By Matt Dawson
“It’s NOT because I have cancer…” – Michelle Fadel.
Yesterday we spent some time focused on the story of Habakkuk and asking the questions:
- Do we Understand the Season of Life? (Ecc 3:1-8)
- Are we Fully Embracing and Learning in these Seasons? (Habakkuk 3:17-19)
I wanted to share just one story with you of someone that is in the midst of a trying season, but who is also trying to learn in the midst of it.
If you’ve not had the chance to meet Dan and Michelle Fadel at Journey, then you are missing out. We’ve shared some of their story in our last series and Michelle will be interviewed and sharing more of her story at The Gathering (our once per month Ladies gathering) on September 2nd.
When I first had the chance to sit down with Dan and Michelle, she had already been fighting breast cancer for many years and had just been diagnosed with cancer in the brain. This is not a good diagnosis. Her season was already hard and it was getting ready to be much harder. She faced the real possibility that she might die within a matter of weeks.
We sat down for several hours over a meal with her family and laughed . . . yes, we laughed. Michelle has a huge sense of humor and Dan has a dry wit that compliments their marriage so well. She told me when they visited Journey that in my message I said “crap” (something that is not usually in my notes, but comes out extemporaneously quite often) and she looked at Dan and said “We’re home!”
One of the statements she made as she was working through this time was that people that were seeing her Facebook posts and hearing some of her conversation might be led to believe that she’s saying all of this and living this way because she’s got cancer and might not be here much longer.
“It’s NOT because I have cancer . . .” she kept saying in her story, because she had been trying to respond to life like this for years. She didn’t have an easy life, and the seasons that she has had to work through has helped her understand that God is her ONLY source of strength. That her FAITH is in an unshakable God who understands her and loves her.
I think many of us have seen the cycle of bad times coming and people “returning” to faith . . . crying out to God for help . . . making promises that if God would just show up – they would be more faithful, more generous, and more loving to others.
Some deeply mean those words, but many we find in their next season reverting to the old life they’ve always lived (trusting in themselves, thinking that their behavior and works get them right spiritually). So we understand when we might be skeptical of reading Michelle’s tweets or posts and assuming the same.
“It’s NOT because I have cancer . . .” would be her consistent response. She doesn’t always respond correctly, she has plenty of times where questions and fear creep in. However they don’t stay long – WHY? Because she has made it a part of her spiritual journey to Trust GOD – He is always FAITHFUL, No Matter What!
If you were not able to attend yesterday, then I encourage you to watch this past week’s message. Maybe you’re in a hard season right now – and it’s time to #ChangeYourFilter. Maybe you’re in a great season right now – it’s time to create those habits and center your focus on God for whenever the next hard season comes your way.