About Shane

Shane is an Iowa native, a follower of Jesus, a husband to Cheryl for 19 years, and a father of three teenagers.  Shane and his family live in the Des Moines, IA area having moved back almost 10 years ago after living out of state for awhile in Illinois, Florida, Ohio and Indiana. Shane is […]

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Shane Vander Hart
P.O. Box 57184
Des Moines, IA 50317
(515) 321-5077

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I’m Thankful for My Son’s Cancer

By on November 20, 2012 in Faith, Life with 2 Comments

With Thanksgiving around the corner I’ve seen different people share why they are thankful.  Last Sunday at church we had the opportunity to do that as we had our Thanksgiving celebration service where people could share testimonies of God’s faithfulness.

I shared that I’m thankful for Morgan’s cancer.

Huh?  How could I be thankful that my 14-year-old son was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma earlier this year?  While I would not wish what my family has gone through this year on anybody I am thankful.  Why?

Let me count the ways.

  1. I saw my son’s faith in Christ grow.  Morgan has a new level of maturity that I’m not sure would have existed, at least at this stage of his life, if it were not for the illness he was diagnosed with.  If he reads this before he lets this go to his head – he’s still a teenage boy who does stupid stuff on occasion, but we saw spiritual growth in him over the past few months.
  2. My family grew ever more dependent on Jesus.  I think we were given a better sense of what dependency is and what it isn’t.  Life dealt us circumstances that were beyond our control.  We truly learned what it meant to be dependent.
  3. Our family got to experience the God Who Heals – we are so thankful that Morgan is now in remission.
  4. We experienced God as provider.  We had some unexpected financial challenges that occurred with different needs that cropped up.  Simple things like suddenly having to eat out more since we were in the hospital a lot, needing an additional laptop, my losing my job this summer, and lacking the time to do things like cook.  God provided.
  5. Opportunities to share Christ and testify to God’s goodness during the months of treatment.  I don’t believe we’ll know this side of heaven what kind of impact Morgan’s testimony has had.
  6. The opportunity to be an encouragement to families with sick children.  My family has a whole new appreciation and ability to empathize now with families in similar circumstances.
  7. A real sense of God’s peace, strength and comfort through the entire ordeal.  We knew that God would never leave us nor forsake us.  With the type of diagnosis, how quickly Morgan received care, and other instances throughout his treatment we saw God as work.
  8. We experienced the love and support of the Body of Christ.  Wow.  I’m still blown away by the prayer, gifts, meals, visits and words of encouragement.

I’m sure I could continue to add to this list, but ultimately we saw God’s promises fulfilled.  Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose,” (ESV).  We probably still don’t’ see all the good  (and maybe never will) that God accomplished through Morgan’s cancer.  So looking back at the last seven months I can say, “yes God I am thankful for Mo’s cancer.”

About the Author

About the Author: Shane Vander Hart is the founder and editor-in-chief of Caffeinated Thoughts.  He is also the President of 4:15 Communications, LLC, a social media & communications consulting/management firm.  Prior to this Shane spent 20 years in youth ministry serving in church, parachurch, and school settings.  He has also served as an interim pastor and is a sought after speaker and pulpit fill-in.  Shane has been married to his wife Cheryl since 1993 and they have three kids.  Shane and his family reside near Des Moines, IA.  You can connect with Shane on Facebook or follow him on Twitter and Google +. .

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  • bobg

    it should have been you! this article is sick

    • http://shanevanderhart.com/ Shane Vander Hart

      Believe me I wish it had been me. No parent wants this for their child. It’s obvious you completely misunderstood my point.
      As a Christian I can rejoice in all circumstances and find the good that God is doing. My son would actually disagree with you.
      Anyway, almost a year in remission. Praise God.