Leukemia sufferer testifies to 'abundant' life in God: 'He is enough'
Nathan Shroer didn't feel like God was so great growing up. He had experienced the pain of a parent spiralling into addiction and a home broken apart not once, but twice by divorce.
"I heard people talk about God and how great He was, and He didn't seem great in my life," Shroer shares in the latest testimonial video to be added to the I Am Second website.
Asked how he would describe growing up, he replied: "Disappointment."
He was 22 when he applied to join the police force and although a doctor noticed his white blood count was low, he was deemed fit enough for the job.
In the course of the year, though, the Evansville Police Detective became increasingly unhappy with himself, noticing that his speech had turned bad and he was being a "jerk" to his wife.
Feeling like he wasn't the man he was before, he picked up his Bible and brought himself before God.
In an honest moment, he admitted to God that he was in a rut and didn't know how to fix it.
In return, he received a message from God he wasn't expecting. It was: "Nathan, you have cancer. It's ok."
He reflects: "It wasn't the answer I was looking for, I thought I was crazy."
Not long after, he started to experience extreme fatigue, bleeding gums, and unexplained bruising, and in January 2004 an oncologist diagnosed him with acute myelogenous leukemia. Not only was it leukemia, it was very advanced and he started immediately on chemotherapy.
He was admitted to hospital with pneumonia and it seemed like "nothing was working". It was three full rounds of chemo later that the leukemia went into remission but he was told he would need a stem cell transplant. He didn't know of any siblings but when he was added to the World Bank with five million people stored on it, it drew a blank. There was no match for him anywhere.
"As much as I hate to admit it, I'm one of these guys that thinks I've always got God figured out ... I'm never going to be sick again, everyone's going to be in awe of Your power, I know what You're going to do. In a sense I'd like to say I was trusting in God but really I thought I just had His plan figured out from there on."
Unexpectedly, Nathan's mother revealed she had had another son who had been given up for adoption because she hadn't felt able to raise two children. He was tracked down on Father's Day 2004 and Nathan was able to receive the transplant he needed to restore his immune system.
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The treatment wasn't without its cost and Shroer and his wife were given the news they wouldn't be able to have children.
But that wasn't the end of the story for them as they came into contact with a young girl looking for a family for her newborn son. After that blessing came even more, when a year later they welcomed their own daughter and another the year after that.
In February 2013, bad news came again to Nathan when he was told his cancer had returned and after some time in hospital, he was told to get himself into a hospice.
He once again turned to God, broken and frustrated after nine years of fighting cancer.
He received another word from God that penetrated deeply: "You are going to die. But I am going to heal you because of the prayers of so many people. I have given you days."
He adds: "I wasn't mad at God, I just hurt at the situation."
His response to God was: "Use my death in this incredible way. I don't like it but it's going to be ok."
Part of the answer to that was what Nathan accomplished in the life he was able to live before his death and not a moment was wasted in serving others, including sexual abuse victims at Holly's House, training up police officers in Moldova and Kenya, and ministering as a department chaplain and youth leader.
"God has continued to do these amazing things in my life and I attribute it to the fact that I just wanted to see if he was enough, and He showed me, He's enough, He's truly enough."
When asked how to describe his life since his encounter with Christ, Nathan replied, "Abundant."
Watch Nathan's testimony in full here