I never really considered myself much of a worrier. Growing up, it wasn’t written in my DNA. I think it came from being the baby of the family and knowing everyone was looking out for me. I was the toddler who didn’t know how to swim, yet jumped in the deep end, knowing someone would make sure I made it out safe. All of that changed when my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003. I was a senior at Howard University in Washington D.C., and all I wanted to do was get home to be with my mom.
I flew home for her mastectomy, stayed a couple of weeks then flew back to school, but I was worried. Worried that the cancer would come back…and it did, so I made the hard decision to forgo the rest of my senior year to come home to take care of her. I prayed like a madwoman. At 18 I’d been blessed to feel the touch of God, so I KNEW that He would heal my mom. Isaiah 41:10 says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” I held onto that knowledge for dear life. God is with you, do not fear, was on repeat in my head. God has the power to infuse your spirit with so much strength if you only give in and lean on Him. Even though I knew this, fear and worry still lived in my heart. Cancer doesn’t discriminate. Deep down I knew it was only a matter of time before it came back.
The cancer returned in 2013 metastasizing to my mom’s brain, liver and lungs. Lost and filled with worry and fear, I joined North Park Baptist Church and the choir. It was only natural as my mom had been the Choir Director there since 2003, and in my darkest hour the love and support I received gave me what I’d been missing in my spiritual journey – fellowship. You see, my marriage fell apart the night my mom was fighting for her life after having a multitude of seizures, which later led to the knowledge that the cancer returned. I was overwhelmed with worry and fear about everything. My mom was in the hospital, I had a three month old baby, and had left the home I’d made with my husband. At NPB strangers approached and told me they were praying for my family. Proverbs 12:25 says, “Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.” It was the love, kind words and prayers of my Christian brethren that got me through it all and continues to lift me up. Never underestimate the power of a kind word. It literally has the power to change the trajectory of someone’s day.
Since 2013 the cancer has returned seven times. God continues to bless my mom with the strength to endure and fight. Every day my family wakes up is a gift. “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” – Matthew 6:34. Hindsight truly is 20/20 because I look back at the times I was there for my mom (when she had seizures, chemo and radiation appointments, holding her while we cried together, the times we’ve laughed and prayed together) and know that worrying was and is needless, because every single thing is His will, His way. Psalm 56:3-4 says, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise—in God I trust and am not afraid.” Fear, worry, anxiety, they’re all part of the same family and can heavily impact our lives, but as long as we put our trust in Him, and live presently in each day we’re gifted, there’s no need to worry. Each day we wake up is a blessing and I believe we must do our best to never lose sight of that.
Written by Nadiyah Albee, Makers Kids Team Staff member