15 years ago I heard the words none of us want to hear, “you have cancer”.
On July 9, 2000 I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. I was 38 yrs old, a non smoker with no family history of breast cancer. I was more concerned with developing heart disease from both of my parents and never gave cancer a thought.
During my physical I casually mentioned a lump I found a few weeks earlier to my doctor and he suggested I get a second opinion since it looked suspicious. My doctor came out as the nurse confirmed with me the appointment in Oct with one of our local surgeons, he then quickly interrupted and told his secretary to get me in that week with someone else, he did not want me waiting that long. At that point I knew it was serious, and it was.
I not only had a cancerous lump, I had cluster cells and cancer cells close to my chest wall. Three different types of cancer in three separate areas in one breast. In 2 weeks time my life turned upside down from a healthy 38 yr old to being diagnosed with breast cancer.
The next 8 months I will go through a mastectomy, chemo treatments and radiation; fears and doubts. I will also discover a deepening of my faith and trust in God.
God through His Word in the book of Psalms gave me hope and through His Son, Jesus, I discovered the God of Abraham, Jacob and David and the God of our hearts today. During the next year I will experience a healing, not physically but spiritually. Although physical healing did come in time.
Through my turbulent childhood and rebellious youth and subsequent marriage to a godly man, God prepared me for this cancer journey. My childhood taught me to persevere and Tom taught me about God’s love and mercy.
It was also through this journey that Tom and I both developed a deeper relationship with God and each other that would see both of us through dealing with cancer and other life events.
The important thing to remember is God never gave up on me even when I choose to go my own way. I am thankful He did not give up instead kept calling me to Him. Troubles still came but I never had to go through them alone, all I needed to do was to turn toward God.
God did not cause the breast cancer, but He used breast cancer and many other circumstances to draw me to Him and for me to discover who He created me to be. Truthfully, I would have chosen for God to intervene and not have cancer enter my body choosing a different, easier path to draw me to Him. But cancer did come and what someone told me I found to be true, God never wastes an opportunity whether it be a trial or a joy. God will use it to bring us hope, develop our character, teach us perseverance and to accomplish His purpose that will bring Him Glory and that it will always be for the good of His people.
Difficult times come for many reasons but it never means God is punishing you or turning away from you. I feel that is through these times that often bring us nearer and dearer to God.
If you are going through a difficult time right now, remember God did not cause your situation but He will use it to call you to Him and to develop you into the person He designed you to be.
I understand when things get so bad it is all you can do to get up in the morning, but take a deep breath, get up, and find the hope you need to overcome your obstacle. Look for God’s presence in all the situations in your life. Sometimes the hope you need is right in front of you. It has been my experience that big things come in small packages, the biggest blessings God gives us are often the littlest every day things in our lives .
I found God’s hope in cancer and recently in grief. God’s hope is knowing that we have a secure and certain future. It is a hope that we know deep in our hearts that God is our anchor during the storms of life and knowing He is in our present and in our future.
My prayer for you is to find God’s hope whatever you are going through; the hope that will give you strength to prepare you for whatever you are facing and the hope that will encourage you and bring you spiritual healing.
Psalm 25: 4-5 “Show me Your ways, Lord, teach me Your paths. Guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are God my Savior, and my hope is in You all day long.”
Psalm 34:17-18 “the righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
Psalm 46: 1-2, 10 “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, …..Be still, and know that I am God.
Psalm 119:74 “I have put my hope in Your word”
These are but a few hopeful words from Psalms. I encourage you to read Psalms and about those who cried out to God in their need and to keep this truth in your heart; God answered them and He will answer you.