How My Friend’s Cancer Gives Me Perspective on Having My Departure to Japan Delayed

I just got the official e-mail: I’m not going out to Japan this February like I had hoped.

I am still going. But I’ll be heading out sometime next year, probably late-April. Failing that, the summer. It’s slightly complicated (feel free to ask me if you want the details) but basically I have clearance deadlines, and the February one has just passed.

I guess people are going to ask me how I’m feeling about it (because some already have). And the short answer is, “OK.” Which is my very British way of saying, “I’m feeling a lot of things at the same time, but on balance I’m content.” Or if I was being slightly more honest I’d say, “It sucks, but complaining won’t change it.”

However, I have a friend who’s helping me put things in perspective. Her name is Stari, and she has cancer. And short of a literal miracle she won’t be with us for much longer. Which is a very British way of saying she’s dying. We’re talking months, possibly weeks.

Yeah, maybe I should have warned you, but this isn’t going to be the most light-hearted read.

Stari’s been writing a blog about her experiences, and I would definitely recommend you check it out:

I warn you, it’s often quite brutal. But then so is cancer. In fact, so is life. I would say that’s one of the key themes of her posts: life is a storm, and we have to face up to that. Now Stari’s a Christian, and so the blog is not without hope. But if you’re thinking that means brave smiles and comforting Scripture quotes then you’re way off. She doesn’t mind sharing her complaints, frustrations, broken dreams and pain.

Her struggle is real, and it gives mine perspective.

Yes, it will be frustrating, having to remain in the UK until the Spring. But it feels ridiculous to complain about that when Stari has a few months left to live. I have to think about where I’m going to live until April. Stari has to face up to the fact that she’s going to die before then.

So, how am I feeling about being delayed?  Can’t complain. No, really. I’m not just being British. I have nothing to complain about.

Actually, you know what, that’s not entirely true. It is genuinely frustrating having to wait to go to the country I love and feel called to. But I’m not going to make it into a bigger thing than it is. Compared to people like Stari, this delay isn’t worth crying over. Really it’s comparable to those on the ever-growing list of ‘1st World Problems’ (By the way if you haven’t seen this video by then you should check it out – it’s only a minute).

I’m not saying that I don’t appreciate words of encouragement, hugs, and the like. I’m just saying I want to keep this in perspective. So if you want to send me chocolate and stuff, that’s totally cool. But if you catch me ranting about “3 more months” then just give me a slap!


2 thoughts on “How My Friend’s Cancer Gives Me Perspective on Having My Departure to Japan Delayed

  1. andyds55

    Both of you are transferring: Stari is transferring her worship of God from Earth to Heaven, you are transferring your service to God from England to Japan. The role doesn’t change, just the location.,It’s annoying to have to stay in England, but then again, you miss out on arriving in Northern Japan in winter, which makes acclimatisation much easier. And, who knows what surprises God has in store for you in the UK in those extra three months. #theresalwaysareason #Heknowswhathesdoing



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