It is a word that invaded my family's life last year. It is a word that no one wants to hear. It is a word that can bring out both the best and worst in people. It is a word that makes you stop and think about what is really important. But it is just a word.
You are probably guessing what word I am writing about, but before I tell what it is, let me tell you what it is not.
No, it is not congestion. Most of us know what that feels like, especially this time of year. We do not want it and it is a nuisance, but it is not the word.
It is not constipation either. I am trying to find some humor today, but there is nothing funny about this. Most of my readers have probably experienced this at some time in their lives, and I guarantee no one wants it, but it is not the word.
Conflict is something we try to avoid at all costs. It rears its ugly head at the worst of times. Sometimes it is unavoidable and sometimes we cause it. It has caused tears and pain and torn friends and families apart. Yet it is not the word.
By now I might be driving some of you crazy by making you wait to find out what the word is. Even though no one wants to go crazy and lose control of their minds, there are those obnoxious individuals that seem to enjoy driving others crazy. And still it is not the word.
''Combat'' was a television show that I watched as I was growing up. I used to play army in the woods with my friends too. As I got older I realized how many military personnel were serving our country in combat zones. ''Combat'' is nothing to take lightly, and it has taken many lives and caused much pain, but it is not the word.
Choices and consequences are two c-words that many people fear. Some people will do whatever they can to avoid making choices and don't realize that in itself is a choice. Every choice we make has consequences, both good and bad. Yet neither of these two words is the c-word.
You probably already know that cancer is the c-word. It is a word no one wants to hear, especially in regards to a child. Yet my family and I are involved in a battle against cancer. Our oldest son who was in combat while serving in the Marines and was a healthy police officer finds himself having to make some difficult choices because of cancer.
This is his second bout with cancer, and this one is harder than the first. He has some difficult choices to make and they have some serious consequences. There have been prayers, tears and conversations because of this struggle. But through all of this my worldview reminds me of another c-word that is very important.
That word is conqueror. You see, my worldview tells me that ''We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us'' (Romans 8:37). We may not always feel like a conqueror and to the rest of the world, we may not appear to be a conqueror. But we believe God, and He has the last word in this battle against cancer.
As a parent I do not want my son to have to go through this battle. As a Christian I know that he will not have to go through it alone. As difficult as it is at times, it is very comforting to know that God is in control, and that He will never leave or desert my son.
That is a reality that I am confident in.
Mazey is a Trumbull County pastor.