Why I Prepare…
I know what it’s like to be helpless. In August, 1992 at the age of twenty-two, I found myself in the battle of my life. Having been diagnosed with a rare form of childhood cancer called Embryonal Rhabdomyosarcoma, I felt like my life was in the hands of the experts—surgeons, oncologists, nurses, and researchers.
I know what it’s like to be hungry. At one point in the battle, swallowing was so painful that I did not eat any food for three weeks. At the end of this three week period, I weighed eighty-seven pounds—dangerously thin for even my 5’3” small frame.
I know what it’s like to be weak. There were times when I could barely walk from one room to another and other times when I could barely stand, overcome with dizziness and fatigue. Having lost a great deal of muscle mass, my strength would never be fully recovered.
I know what it’s like to be afraid—not so much afraid of death, but afraid of not having the opportunity to live, afraid that my dreams, especially of having children, would never come true.
This was my life for a year and a half. Having been faced with such intense feelings of helplessness, hunger, weakness, fear, and overall powerlessness, I have developed a strong desire to be prepared for anything that might come my way. Now eighteen years later, I can look back on my experience with cancer and see how God has used it to guide me, to teach me. For example, as a cancer survivor, I have taken several outdoor survival classes. Not only were they enjoyable, but they also made me feel empowered, helping me to conquer my feelings of helplessness and weakness. I’ve learned how to build a one-man debris hut, how to find water and food, how to signal for help when lost (or avoid being found when hiding), how to stay warm, various ways to build a fire, and the practical uses of a good knife. God used my struggles to prepare me to take care of myself in the most basic of ways. Preparing gives me a sense of independence and strength and will help me face life’s challenges whether they are physical or economic.
God has taught me about priorities and how to develop dreams in order to live according to my priorities of God, Truth, Faith, Family, Freedom, Independence, and Nature. My husband and I have a dream of owning a woodworking business, living on a small farm, raising animals, growing our own food, and caring for our son. We want to be self-sustaining because we feel called by God to do so. Preparing is part of the process of self-sufficiency and it is a part of my purpose.
Occasionally I hear the claim that preparing is a lack of faith in God. They cite Matthew 6:25-34 to support their claim. However, this Scripture is regarding worry not preparedness. Yes, worry indeed is a lack of faith but preparedness is not. In an analogy in Matthew 7:24-27, the Lord refers to a wise man who has built his house upon a rock and a foolish man who has built his house upon the sand. The wise man used common sense to prepare for the winds and floods which he knew would come. His house did not fall. But the foolish man who built his house upon the sand was poorly prepared and his house fell. God wants us to be prepared for things and even tells us to do so. He called on Noah to prepare an ark for the flood. God used Pharaoh’s dream to warn about the seven years of plenty and the seven years of famine. As a result, Joseph stored up food for seven years which saved the people from starvation during the hard years. God helps those who help themselves. Preparedness should be a lifestyle rather than something that suddenly develops out of fear or worry.
Finally, I prepare because I want to leave a legacy for my son. It is my duty as a loving mother to educate him in truth and knowledge, instill godly values in him, and teach him skills on which he can depend and be self-reliant. We will homeschool so he will learn real and true history without a Progressive agenda. We will take him to church, read the Bible to him, and tell him about God and Jesus so he will build character and morality. He will work on our farm so he will develop useful skills such as how to garden, how to can food, and how to make things out of wood.
There are many reasons to prepare but I prepare in order to be able to face life’s challenges, because I feel a calling to do so, and because I want to leave a legacy for my son. He may not be the best tee-ball player, but he already knows how to hammer a nail into a board and how to feed our chickens!