Dylan Green

On Sunday, March 11, 2012, I turned fifteen years old. I threw a birthday party with five of my closest friends, and I had the rest of the week off for spring break. Life was good, and my faith in God was strong.

The next morning, my dad took me to Driver’s Ed. He planned to pick me up after he went to the doctor to have some tests done. When my grandfather showed up instead, I knew something was wrong. The test results had shown that my dad had cancer.

I spent the rest of the week with my grandparents while Dad checked into a hospital thirty minutes away. The doctors ran more tests and discovered that my dad had a rare kind of lymphoma. If it were left untreated, he wouldn’t live much longer. The doctors set up a rigorous treatment plan. Dad would spend the next four months getting chemotherapy twice a week while he continued to work as a pharmacist. Then he would have a stem cell transplant that would get rid of the cancer for good.

Stem Cell Picture2Those first four months went by fairly quickly. For the transplant, we expected Dad to be in and out of the hospital in thirty days; but we soon learned that after the transplant, he would need to go to the hospital every morning for 100 days. We lived too far away for Dad to go home during that time. So we booked a hotel and made arrangements to stay near the hospital. We also learned that when he was not at the hospital, Mom would have to stay with him around the clock. One week before the transplant, my parents moved into the hospital, where they would stay for the next month. I moved in with my grandparents.


Opening Up

The situation with my Dad took a toll on my faith. Both of my parents were stressed out; and at times, I wondered if God was there for us—or even there at all. I questioned why my dad had to get cancer and why God hadn’t prevented it.

Everything I was feeling, all the pain and confusion, I kept bottled up inside of me. I figured that pouring it out onto other people would burden them more than necessary. But that’s what the church is for. It’s a body of believers who work together for comfort and support. When I told my friends what was going on, they weren’t able to answer my questions, but they were there for me and loved me. My youth pastor helped me to stay firm in my faith. When I was able to open up and tell him all my feelings, I felt as if a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders.

My dad’s transplant went according to plan, and he ended up doing better than the doctors had expected. I know now that God used these trying times to bring my family closer together and that my faith in God has grown stronger because of it.



Write down any questions you have for God. Take the questions to your youth pastor or to another adult you trust. Talk with him or her about the questions. Don’t be afraid to be honest. God desires a relationship with us, and asking questions is one of the best ways to build the relationship.

Dylan Green 16, is a student at Merrol Hyde Magnet School in Hendersonville, Tennessee. He loves hanging with his friends and being a part of the youth group at Trevecca Community Church of the Nazarene in Nashville, Tennessee.

—from devozine (September/October 2013). Copyright © 2013 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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