Andrew Suderman teaches theology, peace and mission at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. He also serves as secretary of Mennonite World Conference’s Peace Commission. Andrew […]
Driving an hour north to a cancer hospital to conclude if I had cancer or not was agonizing. From the moment I had discovered a mass on the back of one of my legs, I had been troubled. A month had gone by with different types of blood work, x-rays, an MRI and finally, here we were, about to find out what my future could hold.
Making our way up the elevator and towards the sarcoma unit, I couldn’t help feeling anxious about the unknown. Friends and family had had cancer around me and I had seen their fight from diagnosis to survival or to death and now I wondered what my fate would be. Through it all, prayer and connecting to God was my only solace.
Those were the hardest words I had ever prayed. Sensing a load off my shoulders after praying that particular prayer, I rested in knowing God was in control and would walk with me no matter what the outcome of my diagnosis would be.
Watching Jesus pray in the garden and agonizing over his unknown fate, I could relate to his prayer.
His words, “If it is possible, may this cup be taken from me, yet your will be done, not mine,” comforted me.
He knew this struggle would be the hardest thing he would go through and yet he surrendered and once again and prayed, “If it is not possible for this cup to be taken away from me unless I drink it, may your will be done.” After praying a third time, Jesus resolved to confront what was ahead when his unknown quickly became known. “Look, the hour has come…Rise, let us go…”
Hearing my name being called to see the doctor, I stood up, walked in with my mother by my side and heard that my tumor was benign. The outcome could have been different, but my life was forever changed.
Alma Perez Ovalle is a wife and a mother to three wonderful teenagers. She is the daughter of Gilberto and Elizabeth Perez. Alma is a high school Spanish teacher, simultaneous interpreter and writer. She sits on the board of Mennonite Women USA representing Iglesia Menonita Hispana and is on the executive committee for Southeast Mennonite Conference of Mennonite Women USA. Alma lives in Sarasota, Florida.
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