By Jessica Wilde
But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.’ I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me. Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
The first symptom of my cancer was intense burning and frequency when I urinated. After ruling out a urinary tract infection, the oncologist in Costa Rica said it was likely because of a tumor in my small intestines that was pressing on my bladder. He reassured me that the pain would go away after chemo started and the tumor disappeared. But the pain was debilitating. It left me running to the bathroom at all hours of the day and night. It left me feeling tired, frustrated and at times in despair.
Inspired by the Holy Spirit when we moved to the Big Woods, I hung a picture of a cross that Brecklyn drew in front of the toilet. I was drawn to the anguish and pain on Jesus's face. I was moved by the angels lovingly ministering to Jesus on the cross.
I don't know when it happened, but again, likely with the prompting of the Holy Spirit, I began to fall to my knees in tears, prayers and petitions to Jesus every time I had pain after using the bathroom. After about a day, the despair and frustration left and I was filled with His spirit of perseverance. I continued to fall to my knees in tears everytime I used the bathroom but it was different. As I united this suffering to the cross, I understood that my pain had a purpose. Soon I found myself falling to the ground in prayer at any bathroom I found myself in, including the Big House, friends' houses and even at Chili's.
Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church (Col 1:24)
It is Christ who gives me strength. It is Christ who will defeat cancer. He is all powerful. He will and can do more than all the medicine on the Earth combined. If I say, "I am strong" or "I can defeat this cancer", then I am only fighting with my own limited human strength. But if I am humble, weak and let Jesus be my strength, then I am fighting cancer with the power of our almighty Father.
so that every form of suffering, given fresh life by the power of this Cross, should become no longer the weakness of man but the power of God. (Salvifici Doloris, 26 (Saint John Paul II))
Our God is a healer!
The intense UTI-like pain that I've experienced since March has been gone for over a week now. I am no longer running to the bathroom. I no longer need Tylenol or Ibuprofen to get me through the day. And this pain miraculously went away before my chemo even started! Praise be to Jesus Christ!
While humbly turning to God for His strength, I also desire to live a fearless life for the Lord. I desire to trust in the Lord with all my whole heart and soul. One of my friends had a vision of me walking through a swamp and right before my feet sunk into the ground, a stepping stone would appear. She said I was walking boldly without fear.
I have seen God's footprints ten steps ahead of me paving my way. He has gifted me a home for treatment. He has gifted me with hope for my future as a missionary in Busita de Jesus. He has closed doors along my path and opened others. He has sent angels to minister to me. He has showered me with love and prayers from friends and family all over the world. If God is with me, what is there to be afraid of? Absolutely Nothing!
This is easier said than done. My dear friend and community leader in Costa Rica gave me the idea of journaling. She advised me to list every fear or anxiety in my heart. Afterwards, she recommended prayerfully looking at each fear. If you personally can do something to fix the fear, then write out your plan beside the fear. If you know of someone that can help you with your fear, write their name beside it. Lastly if there is nothing you can do or no one to seek help from, give it to Jesus. Entrust him to take care of it for you. I have learned that this exercise works best in front of the blessed sacrament since Jesus is present in the Holy Eucharist and will help free me from my fears and anxiety. And yes, the fears may come back, but that is when I entrust my fears to Jesus again and again and again. It is in continually turning to Jesus that our Faith and trust in Him grows. Jesus I trust in you!
Lastly, I am empowered to be filled with His joy. Joy is different than happiness. While happiness is superficial and lasts but a moment, joy is a choice to be happy in the face of trials and hardships. Joy is to encounter others with the happiness of Christ despite the cross we ourselves are carrying.
We will have trials and hardships in life. This is not God's doing but the result of a fallen and broken world. What matters are not the trials or our pains but our response. Will we be defined by our trials or by the love of Christ?
This past week, FMC's founder Mr. Frank Summers prayed over me. In his prayer he reminded me to focus on the Big C, Christ, and not the little c, cancer. So as I sit here waiting for my chemotherapy to begin, I am focused on Christ because He will see me through all the little c's in my life (cancer and chemotherapy).
So here is my cancer treatment plan:
I choose to be docile to the Holy Spirit. I choose to embrace my human weaknesses, fall to my knees in front of my Savior, and ask Jesus for His all powerful help. I choose to trust in His providence and love those I encounter along the way of my cross with the joy of Christ.
A king is not saved by a great army,
On a Mission
Two passionate parents and their four children are excited to bring His Word to everyone in need while living a life of Gospel poverty as missionaries. They invite you to join them on a journey to encounter our global neighbors that Jesus commands us to love through works of charity and service.