The Battle I Never Thought I’d Fight

 In faith, Family, Health, news
This OpEd also appears on Townhall and Christian Post.

I’ve fought many battles in my life. I fought the lie that I wasn’t meant to be as an adoptee. I fought against racism. I fought for impoverished and fatherless kids in urban communities to know that God the Father loves them. I fought severe depression as a young adult. I fought to reconnect with the love of my life who is now my wife. I fought for the custody and adoption of our first child. I fought against financial ruin. I fought against mainstream media propaganda to defeat Roe v. Wade. I fought for two years in federal court against the NAACP who sued me for exercising my right to free speech. I fought for my life, during COVID, as I was hospitalized for eight days with bilateral blood clots in my lungs.

I never imagined, though, that I would fight cancer.

I. Have. Cancer.

As I type these words, I’m still in disbelief.

I know God can heal on this side of heaven. I know He can pre-empt any surgery (which is next Wednesday) with a miracle that would confound the doctors but confirm His Divine ability. Sometimes, no matter the mustard seed of faith, He chooses differently than our heart’s cry. I don’t understand it. I certainly didn’t when I lost my father at the height of COVID. Yet my entire life, I’ve seen how God works wondrously to turn tragedies into triumph.

I remember sitting in my car that day. I had just parked in our driveway. I got a text message that my biopsy results were available. (Sidenote to medical professionals: letting a patient see and have to decipher his/her own lab results before a physician can explain it is bad medicine.) I opened up the app, downloaded the results, and sat in shock as I went down the list of notes. Nearly every sample showed “adenocarcinoma.” I knew what a carcinoma was. I knew that a Gleason score above 6 was definitely not good. And I knew that I needed Jesus right there in the painful silence of my car as I wept.

How would I tell my wife? My four kids? My extended family, friends and colleagues?

One out of eight men are diagnosed with prostate cancer. It’s more common than I ever knew. It is, however, uncommon for someone my age. This is something that tragically happens to someone else, I kept trying to make sense of it.

This is happening to me.

My wife was in a meeting as I entered our office. She immediately knew something was wrong. We stepped out, and I struggled to shared words I never thought I would say. We cried and just held each other. We’ve been through so much together. And this was no different. As we prayed and cried some more, we gave this horrible news the remedy of the Good news: nothing is impossible for the God who created us (Philippians 4:13).

Satan loves to work through fear. I refuse to be controlled by it. If I give up, he wins. Since the diagnosis, I’ve continued to travel and speak on behalf of our organization, The Radiance Foundation. I’ve continued to fight culture-shaping issues on TV and in radio interviews. I’ve continued to speak boldly on social media. I have many, many more years of fight within me. My work through the Radiance Foundation will continue, just as passionately but differently, as we shift to creating more online content and traveling less. Most importantly, I’ll continue to be the husband and father my family needs.


Some gather to pray for Ryan at TVH.

There are times when doubt tries to overwhelm me. That’s when my spirit reminds me how many times I’ve experienced victory over and over again in my life. I marvel at testimonies of people who were in far worse situations than I yet held strongly to their faith, no matter the outcome. I don’t know why God answers prayers as He does, healing some fully this side of heaven or waiting until the other side. My cancer’s treatable, although without Divine intervention, it will be a lengthy recovery with some very unwanted end-results. Of course, with any diagnosis like this, there is plenty of shoulda, woulda, coulda defeatist thinking. When my emotions try to mislead me, I need to redirect myself to what is true.

Truth is the best medicine.

Only hours after receiving the devastating news, my youngest daughter (Aliyah) led worship at her youth group. She’s 15 but sings with the conviction of someone who has lived a lifetime. The first song was “I Trust in God” (by Elevation Worship). It’s funny how you can hear a song so many times yet miss the lyrics that were meant for you.

“Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine.

He’s been my fourth man in the fire time after time...

I trust in God, my Savior, the one who will never fail. He will never fail…”

This battle is another figurative fire I have to walk through. I could believe for breakthrough or brace for breakdown. Quitting, though, has never been in my DNA. Since “the fourth man” is with me, I won’t be alone. Thankfully, I also have an incredible wife who’s amazing at speaking life into me every day! My kids, mom, siblings, in-laws and friends pray over me and encourage me regularly.

I’m not sure what my future will look like exactly, but I’m hopeful. I grew up in a family of 15 where ten of us were adopted out of devastating circumstances. I know Hope. And I know deeply and personally how Christ rescues, redeems and restores, both spiritually and physically.

To anyone who is going through a terrible situation, you have a Savior who cares about your struggle. It’s okay to doubt. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to scream. And it’s okay to run to the One who loves you. Psalm 46:1 says: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”

And right now, I really need that supernatural help.


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Ryan & Bethany Bomberger and their four kiddos
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