The Good of Cancer

Written By: Jacey Reid

December 1, 2016

I knew cancer was an awful disease in more ways than one, but I never thought it would directly affect me. When my eight-year-old brother was diagnosed with leukemia, I didn’t understand how such tragedy could be used for good. I knew God had a perfect plan and nothing happens without His knowing, but I was angry. My world was flipped upside down, and it revolved around cancer. I spent countless days away from my parents because they were in the hospital two hours away doing whatever was necessary for Tate to become healthy again. I was forced to come home after school to watch and care for my younger sister and the house. I cooked, I cleaned, I shopped, I ultimately became a second mom. As a high school junior, the last thing I wanted to do was be a mom. I wanted to spend time with my friends, watch movies on Netflix, and not worry about whether Tate was okay. However, as the oldest child, I inherited many new responsibilities, regardless of my wants. My world became cancer, and I didn’t understand why God could allow such an awful disease to affect millions, especially my family, especially my brother. I wondered what Tate did to deserve to lose everything he cared about: school, sports, friends, normalcy. I was angry, and I didn’t understand.
However, as time went on, my brother’s positive attitude never wavered. He always focused on the positive, even when I didn’t think there were any to be found. The generosity of the many prayers, freezer meals, help with medical expenses, or various gifts so many gave proved God was looking over us, and He would provide. Hillsong United put it best; “You’ve never failed and You won’t start now.”
Without Tate’s journey, I would not truly understood God’s faithfulness and love. Throughout the entire progression, and even today, as he is in remission, I can feel His embrace. Tate’s diagnosis taught me that through it all, God is faithful. He is aware of everything that happens, and it is all a part of His perfect plan. I am His child, and He wants the best for me. His love surrounds me every day, even if I don’t feel it. Tate is His child, and whatever happens to him, is because of His plan. Through my brother, God taught me patience; we had to take Tate’s treatments day-by-day, therefore my life progressed day-by-day. As a person who wants to have every detail planned, I struggled with the flexibility of my new schedule. However, I learned if I give my worries and struggles to God, life becomes a lot easier.
In the same way, with Tate’s diagnosis, my family could share the lessons we learned about God’s faithfulness and love to a much broader audience. Our story reached thousands, if not tens of thousands, of people. Looking back, I realized God knew all along the positive outcomes that would come out of this journey. He knew our story would influence many, He knew our faith would grow stronger become of it, and He knew I needed a life-changing experience to realize His true capabilities, faithfulness, and love. Now, whenever I don’t understand why God is doing something, I reflect on the lessons I’ve learned from this journey. I am able to find peace in the unknown because of who God is.