“We certainly don’t look at faithfulness and obedience as guaranteeing immediate rewards here on earth, but through being obedient and faithful, the Lord changed our circumstances and more importantly my heart.” – Randi Wideman
“Five years ago to this very day, I got the phone call that changed my life,” said Randi Wideman. “My heart sank as I heard that it was cancer. It wasn’t on our radar, certainly not when we were focused on our firstborn learning to walk. The news of aggressive, metastatic breast cancer rocked our world. I was 27 years old, our daughter was only one; we had a lot of decisions to make, and fast. We prayed immediately that if God would use it to bring just one person to Him, we would humbly walk the path of cancer.
“We decided on a double mastectomy followed by 16 rounds of chemotherapy and hormone therapy. But it was in this season that I truly knew, felt and understood the love of God and a joy found only in Him more than ever before.
“I grew up going to a church, but didn’t know about how to have a personal relationship with Christ. It was in high school at Young Life Camp that I heard about His amazing grace and what it meant to love Him and go all in. My love affair with Christ was instantaneous. I started attending Watermark while I was at SMU, and shortly after graduation, my husband, Matt, and I were married. We were loving newlywed life; Christ was the center of our marriage and our lives.
“As hard as cancer and treatment were, it was an unbelievably beautiful season. The more I surrendered, the more God used it for His glory. What I thought was broken He used for beauty. We didn’t want cancer to be our plank to walk into self-pity, but our platform to stand for Christ.
“But cancer is expensive, and the costs were adding up. God flexed His muscles, and I was named the Allen Love Week recipient. Love Week is a service project held once a year to raise money and awareness for a member of the Allen community. My favorite verse, John 10:10, was printed on the t-shirts that were sold to raise money, and on the flyer given to every child in the district. We were amazed by God’s provision and in awe of our opportunity to share the abundant life found only in Christ with our entire community.
“Our next big opportunity to share our story about God’s faithfulness was going back to Young Life Camp and talking with the campers. This was the moment we had prayed about. With a bald head, I shared our story and the power of the gospel. I got to watch the Spirit draw three campers to Christ. It was the absolute sweetest moment. All the needle sticks, IVs and scans were worth it to be a small part of changing eternity for even one person.
“Our platform grew as we were able to share our story live on CNN Headline News. The reporter let me talk about my Savior and gave me freedom to express Christ’s love for me. It was an international platform to share the gospel.
“After all of my treatments, the doctors still wanted to ensure the cancer would not come back. They suggested a hysterectomy or medically induced menopause. Either of these options would greatly diminish our chances of having any more biological children. We prayed for clarity about what was best and landed peacefully with the decision not to take such drastic measures. Post-cancer, we had a 50% chance of being able to get pregnant. There was definitely a sense of entitlement because of what we had already suffered. Why would God bless us and then allow us to continue to struggle? Didn’t we prove our obedience and faith?
“In the last month of trying to have a baby, God transformed our hearts and minds. A baby wasn’t going to fill me; I had to learn that God is the source of joy and completeness. Our marriage remained strong, and I know that is only because of Jesus. I also credit and give great thanks to our community group and the many Watermark ministries for spurring me on throughout the good and bad: Merge, The Nest and Women’s Bible Study.
“Our lives really changed when we surrendered and were okay with not being pregnant again. To our surprise, we got pregnant with our daughter, Mercy, during our last month before returning to cancer treatments. We thought our story ended with cancer, but it was going through getting pregnant a second time that we got to brag on the Lord even more. Bragging on Jesus is our family’s very favorite thing. We certainly don’t look at faithfulness and obedience as guaranteeing immediate rewards here on earth, but through being obedient and faithful, the Lord changed our circumstances and more importantly my heart.” – Written by Amy Tubbesing