In this excerpt from my novel, Dates With God, we see the fictional character Kate fight hopelessness and discouragement because her husband’s cancer gets worse. She feels jealousy towards people whose lives seem easy. Here’s Dates With God, Chapter 9, Part 3: Kate’s Letter #9.
Letter #9 From Kate
We got some results back for Dave’s cancer. His markers are slightly worse. I am so discouraged and frustrated about this! Where is the promised healing from Thee? I thought if he started eating healthy he would be healed. I don’t expect him to be healed while eating donuts and chips, like he used to, but now that he’s changed his ways, I expected some encouraging results, if not healing. He’s been having salads and green smoothies and raw food every day. Why wasn’t his diet change helped?
Why is it that some people have such easy lives and some don’t? On top of our medical troubles, we are having money troubles because Dave had to cut back his hours a lot. I look at people like my sister Grace. She has a beautiful home, 5 kids, husband makes a ton of money. They aren’t sweating for anything. It doesn’t seem right or fair. I have a lot of questions for Thee when I get on the other side God.
OK, I admit, I did feel Thee reminding me of Job as I wrote that last paragraph. I know I should be grateful. I am so relieved that we haven’t been tested with losing our children and our home, just Dave’s good health. I keep thinking of Nephi, how he praised Thee on the ship, while his family crossed the ocean to the promised land, even though his brothers had tied him up. This cancer diagnosis has been tying me up for months. I want to choose to be grateful and full of praise in this bound up state but it’s so hard.
One of the moms in my class, Michelle, shared this formula with us last week:
If you are feeling like a victim-replace that feeling with gratitude.
If you are feeling like a critic, replace that feeling with praise
If you are feeling self-righteous judgment, replace that with charity (to see others as Christ sees them)
If you are feeling like a rebel, then replace it with service.
I’m definitely feeling like a victim right now. In addition, I am feeling hopeless. How can I replace it with hope? I think that for my scripture study for the next week I am going to study hope, then gratitude and then praise. I learned about that from Jill, to study topics instead of going from cover to cover in my reading. Praise and gratitude seem to be closely related. I don’t want to drop my reading of the Gospel Doctrine assignments so I am going to listen to those on my phone while I do morning chores.
With love from your daughter who desperately wants to feel comfort and assurance right now,
Copyright 2015 Celestia Shumway, inspired by Like Dragons Did They Fight by Maurice Harker and Lucas Reynolds