Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Tuesday Morning Story - Marty Simons
From Independence to Trust, From Legalism to Unconditional Love
My father was one of those larger than life people. Raised on a farm in the Depression dust bowl years in Nebraska, he grew up relying upon himself. Through his own efforts, he received two engineering degrees and secured a good job. He married and had a daughter (me) whom he raised to be independent as well.
My father raised me to never ask for help. I was told not to give in to any weakness. One vivid memory is when our beloved dog died, he told me not to cry because it would upset my mother who had just been released from the hospital.
My parents were believers, but my father’s vision of God was of an angry father out to get him if he messed up. My father believed that if I did something wrong, God would punish him for being a bad father. Thus, I was raised with legalism and conditional love.
Fortunately, I met and married a Christian man who loves me unconditionally. Through Ross, I began to change my view of my Heavenly Father. However, I remained independent, unwilling to accept help from anyone, even sometimes from my husband.
In 2001, it all changed. I was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer. I was a private music teacher, and my students and their parents became aware of the situation. What followed changed my life. I received a huge outpouring of love.
My church rallied around and a number of members came and prayed with me before surgery. When I came out, the verdict was no longer terminal. During chemo, I received meals and little gifts from my students and my church family.
In 2008, the cancer returned and since has metastasized to my hip rendering me no longer able to walk without the assistance of a cane. I have now learned to accept the help that is readily offered to me. I have come to realize that what I thought was independence was really pride.
Sometimes you read about people who are glad that they had cancer because it brought them closer to God. I never understood this until it happened to me. Through the kindness of others, I have earned that the Lord really cares about me. He loves me unconditionally and wants me to trust Him.
When I was first diagnosed with cancer, I fought fear constantly. Now I understand the importance of faith. I understand that God wants the best for us. In fact, He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, so that I could have a relationship with Him. And now...it's okay to ask for help!
Marty Simons has a passion for telling others what God has done for her. She blogs about internet marketing at http://martysimons.com.