A week ago I had the FaceTime conversation that I had dreaded. Dad had been in and out of hospital for tests on his bladder for weeks and now we were waiting on the results. The waiting game is awful isn’t it? Your mind races with all sorts of scenarios, your mind goes to places it shouldn’t and you end up imagining yourself in a future least preferred or even feared. Mum couldn’t hold in the heart breaking news they had just received. As soon as she could she told me ‘its bad news.’ Bad news isn’t what I wanted to hear. Bad news was the last thing I wanted. I knew in my heart ‘bad news’ meant CANCER.. The word cancer pierced right through me. My dad couldn’t have cancer. He’s hardly ever been sick. I was naive enough to even think that cancer wasn’t possible in our family. What do you mean its cancer? My dad had been diagnosed with bladder cancer, an adenocarcinoma. Tears ran down my face unable to comprehend what was actually being communicated to me. As a family we were facing something that was way bigger than any of us. Something we had no experience with, something we knew could be cured but something we also knew could be fatal. After a few moments of silence, I managed to compose myself. ‘Before we do or say anything else, lets pray,’ I said to mum and dad. This diagnosis was huge and there was only one person I knew who was bigger than the diagnosis. As I sobbed and talked to God, and cried out to Him to help us I remembered one of His promises in Isaiah 43. God had said ‘When you walk through fire, the flames will not consume you.’ Who chooses to walk through fire? You’d have to be crazy in my opinion. Who chooses to have cancer? No one. But its a fire many have to walk through. According to Cancer Research UK every two minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with cancer. This was a fire my dad was to walk through, but in that moment I sensed God with us and knew the flames would not consume him. Would he feel the heat? Sure he would. Would the intensity of the heat increase? It could do. Would he feel scared at some points. Probably. Did I understand why this was all happening? No, not at all but the bigger question was what was God going to show us through all of this?
That first day was horrible. I felt heartbroken, deeply saddened and just heavy with this ‘bad news.’ I didn’t really want to talk about it with anyone. I went to bed devastated but not before a quick FaceTime call with my dad to check he was ok. To my surprise he was as chirpy as usual, being strong for us no doubt. Before he said goodnight to me he insisted I smile. ‘Smile,’ he said ‘Your daddy is going to be fine!’