I recently watched a documentary about St. Francis of Assisi who has always been someone I have admired. He was born to a wealthy family and for many years he lived a carefree and worldly life. He served in the military and at one point was held captive for a year by the enemy.
In 1204 he was seriously ill and that is when his conversion began; he had a vision; and went to Rome to live a life of poverty. When he returned to Assisi, he began preaching and founded the Order of the Poor Clares.
In 1209 he heard a sermon based on Matthew 10:9 (Do not acquire gold or silver or copper for your money belts), which inspired Francis to a life of poverty. The Order of Francis was founded and preached to live a life just as Jesus did.
He believed all creatures were like brothers and sisters. There is the legend that one day he preached to a large flock of bird none of which flew away.
A prayer of his that has been very dear to me is the following:
Lord, help me to live this day quietly, easily.
To lean upon thy great strength trustfully, restfully.
To wait for the unfolding of thy will patiently, serenely.
To meet others peacefully, joyously.
To face tomorrow confidently, courageously.
As I have walked the path of cancer, I think of all that St. Francis went through. He prayed, he listened, and he followed the words and actions of Jesus.
I am not as strong as St. Francis...yet, I do not ask nor have ever asked "why me?" I do not believe God gave me cancer, but He allowed it to happen. He knows there is a purpose to my having cancer and it is to help others.
When I heard the diagnosis of cancer I spent a few days grieving and then searching for "how am I going to get through this." I began to use prayer, journaling, exercise, humor, laughter, and positive thinking just as I have for other challenges I have faced.
No, life is not always fair. It seems that some people seem to just breeze through life, but do they really? I will not, but could name several individuals I would not want to have their challenges.
No matter what, I believe that we are to learn, to grow, and be better people because of whatever the challenge might be.
My book "Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir" is available at goo.gl/K9x33h All proceeds go to ovarian/gynecologic cancer research. Thank you for your support.