More than a year ago, Ruby left us a comment about wrestling with faith. That’s nothing new. We get comments like hers pretty often. But Ruby’s story had a twist that most readers will never know—cancer.
When she first wrote to us, Ruby was a teenager fighting cancer without a relationship with Jesus. But that’s just the beginning of her story. In fact, Ruby’s story is one of the reasons we keep writing away on this blog. God used this site to heal her in more ways than one. God used you to speak to her heart in a huge way.
It’s a great story with a happy ending. That’s why I couldn’t wait to pass it on to you.
Erin: How/When did you find out you had cancer?
Ruby: I was diagnosed with cancer (Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia) a little more than two years ago. It would have been somewhere between Thanksgiving and Christmas of ‘08. I was 14. I had woken up to go to school like I would normally do. I remember being extremely weak and could hardly move. I told my mom that I wasn’t feeling good, but she didn’t believe me because I played that trick too many times in order to get out of school. I went to school and collapsed an hour after I got there and woke up in the hospital. My dad was there, which I thought was very odd since he never would have come unless something serious was going on. They did a bunch of tests, and I mean numbers of tests. They told me that I had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, and that it needed to be treated right away.
Erin: What did you feel at first?
Ruby: I felt this immediate fear of what would happen. I had no hope in God simply because I didn’t know Him. I had nothing to hold onto. I felt as if I was falling into a position that I couldn’t control. I was hopeless and helpless.
Erin: What was your personal relationship with God like at the time of your diagnosis?
Ruby: I was not a believer at the time, and I just remember wanting to run away. My solution to everything at that time was to run and never look back, but it never really worked. My parents were not believers at this time either. But my older sister was a very strong godly young lady, and she told me that God had a plan and He would carry out His will even if I tried to run away from Him.
Erin: When you came to the LYWB.com blog, you were very angry at God. Can you describe that season of your life?
Ruby: It was from that moment on that for two years my sister told me over and over of who God was. I finally looked at things and got angry and blamed God for my life. I hated me. I hated God. I hated life. I told God that if He was just gonna kill me, then why did He give me life in the first place? I became suicidal. I tried to kill myself every day for a year and a half. Over and over I cut and I bled and I tried to take away something God had given to me. I wanted to just die and forget my problems. I was sick of tests and chemo and all that stuff. But what got to me the most were these nightmares that I would have every night. I couldn’t close my eyes without dreaming of what I think was Satan. I’m not saying I saw Satan. But I certainly dreamed of what Satan could look like and what he would do. I dreamed of what I imagined hell to be. I was lost in a dark mind. It sounds funny to me now, but I hated God because I thought He purposely gave me those dreams. I thought He was torturing me. But now I see He had a plan.
Erin: What caused your heart to change?
Ruby: I would have to say that there isn’t just one reason as to why my heart changed. But maybe you might be able to understand if I just tell you what happened. So I had a godly sister. She asked me to check this site out. She said it might be helpful. And you’ve probably guessed which site. I got on the Internet and looked up liesyoungwomanbelieve.com. I pressed enter, and I waited. I wanted answers and thought that maybe my sister was right and maybe I was wrong. Maybe I was believing a lie.
So I’m looking, and I’m not sure what blog post it was but sometime in June of 2010, I read a post on God. I remember being so confused and lost, and I read all these comments from girls who knew, or I’m assuming they knew, who God was. They actually acted as if God was real.
So I read it over and over and then did something silly. I commented, and in my heart I think I was crying out to God. I wanted to know God. Reading that post made me realize I was missing something so precious, and I knew I needed it. Someone commented after me and shared a YouTube video about someone else who was dying of leukemia. We were the same. Only they had hope and all I had was a feeling of insecurity and a sense of being lost.
That very night I was crying tears of bitterness. My sister came up to me, and this part I still don’t understand. She did the snap-out-of-it move and slapped me, and later on she told me that she wanted me to stop living a life of pity on myself. And she was right. That very night I became a child of the most high and amazing God. That night I had an amazing dream where I was surrounded by a beautiful scene. I still remember it. It was so amazing that I thought I was in heaven. I never saw the man in my dream, but I just had this sense that He was Jesus and He told me that He had plans for me and that He would spread His love through me. I woke up and started to live my life for Christ.
Erin: What has God taught you through this trial?
Ruby: God has taught me many things through this trial. But I learn more and more that it wasn’t a trial. It was a blessing. After all, I believe that our greatest moments are when we feel a sense of hopelessness and cling on to God with all our might. I believe that it is really in our trials that we realize God is everything. I believe that trials are blessings in disguise. What makes it a trial is our reaction to what God helps us through.
Erin: What is your prognosis now?
Ruby: My prognosis now is I’m free. I am free. Yes there is a chance that it could come back some day, but I’m fully aware of this and I am waiting for death. I’m not looking for it. But I am certainly waiting for it. When it comes, I’ll be smiling and I will welcome it. I will receive what God calls me to receive and believe that through the door of physical death is eternal life because Christ died for me.
Erin: How is God using cancer for your good?
Ruby: God is using my cancer to make others see how short life can be. Many girls my age have recommitted their life to Christ.
Erin: What do you most want other young women to know?
Ruby: I want people to know that Jesus is Lord and He is worthy of the glory He receives. I want people to lose their life for Christ in order to gain eternal life.
Cool, huh? God used you to teach Ruby about Him. How is He using Ruby’s story to challenge you?