When You Experience Survivor’s Guilt

cancer-389921_640     Seven years ago I was recovering from a complete hysterectomy that also removed a huge malignant Ovarian tumor.  I am in remission so why would I feel sad about that?

That year I was diagnosed after losing two aunts from cancer. It was so surreal to be told I had cancer.  Cancer “doesn’t happen” to us…. but it did.  And, even after I was told my prognosis was good and I would survive, I felt a sting of grief when I would hear about others taking their battle to heaven.

There was five year old, Hannah, diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, a rare and incurable brain tumor.  All she wanted that year for Christmas was to see how many Christmas cards she could get….. and people responded from all over the country.

There was Gavin, age 7, who was fighting Burkitt’s lymphoma. That summer it was Shirley, fighting her own battle with Ovarian Cancer.  Later it was Seth with a brain tumor and Logan with sarcoma cancer.

This past weekend the wife of my husband’s cousin took her step into Glory after a valiant battle with Ovarian Cancer. Mary was 60.

Whenever I hear of these next steps into eternal survivor-ship, I wonder why them and not me.  The technical answer was because my cancer was more treatable but it is still heart breaking.  I have friends who have gone through fiery trials this year losing loved ones and my heart has ached for every one.

I can hold onto a promise that God is not finished with me yet.  And what does the Bible say about this?

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33

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Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 1 peter 4:12

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Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you. Isaiah 43:1-3

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