Freed from anger and cancer
Betsy’s heart was hardened toward God. Born in Poland to a Catholic family, she was raised with a healthy respect for both God and religion. But her husband’s alcohol abuse, the stress of raising five children, and having two sons leave the family to become Jehovah’s Witnesses had made her angry at God.
“My image of God was that of someone who would divide and take away,” she tells us. Betsy resented God and believed He was responsible for orchestrating the many heartaches of what she saw as a wasted life.
“After 20 years in the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses, my oldest son left its ranks,” Betsy says. “I began to notice changes in his life. He not only said he was happy, but I saw that it was true. My son visited me and talked to me about God, but in a completely different way than when he was a Jehovah’s Witness. He often said that God was good.”
This was at odds with Betsy’s view of God. Yet, the more she talked with her son, the more her heart began to soften to the idea of a God of love, a God who answers prayers. Not long after Betsy’s reunion with her son, she faced her most impossible challenge yet – cancer. Lying in her hospital bed, Betsy prayed, “God, if You are there, please show me how to believe in You, because I have little life left.” Instantly, a weight was lifted and peace was restored. The cancer symptoms got better, then worse again, and then extremely bad. Betsy was bedridden, but she was not inactive.
Betsy read everything she could get her hands on. First, she read Christian pamphlets, then the book of John – a gift from her son. She received a New Testament and, later, a full Bible. When her eyes began to fail, her son would read to her. When the pain of breaking bones and illness took over, Betsy lay in a hospice bed desperate to know God more and make Him known. Clinging to life and to God, Betsy prayed all day long for sick friends, for family members who didn’t know God, and for the opportunity to be baptized.
Almost a year later, Betsy baffled doctors with a recovery. She has now been baptized and has helped to lead two of her other children to Christ. She is no longer angry, because now God is the strength of her heart.
“Today, I’m 70 years old,” Betsy shares. “Although there have been many unpleasant events and moments in my life, I now actually see how the good Lord has led me through them. And more importantly, how He taught me so much, first about myself and then about Himself. For that I am, and I always will be, eternally grateful to my Father.”