In January 2016 I was sick. I was 42 years old. I had been to numerous doctors. They were fairly sure what was wrong, but surgery was needed to rule out lymphoma. For the first time in my life, things were out of my control. I was in pain physically and mentally, and had to rely on everyone else and it would be that way for a while.

The day of the surgery, I was pacing around the house. I wanted to get it over with. I wanted a firm diagnosis and begin whatever treatment lay ahead as that was my way to gain back control. I told Emily I wanted to go to the church chapel and pray before going to the hospital. We got to the chapel and it was locked. It was Martin Luther King Day and the church was closed. I got in the car a bit sad, but it was time to go.

Emily and I arrived at the hospital. I was very nervous. As we walked to the operating room to check-in, the first person we saw was Dr. Bagby. He thought the surgery was earlier in the day and was standing outside the operating room doors. At that moment, I knew that God placed Dr. Bagby there for us. Emily and I stood and prayed with him in the hall. Almost immediately my worry went to God.

The weeks and months that followed surgery and treatment were filled with church members, friends, and family helping out in every possible way. Prayers came from everywhere. It snowed a foot and neighbors cleared the driveway. A friend made us a quilt. Some friends brought food for the family. Work colleagues handled everything without missing a beat. Old friends called and texted to make me laugh. Emily put everything on her shoulders and never complained.

I was taught all my life that God does not want you to worry; he will do it for you. However, I rarely allowed him to, until I had no choice.

Two years later, I am doing well. My illness will always be there, but it is treatable. Whenever I get tired of going to the doctor and having lab tests and scans, I do my best to lean completely on God and let him take the worry. It is much easier said than done, but as a Christian, that is the constant struggle and I do my best to follow God’s guidance.

Written by Keith Hare