Daily Archives: January 20, 2023

1 week, 5 days ago 21
Posted in: blog

 

 

Next month I will turn 77 years old.  My father passed away just short of his 66th birthday, and for that reason I’ve assumed most of my life that I wouldn’t live much longer than that, thankfully I was wrong, but the clock is ticking and is counting down every day. None of us knows when God will call us home, but since it is getting late in the 4th quarter I have something very important to share with whomever reads this. 

 

When I was a young man I did not really like myself very much.  I, like everyone else, wanted to like myself.  I was pretty good at photography and I saw that as my ticket to being somebody special enough that even I would be proud of myself.  I worked very hard, studied my mistakes, of which there were many, and then improved.  Over time the hard work paid off and I was starting to get some recognition for my efforts.  I was 35 years old and things couldn’t have been better, until my Doctor said these words, “Bill it’s cancer and I’m afraid it is multi- strained cancer and the survival rate is around 3 to 5%.”

 

How would you react to that diagnosis?!  Yep, that is exactly how I felt.  I was in the prime of my life, loved my family, and things were heading  where I hoped to go in life.  Now I  had a few months to live and it was soon all to be over.  I had surgery and they removed a tumor about the size of man’s fist from my lower stomach.  For the next three days I spent  in my hospital bed and went through the stages of grief.  First, I was angry at God.  I was not a bad person, at least not in my own eyes, so why me?  That didn’t last long, I knew in my heart that I was not evil person but far from perfect and at a time like this being mad at God seemed pretty pointless.  Next came self pity, but it did not take me long to know that while the cancer was not fair, life is not fair and bad things happen to people all the time so I couldn’t allow myself to go down that road.

 

The last stage was resignation, but not without a fight.  On the last night before my doctor was to return with my final pathology and any thought of an attempt to treat the cancer, I prayed.  It was not a King James prayer it was mostly weeping and asking God to give me the strength to hold up so it would be not any harder on my family.  I ended my prayer with an attempt to cut a deal with God.  It was a simple proposal, “God if you would let me live long enough to see my three children grown and not in need of an everyday father, I won’t serve you every day for the rest of my life, I will serve you every moment for the rest of my life.”  That night I got the best night’s sleep I’d had since getting the news of my cancer.

 

The next morning my doctor arrived in my room with a smile on his face.  I wondered what he was so happy about?  He said, “I have good news and bad news, which do you want first, still smiling.”  I said give me the bad, he said the tumor we removed was definitely cancer, he then said the good news is it is not the kind of cancer we thought, the kind you have has a treatment success rate of 95%!

 

At that moment my life changed forever!  I knew God had answered my prayer!  I’ve had unbelieving friends ask if I really believed God had changed the cancer or could the doctor have just guessed wrong?  Truthfully it didn’t matter, God had gotten my attention!  I truly believe that they call this in heaven “A Wake Up Call.”

 

So there you have it, I have kept my word to my Heavenly Father. I’m still far from perfect, but I’m perfectly devoted to serving Him and sharing His incredible love with everyone I come in contact with.  God has richly blessed me beyond my wildest dreams but not with becoming a famous photographer, that it turns out is a figment of people’s imagination.  There is no such thing.  I received a gift far more precious, peace and joy!

 

So if you ever wondered what made me tick, there you have it. If you didn’t wonder that is ok too.  But if by any chance you don’t have peace and Joy and the life you wanted you now know where to find it!

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim