something needed to change. As a human, I repeatedly tried to fix myself.
It took me a few years to really come to grasps with what had happened and figure out that the only person who was against me was ME. People who were coming into my life for the first time were encountering a person that was not truly me. I forever set in stone their perspective of who I was as a person, but more importantly as a Christian. One thing that I have learned from all of this is how important first impressions are. I am continually trying to repair what damage I put forth in those years in other peoples minds, but I am also having to prove in my mind that I am and can be the Christian I want to be. Sometimes it is easier to convince other people than it is yourself. I am fortunate enough to serve a very forgiving God, and even if I don't always believe in myself whole-heartedly I know that God believes in me.
My most recent visit from breast cancer has been the easiest. I am no longer afraid or apprehensive about the roller coaster I am on. God is right beside me. He will be afraid for me, which allows me to close my eyes and throw up my arms and enjoy the ride. I can ask as many questions as I want, be frustrated with the information I find and am given, and at the end of my day rest my head easily on my pillow and sleep. God is in control. He has picked my surgeons, doctors, nurses, anesthesiologist, hospitals, and insurance companies. He has perfectly planned my road to recovery and the timing of each step. All I have to do is pray and ask for his guidance.