This article was originally published by The Mennonite

Agonizing in the unknown

Driving an hour north to a cancer hospital to conclude if I had cancer or not was agonizing. From the moment I had discovered a mass on the back of one of my legs, I had been troubled. A month had gone by with different types of blood work, x-rays, an MRI and finally, here we were, about to find out what my future could hold.

I had prayed what seemed like long and intense prayers since the onset of my discovery. Nothing prior to this moment in my life had caused me cry out to God as I had been doing for a month.

Making our way up the elevator and towards the sarcoma unit, I couldn’t help feeling anxious about the unknown. Friends and family had had cancer around me and I had seen their fight from diagnosis to survival or to death and now I wondered what my fate would be. Through it all, prayer and connecting to God was my only solace.

I remember one night alone in my bedroom crying out to God and saying, “I’m done worrying about this, I want to know what purpose you have for me here on this earth and if my purpose has been fulfilled. Then, okay. But Lord, if you still need me here for my children, for my husband, for others, let me keep working for you, but let your will be done.”

Those were the hardest words I had ever prayed. Sensing a load off my shoulders after praying that particular prayer, I rested in knowing God was in control and would walk with me no matter what the outcome of my diagnosis would be.

Watching Jesus pray in the garden and agonizing over his unknown fate, I could relate to his prayer.

His words, “If it is possible, may this cup be taken from me, yet your will be done, not mine,” comforted me.

Jesus, the son of God, was after all, a man made of human flesh and blood like me. He knew that suffering and pain was coming.

He knew this struggle would be the hardest thing he would go through and yet he surrendered and once again and prayed, “If it is not possible for this cup to be taken away from me unless I drink it, may your will be done.” After praying a third time, Jesus resolved to confront what was ahead when his unknown quickly became known. “Look, the hour has come…Rise, let us go…”

Hearing my name being called to see the doctor, I stood up, walked in with my mother by my side and heard that my tumor was benign. The outcome could have been different, but my life was forever changed.

May we be encouraged to know that Jesus, our friend, our Savior and our deliverer walks with us, beside us,and in us during the hard times of life. He knew who and where to go to to gather courage, resolve and strength to walk down the road that was laid out ahead for him.

Alma Perez Ovalle is a wife and a mother to three wonderful teenagers. She is the daughter of Gilberto and Elizabeth Perez. Alma is a high school Spanish teacher, simultaneous interpreter and writer. She sits on the board of Mennonite Women USA representing Iglesia Menonita Hispana and is on the executive committee for Southeast Mennonite Conference of Mennonite Women USA. Alma lives in Sarasota, Florida.

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