By Chaplain (Capt.) Matthew Ailstock
Special to GUIDON
“It’s cancer, stage-four.”
I remember those words like it was just yesterday.
That morning started off like every morning should, with coffee.
As I reached for my cup, my cell phone rang and it was my mom.
I could immediately tell by the tone of her voice that something wasn’t right.
“You need to come to the hospital,” she said. “Rebecca got her biopsy results back — you need to come.”
She wouldn’t tell me anymore than that. Whatever news that she had to tell me had to be done in person.
Rebecca is my youngest sister, only 24 years old. A few months before I received that phone call she had been having severe headaches and dizziness.
When the headaches and dizzy spells didn’t cease, we finally convinced her to see a doctor. After many tests and numerous scans, she received the news that she had a tumor in her brain.
The doctors were unsure as to what type it was so they scheduled a biopsy. That morning, as I was back home drinking that cup of coffee, preparing to watch the sunrise, my 24 year-old baby sister was receiving the news that she had stage-four brain cancer.
Has your life’s story brought you to the place where you have asked the question, “Why God?”
And in that time of frustration and grief your heart cried out to God in despair, “Why, oh God? Why me? Why now?”
What are we to do in times such as these? I want to encourage you with words from Proverbs 3:5-6.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
My sister underwent brain surgery to remove that tumor, followed by months of chemotherapy and radiation.
And today, by the grace of God, she is in remission, living a cancer-free life. I realize that our stories do not always have a happy ending, at least on this side of heaven.
But I challenge you to make the decision to trust in the Lord. There are no better hands for you to be in, than the hands of the one who holds this world.
(Editor’s note: Ailstock is the General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital chaplain.)