Psalm 119: 67, 71, 92, and 93 I’ll run together to describe how God ministered to me through His Word as I battled Breast Cancer.
“Before I was afflicted I went astray; but now I obey your word….It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn Your decrees….If your law had not been my delight I would have perished in my affliction. I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have preserved my life.”
One thing that I had to come to terms with was my own mortality. I had to completely relinquish any control I thought I had, and give myself over to God. He was the only One Who would determine whether I lived or died and I had to come to the place where I accepted either scenario and say, “It is well with my soul.”
I am what the medical profession calls a “survivor”. I suppose to the world at large I am, but I reject that term in many ways because it suggests that I have fought the battle against breast cancer myself and that it is on my strength alone that the victory was won. That is not the case at all. I had a team of fantastic medical professionals, I had an incredibly supportive family and church family who loved on me daily and I had the prayers of many, the promises of Scripture, and the peace that surpasses understanding envelope me throughout those two years. If I could I would instead change the word “survived” to “thrived”. Survival is one thing, but to thrive means that the only One who deserves any credit for that is Jesus Christ. If I showed any strength it was because I had His strong shoulders to cry upon, I had His strong arms to wrap around me and hold me up, I had His comforting Words to soothe away my fears, I had His assurance that He was completely in control every step of the way.
I wish to share a poem that was sent to me by one of my best friend’s only hours before my first surgery. Let it be a constant reminder what it means to THRIVE every single day, no matter your circumstances!
A STRONG WOMAN VERSUS A WOMAN OF STRENGTH
A strong woman works out every day to keep her body in shape…
But a woman of strength kneels in prayer to keep her soul in shape.
A strong woman isn’t afraid of anything…
But a woman of strength shows courage in the midst of her fear.
A strong woman won’t let anyone get the best of her…
But a woman of strength gives the best of her to everyone.
A strong woman makes mistakes and avoids the same in the future…
A woman of strength realizes life’s mistakes can also be God’s blessings and capitalizes on them.
A strong woman walks sure-footedly…
But a woman of strength knows God will catch her when she falls.
A strong woman wears the look of confidence on her face…
But a woman of strength wears grace.
A strong woman has faith that she is strong enough for the journey…
But a woman of strength has faith that it is in the journey that she will become strong.
Author’s Note: June 2019 marks eighteen years cancer-free! Praise God!
Thank you, Lynn. I like what you’re saying about the difference between a thriver and a survivor and that is wonderful that you are a “thriver.” Reading of someone who has “fought” courageously against cancer, I have questioned that, but I didn’t know why. I don’t judge someone else’s way of thinking, but I wondered if I would feel that way. After reading your blog, I understand why this “fighting cancer” didn’t suit me. Thank you for reminding me that I would only need to lay my concerns at the feet of Jesus and he would be my strength.
Lynn, we’re both 11-year breast cancer survivors and, Anne, I’m so sorry about your daughter. You’re both most remarkable women!
Sisters of the heart and Sisters in the struggle. So glad that you and I can give the Lord all the praise for this!
Congratulations on being a “Thriver” of breast cancer, Lynn! I am so thankful for your ministry and this post today. Even though I am not a cancer “thriver” I am thriving nonetheless. My oldest daughter passed away on Mother’s Day, and I have been carried moment by moment these past 5 weeks by my Heavenly Father! I know this for a fact because without Him I would not even get out of bed. He sends me what I need each day, and today it was this post from you!
~ Blessings, Anne
Anne, I have prayed for you when I learned of your loss five weeks ago, and I continue to pray for you. Grief has a way of creeping up on you when you least expect it, so know that there are those that pray.
Thank you for your kind words. I pray that the “Thriving” blogs have ministered to you and to many over these couple of weeks. God allows us to go through circumstances that while we’re in the midst of them may be hard, but we know that God is still in control no matter what.
Be blessed today, Anne!