Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Hope (05/04/06)
TITLE: Second Chances - (A Story of Hope)
By Ricky Flowers
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There are many words coming to me today. Many thoughts and feelings and emotions for today could be the beginning of a new life for my best friend Jonathan, a second chance for someone I know and love, a second chance to love, and to live, and to learn, a second chance to fulfill a purpose, a purpose not previously known or understood. Jonathan was given hope, a second chance to share a smile, a hug, some happiness and compassion, a second chance to live.
It began May 18, 2005, my friend Jonathan was admitted to the hospital after the discovery of a large mass on his colon. I was in Atlanta when I received the devastating phone call and I panicked. At first I didn’t know what to do but after a while realized that I had to go and be with my friend.
I arrived at the hospital that afternoon and a couple days later Jonathan was diagnosed with Lymphoma. This particular form of cancer is fast growing but very curable. The doctors were confident they could get it under control with intensive chemotherapy. For the next three months, Jonathan was in and out of the hospital.
As with most cancer patients, he lost his hair, his weight and sometimes hope but he hung in there and fought for his life. I was constantly by his side. I always held out hope for the future and encouraged him to never give up. He didn’t and on August 23, 2005 he had his last treatment. Every scan since that time has shown no sign of cancer.
It is horrible to see someone go through cancer. The pain and the agony they experience is like nothing any of us who have been blessed enough to avoid cancer can imagine, and it doesn’t end with the last treatment. The emotional damage can be as bad as the physical because of the fear that the cancer will return. Every little hurt, every cold, every headache brings nightmarish images of the beast called cancers return. Fortunately for Jonathan, none of those fears have come true. For him, hope won out.
Jonathan is proof of God’s power to heal, and as long as we have hope and trust in God, he has promised us we will never be alone. What we do with our second chance is up to us. We have free will. God’s hope is that we realize what we have been given and use what we have been through to teach others. Teach them that when you are traveling on this journey and he speaks, should you not hear, things happen so that you do hear. That you do listen and that you act according to his instruction and that you fulfill his purpose for your life.
Perhaps for Jonathan it is not to preach or to be a missionary. Perhaps it’s not to teach children or work with the homeless or to visit those in prison. Perhaps it is not to be a singer or entertainer. Only Jonathan will know when God reveals it to him.
Listen to the voice inside and follow its lead but should you fail, always remember Jonathan, God called and he did not hear and he found himself at deaths door. I went with him, his family went with him, the doctors and the nurses went with him but most importantly, God went with him and brought him back.
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