In life, we can experience challenges in private, small, or large group settings. A few months ago, I decided I wanted to join a small group at my church, because I wanted to grow my relationship with God biblically and I wanted to be a good example for my kids. I figure, if they saw Dad going to small group, then it would inspire them to want to go to their small group as they continue their development. My goal was to go to bible study to get a break and make new friends. I can remember that night, driving to the house location of the bible study., I was excited and full of joy, but a little bit nervous at the same time. I walked in and I saw about 6 couples, and I was the only single person within the group, which felt awkward, but I was focused on just enjoying the people within the group and learning about the word of God. The bible group asked me to introduce myself, and I share a small part of my story, being a single parent, raising my kids by myself, as I have full custody of my kids.
It was mentioned that I was battling cancer, and I shared with the group, how I was at the time, undergoing chemotherapy treatment at Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center in Gilbert, Arizona. Some people within the group ask me if I needed any help, I declined. I said no, because I did not want help, I did not want to be a burden on anyone, I just wanted to focus on the biblical learning aspects of our small group, and make new friends. The group, kept asking me to allow them to help me, I would decline. They all insisted on wanting to help me, and said I am preventing them from receiving their blessings if I did not allow them the opportunity to help me. I finally agree to allow them to help, even though I felt uneasy about it. I told them that I was preparing to undergo a Stem Cell Transplant at Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center/Gateway Hospital, and that I need to secure rides for upcoming dates for my Stem Cell Transplant Harvesting. There were people in the group which began to offer to drive me to my appointments, and that felt great. I also said, I was looking for a caregiver for my needs when I am discharged from the hospital after the 3 weeks of being hospitalized, and some members said, they would look around, and one member offer to ask her mom. She, her mom and I met for lunch to discuss details, and after our lunch, we all agreed that she would be my caregiver and she filled out the application. Later that night, I receive a text from this member of my group, that her mother could no longer provide the care for me because she realizes it was too much, and that she needed her mom to help her with her baby care-giving needs, and I was ok with that, no issues. She also told me that she would create a calendar list, so everyone could sign up for dates to drive me to my appointments. I also gave the dates to my bible study host, who also confirmed the dates. The next week of bible study, I saw that no one had sign up for dates to drive me, so I talk to my doctors and nurses at Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center and told them, I would drive myself to all my appointments, they said ok, that they don’t advise that, but some of their patients did drive themselves. I just plan to focus on getting myself to my appointments. Like I mentioned, I did not want to be a burden to anyone, so I felt the group at this point may have felt it would be too much for them.
I could tell there was some uneasiness towards me, but I wasn’t wanting to read into anything. Some people never look at me or acknowledge me, some people ignore me, some people never said hello. I was
getting the picture, I was appearing I wasn’t wanted around. I thought to myself, some of these people are my friends on Facebook, maybe they don’t like my political viewpoints. Going to the bible study group had its great moments, watching the bible study videos was incredible. I love seeing the moms hold their babies, I love talking about David from the bible and following the David teaching series. I love reading the bible verses out loud, and being a participant within the group.
The next week, I received the bad news about the VA, and what they were and had done with my Authorization and Medical Files, and I realized I needed help, and I needed to figure out a plan B for my healthcare needs for my Stem Cell Transplant. Not one person from the small group called or reached out to me in support, not one person from the small group offered to sit with me and hear my broken heart in what the VA had done to me. Not one person from the small group offered to assist me. I was all alone, and I was getting the picture, I was feeling not wanted by anyone. I felt rejected and it was the worst feeling than any cancer cells within my body. I had a good friend and VA Advocate start a Go Fund Me Page to help raise money for my Stem Cell Transplant, which the VA had denied me. A member from the small group, who we have become friends, and we met at a political event, and hung out afterwards, donated money to my Go Fund Me, and that felt good. I felt at least one couple from the small group cares about me. I thank him and his wife, and I appreciate them from the bottom of my heart. I have since invited them to dinner on me and they have accepted. That’s a real friendship!
“I realized, there was miscommunication on both sides, but frankly, no one called me…“
I received a text message from the bible study small group host, asking to meet with me. I responded back, now may not be a good time, because I am dealing with a lot, and that I need space, he insisted, that we meet. I thought maybe they wanted to help me with the VA, and it turns out, that was not the case. Him and a Pastor met with me in the church conference room, and shared how some members within the group, felt uncomfortable with me, that concerns were with me having a Go Fund Me page to raise money look suspicious, that my needs were too much, and that I was misleading on my needs for transportation. I instantly felt upset, but I was much angrier at the VA to focus on what was unfolding before me. I wanted to just instantly, get up and just walk out, but I remained calm, explained myself, and I gave them an understanding of what had happen. I realized, there was miscommunication on both sides, but frankly, no one called me, no one texted me to ask me about my Go Fund Me. Why would the church care about my Go Fund Me, when they simply had not offered to help, nor have I asked them to help? I am FIGHTING FOR MY LIFE! I have 2 children who need their Dad to FIGHT TO STAY ALIVE. They both then told me I was not invited to come back to the bible study small group, and that they wanted to redirect me to a small group on the church campus. I said I would think about it, and the meeting ended. I walk back to my car feeling defeated. I had 2 battles, raging at this point. The VA and my bible study small group. I drove off listening to my Christian music, and took myself to have a beautiful lunch to get out of the negative. I call up my new friend from now, my former bible study small group and he told me that members of the group were calling him with concerns that he had donated to my Go Fund Me. Folks, can you believe this? He defended me and told them that he wanted to help, that he gives money to homeless people, why wouldn’t he give money to help me. I was shocked and now I was furious. I was beginning to feel I had been around some of the most heartless people in the world. I did not feel they were behaving like brothers and sisters in Christ.
I am so thankful that me and my beautiful kids are relocating to Goodyear, AZ, I cannot wait to start my new life in a new community. I will learn from this and I will never ask these types of people for help. I will survive on my own through God’s love for my kids and I. I will see these people in public, and I will certainly give them the cordial, meaningless smile and nod they have given me and move on in my life. I wanted to set the record straight. In absolute truth, I feel the very people I had been presented hope and a promise of love, not only abandoned me, but betrayed me in their attacks on my character without clarifying.
Anybody who truly knows me well, knows my heart. I am a passionate man, but when I am cross, I will respond accordingly. Now I will move on and live a life of purpose that helps me to grow and learn from this. I am not mad, but brokenhearted, because I truly believed these people, but I realize they had the NOT WANTED sign on their door. God bless You All….