Tammy’s Lesson Plan for Life
Tammy Hoffman was a beloved member of Locust Grove and this entire community. She was a valued and loved teacher at Riverton. Tammy’s legacy is one of faith and love. The following essay was written by Tammy after she had been diagnosed with cancer. This is something I call Tammy’s Lesson Plan for Life. There is much wisdom here for any of us. Read it and share it with others as part of Tammy’s life and legacy.
Why Not Me?
When tragedy strikes, our first response is generally, “Why me?” That was my first response when I was diagnosed, why me? I am a 41 year old teacher, with a family, and a life to lead. I have so much I still want to do in life and this diagnosis was not in the plan. Being a teacher, plans are everything to me. And now I had this problem with no plan and no solution. Inoperable, I think was the term they used in the beginning. Why me? Why did this happen to me?
Then I finally remembered something a very wise friend had said to me during dinner several months ago. We were discussing the possibility that her recently enlisted son might have to go to Iraq. During the discussion I remember being kind of stunned when she said something to the effect, “Why not him? There is nothing that makes him any more special than any of the other men and women.” Even though of course he is special to her and his family and friends, she was right there was no reason special enough for him not to be sent. When I started thinking about that conversation my attitude started to slowly change.
I was scared and afraid after talking with a surgeon and researching the cancer I was diagnosed with; however, remembering my friend’s words helped me to stop questioning, “Why me?” and start questioning, “Why not me?” We are all special in the eyes of God but not in life as a general rule. Life happens – I think I heard that in a very good sermon once. Life happens and the devil is always there to take advantage of a situation. He is there to whisper desperation and hopelessness into your life any way he can.
Realizing this I slowly stopped wallowing in self-pity and started to see the truth as I know it. God is good! He can take the most horrible, hopeless situation and make it better. He offers strength and guidance to all who seek it and as you can imagine, I did.
Although this is not something I would have wanted or prayed for, I have realized that even with my diagnosis, I am blessed beyond anything I could imagine. Not long after my diagnosis, people I didn’t even know started praying for me, sending me books and healing scriptures, and sending me cards offering encouragement and hope. My family and friends prayed with me and for me, some of them going so far as to wear bracelets to show their love and support. Everyone asked, “What can we do for you?” I was and still am humbled by the show of love for me and my family. I began to feel the love of God and to have the faith that God is working to heal me.
Although we don’t know the plan, God has a plan. Life happens and when it does God steps in to take bad, horrible things and make them better. Looking back I can now see where God knew life and cancer were going to happen to me. As far back as eight years ago, I can see where God was preparing me and my family for this to happen. God put me working at a school where not only would I meet lifelong friends that seem more like family to me but also the person who would ask me and my family to this church because He knew. God put us in a great neighborhood with great neighbors because He knew. God placed Bill and I in a Life Group that has brought wonderful friends to our lives because He knew. God created an opportunity for Bill, Matt, and I to go to the gym and get physically stronger because He knew. The list could go on and on with things that have happened in my life that very clearly now shows that He knew. And how thankful I am that He knew.