Following Jesus means no turning back—even when things are hard. In this story, Ponce shares how God gave him the strength to continue walking with Him as his wife, Rochelle, battles with her disease.
In 2013, my wife—Rochelle—and I went back to the Philippines. We used to work abroad in the Middle East, but due to sudden changes in government policies, our company had to close down. We came back to our country with nothing.
Exactly a year ago, Rochelle was diagnosed with colon cancer. We didn’t know what to do. We just lost our jobs so we had no financial means to support her operation and medical treatments. We felt so helpless; we just prayed and cried out everything to God.
While we were clueless on what to do, an aunt based in the United States sent us the money we needed for Rochelle’s operation. I knew it was God answering our prayer. My wife immediately underwent surgery, but the operation wasn’t successful. The doctor told us to go back after three to six months for another surgery, but until now, she hasn’t gone back yet due to financial challenges in our family.
Rochelle and I are both Christians. Her father was a pastor (who died of cancer) and we both grew up in Christian homes. Despite that, it’s still so hard to continue trusting God every time I see my wife in pain. I would ask God so many times why it had to happen to us. Our daughter, who is just six years old, would often do the same as well. She would bombard me with questions about Rochelle, and I would be at a loss for words. It’s not easy to be a devoted father to my daughter and a strong husband to my wife. Sometimes, I just want to give up. But God always draws me back to Him and makes me realize that He is sovereign through it all.
I can always put my faith in Him—even when problems are trying to break me apart.
Last month, right after the prayer and fasting week, God made sure that I would continue walking with Him despite our situation. He surrounded me with people who would always pray for and with me. He also gave me a Victory group that encouraged me to serve again in church as part of the technical and stage management ministry. I never thought I would be able to continue volunteering in church, but God took away my doubts and gave me strength.
No matter how hard things are right now in our family, our situation is not an excuse for me to give up or lose faith in God. There is always hope in Him. I know that He will always give me the strength and wisdom I need to handle what will happen—whether good or bad. He will always keep my heart strong.
Right now, my wife is still bravely battling with colon cancer. As she continues her fight with the disease, I am also fighting with her through prayer. Our God is a great God, and we believe that He has a plan and a purpose for whatever trial we are facing right now. We just need to continue walking with Him in steadfast faith.
“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)
When things get hard, let us not forget that we are not alone. God is walking with us through every difficult situation. Let us always go back to the cross and press on.