Strength in Christ: An Amazing Christian College Student Experience

First off I would like prayer for my family and me and our road traveled. But before that, I want to say what an awesome God we have!  I am a student at Crown, beginning in 2013, working on my Bible Certificate and eventually working on a bachelor’s degree in Christian Ministry.

I gave my life to Christ and was baptized with my daughters in October 2013.  With life changing, as that may be, that is not the end of our Christian lives as we live each and every day a disciple for Christ.  We grow stronger and should grow every day as we live in Christ: never stop learning.  It is by the family of Christ that keeps us strong and growing each day.

A constant reminder of daily prayer, without it the world can take control of us and distance us from our Savior.  I was falling to this and found myself in deep prayer each day as I drove to work.  Praying and asking God for an intervention in my life to get me back on track.

Now this is where God decided to interact in my life; I would be lying if I said it was not scary, but I will say it was an exciting part of my life to see what God had in store for me (Jeremiah 29:11).  This is where the family of Christ is so strong and I am so blessed to be part of it, starting with my wife Carey, family, church, and Crown College.

In October 2014 I had a lymph node and tonsil removed from my neck.  After test results, I was diagnosed with Stage 4 throat cancer.  This was the start of even a stronger growth for me and my family as I continued my walk with Christ.  I never showed remorse or discouragement as to why this was happening to me and took delight and praise for what God was taking me through.  I do not know how one could go through this without God’s grace.

My walk through all this was seen by my wife and kids as well as our family at church each day, week, and month to follow.  I could not do much more than praise God and take comfort in His glory for what He was doing in my life.  I did not fear death at this time and just placed my trust in Him, giving the doctors over my care my trust in their knowledge for my healing.

During this time it was amazing to see things around me change as well.  Co-workers could not believe the strength of Christ in my life as I worked though the seven weeks of chemotherapy and radiation on a daily basis.  So not only did my cancer affect me and my immediate family but everyone around me at work, in the cancer center, and friends.

The simple fact is God will only give us what we can handle as He guides us through life.  Shortly before my diagnosis my wife was involved in car accident; she rolled our conversion van on an icy freeway.  Praise God she did not have a scratch on her, although I cannot say as much for the van.  About six months later our family got its first buck (Wisconsin deer hunting season); all Carey could see was a big buck which literally jumped from the medium dead center of her G6 and totaled the vehicle.  Again, not a scratch on her.  Both of these could have ended much differently.  But my life forever changed in that our life’s purpose is to serve our God spreading the good news.  Spiritually, heart, action, personality, and experiences (SHAPE) is what makes us today and grows us tomorrow.

Today I am cancer free, going on one year!  I still go through a monthly test and some life changing things that prayers are needed for my family and me.  Overall praise God for all we have and take for granted.  And praise God for schools like Crown that share the good news and build on our convictions to Christ.

Written by Joe Sieber