How a pastor’s wife stays strong during her husband’s fight against cancer

The question that looms over the thoughts of many: “Why do bad things happen to good people?”

This question can be even more troubling when that “good person” is your spouse. Ruth Schwenk, the author of The Better Mom Devotional, and founder of the popular faith-based parenting website, The Better Mom, had a rough 2018. Her husband, Pat, was diagnosed with cancer. A year full of stem cell transplants, chemo, recovery, and the unknown. Pat is a pastor, and he and his wife Ruth have been involved in ministry for over 20 years. So one might ask, “Really, God? Why me? Why my family?”

We recently caught up with Ruth Schwenk during an exclusive audio interview inside Kirk Cameron’s The Campfire. I wanted to know if Ruth ever asked the “why me” question and how it challenged her faith. Her answer was beautiful.

“To be honest, I haven’t questioned God, because there’s so much suffering in the world. We see it a lot with us being in full-time ministry, so it just wasn’t a surprise.”

It’s true, when we look around at the world we live in, brokenness exists everywhere. So, when we do face suffering in the form of a cancer diagnosis, a lost job, betrayal, or whatever else may come our way, we should find solace in the fact that God is not “singling you out.” It is a result of the broken world we live in. While suffering can feel isolating, remember that you are not alone. Two verses come to mind:

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 1 Peter 4:12,13

While Ruth would not choose to go through this again, she says that they have been given a gift through the trial. She explains, “It has opened our eyes to other people’s suffering, especially when it comes to cancer. I just don’t think that until you go through that with someone close to you, you can really understand the depth of emotion that they’re feeling.”

Listen to a clip from the interview below.

If you have faced a year of suffering, or someone you love has, I hope you are encouraged by Ruth’s words. To hear the full interview, join Kirk Cameron’s online faith community today. Sign up here.





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