By Shalyn Back from Utah
A year and a half ago, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma. I had a nine-month-old baby (my first), and I have never been as terrified as I was when I found out I had cancer.
I had no idea what the future held. I was completely overwhelmed as I thought about how my treatment might affect me, whether or not it would be successful, how my family dynamic and responsibilities at work would change, and what it would mean for my daughter and my husband, who was equally scared.
One of my life’s “Fridays” had come. I love the way Joseph B. Wirthlin related the last day of the Savior’s life and the day of His Resurrection to the trials we have in our lives:
“Each of us will have our own Fridays—those days when the universe itself seems shattered and the shards of our world lie littered about us in pieces. We all will experience those broken times when it seems we can never be put together again. We will all have our Fridays.
“But I testify to you in the name of the One who conquered death—Sunday will come. In the darkness of our sorrow, Sunday will come.
"No matter our desperation, no matter our grief, Sunday will come. In this life or the next, Sunday will come.”
My “Sunday” did come. I was fortunate to have a positive prognosis and the support of so many family members and friends. I was scared and sick and in pain, but I reached a point where I was feeling OK, and that was such an incredible blessing. I wasn’t doing great, but I wasn’t doing terribly either. I knew it was because of the faith and prayers of my family, neighbors, friends, and friends of friends—and even strangers!
As a result of witnessing so many answered prayers, my relationships with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ were strengthened. I felt remembered and loved by Them, and that sustained me during my treatment and continues to as I return for follow-up tests and scans. I was very comforted by the fact that Jesus Christ knew perfectly not only what it felt like for me to have cancer and to endure chemotherapy but also the anxiety, uncertainty, fear, and helplessness that came with it.
In my experience, “Fridays” can come at any time for any reason and vary in their intensities. Just in the last few weeks, I’ve heard several heartbreaking stories of trials that are so much more tragic than what I experienced—children who have been in fatal accidents, people struggling with life-threatening drug addictions, and a newlywed who is dealing with the unexpected death of her spouse. So many other trials that are mental, emotional, or physical—and even trials of faith—can be completely debilitating. Some people have trials that will last the rest of their lives, and they have shown me that it is always possible to find meaning, purpose, and joy in life.
I’ve found strength from their examples and through my own experiences that because of the Atonement and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, “Sundays” do come.
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