Congratulations to Carol who won Lillian Duncan’s book, Dark Alleys.
This week we get write to the point with Kat Heckenbach. Instead of the normal interview with several questions Kat wanted to share her Genesis 5020 with you. Be blessed.
Kat Heckenbach spent her childhood with pencil and sketchbook in hand, knowing she wanted to be an artist when she grew up—so naturally she graduated college with a degree in biology, went on to teach math, and now homeschools her two children while writing. Her fiction ranges from light-hearted fantasy to dark and disturbing, with multiple stories published online and in print. Her YA fantasy novels Finding Angel and Seeking Unseen are available in print and ebook. Enter her world at www.katheckenbach.com
by Kat Heckenbach
What threw me the most about my cancer diagnosis was the timing.
I know, there are a lot of reasons to go into a tailspin when you are faced with a life-threatening illness, and “timing” is not usually one of them. There’s never a good time or bad time to find out you have cancer.
But in my case, because of where I was in my life, being diagnosed felt like I’d been backhanded by God.
I had been raised in a Christian home, attended church every Sunday, and accepted Christ at the age of twelve. A very smooth path to salvation, one would believe.
But, my church had never felt like a real home to me, and when my parents divorced and could no longer make me go there, I quit, no looking back. I considered myself a Christian still, but the combination of circumstances during my teenage years interfered with my newly formed relationship with Christ. The divorce, my non-believer boyfriend, and the easy accessibility to drinking and drugs in my high school pulled me farther and farther from the Lord.
I spent years struggling with the emotional turmoil of my situation. Even after dumping the boyfriend, giving up drugs, and patching up my relationship with my parents, I still felt lost. Somehow, my connection with Christ had disintegrated. I knew He was there—I still believed that wholeheartedly—but I didn’t know what to do to reconnect with Him.
At the age of twenty, I met my husband. After six years of marriage, I had my first child, followed by another two years later. I suddenly had a new motivation to find my way back to Jesus. I wanted my kids to know Him, and I wanted us all in a church that felt like home in a way my childhood church never had.
The search for a church took only a few months, and in the process I felt my relationship with Jesus begin to reform. I voiced my recommitment to Him in prayer.
Then, WHAM! Adenocarcenoma of the cervix, stage 1B.
“It’s not fair!” I cried to the Lord the day of my diagnosis. “I’ve come back to You, and this is how You repay me?”
Of course I knew I’d done many things to deserve retribution. The lifestyle I had chosen during my teens and twenties was surely an abomination to God. But, I couldn’t understand why I had not suffered the consequences back then. Why didn’t God strike me down while I was living such a sinful life? Why did He wait until I returned to Him? God was supposed to be loving and forgiving, not vindictive.
I thought about this daily as I underwent chemotherapy and radiation. Being physically ill from my treatments gave me a lot of isolated quiet time. And during that time, the little miracles made themselves known one by one, leading me to understanding.
My kind of cancer is normally not found in early stages. The urgent symptoms that had sent me to the doctor generally don’t appear until the last stage. The tissue around the tumor had stretched, and the cancer did not spread even though the tumor had grown quite large.
There were other miracles as well, including my one and only break from chemo falling on the week of Christmas (exactly as I’d prayed for). Support came from every direction. Friends and family provided more food than we could ever hope to eat. My husband’s schedule allowed him to visit me during every chemo treatment, and I had help with the kids available at all times.
I soon realized God had not given me cancer. He was not punishing me. A God who provided that much care for me even after all my rebellion was a God of love and mercy. He had not shown vindictiveness. He was proving Himself to me through timing.
My cancer had started years before, as a minor genetic change in a cell, the result of choices I had made. It had started during the years in which my back was toward God.
God could have revealed my cancer during my rebellious years. But I believe He knew I would have only turned farther away from Him. And just as surely, He knew someday I would return to Him, so He waited.
He could also have chosen to heal me instantly upon my return, instead of letting me suffer through symptoms and treatment. But if He had done that, I would never have known the cancer had existed in the first place and I wouldn’t have witnessed His power through my healing.
When I think of this, I am reminded of Lazarus. Jesus could have healed Lazarus when he was merely sick. But to demonstrate His full power, Jesus raised the dead man from the tomb. The timing had thrown everyone, until they saw Lazarus walk.
Now I walk, hand in hand with Christ, knowing He leads me to everything at the perfect time.
Readers, Kat is giving away your choice of either of her books in ebook format. Leave a comment for her by September 25 at 5:00 PM.