Life can turn on a dime, and I have found this to be true. I also have found God’s grace can appear in unexpected places-even while that dime is still spinning.
Cancer is not a death sentence for many of us. So…Repeat after me: cancer is NOT a death sentence.
You need to become more aware when you begin to make judgment or shut down any opportunities for hope. Try to stay open to the experience as it presents itself and search for things that will inspire you and keep you open-minded. Everything that happens to you, whether you wanted the experience or not, is already there. Why not examine each experience with an open mind? Pay attention to what you learned from have your breast being amputated, the chemo treatments, radiation, losing your hair, or having to take off work, etc.
The more open you can be, the more you allow change to take effect and the more you will see the influence of grace. When you recognize the signs of grace, you enter what is called ‘the dance of grace.’ You will be better equipped to deal with the adversities and triumphs of dealing with cancer.
I continued on at work, doing my best to concentrate on the tasks at hand. But cancer had become my constant companion. I remember my first day there after learning of my situation. Suddenly, I thought of myself as “The Woman Who Has Cancer” as I walked through the warehouse to my office, passing people who had no idea of my recent diagnosis of breast cancer. To them, I was just Michelle the bookkeeper, mom, Oma, wife, whatever-but all I could think of was my new descriptor: cancer victim. How suddenly my life had changed.
My days, and the hours that filled them, became incredibly precious. Suddenly, my days were measured. I looked at my family and friends with a renewed appreciation; I cherished the contact, the connection. Most of all, I realized that it was God who held my life in his hands. Of course, he always did-it just took breast cancer to make it tangible.
God is in control. And in that sense, nothing can change my life. Most of all, I experienced the grace that God gives each of us for life’s journey, a grace revealed in unexpected places and at unplanned times.
If we give our body the right things, if we do the right things in our God-given body, cancer is not something to fear. I’m gonna encourage you on your journey. This is the first day! You’re going to make it. You’re gonna take a stand, you’re gonna get educated and you’re gonna come back from whatever situation it is. There is no situation that is hopeless…. There’s New Hope to give us hope.
Is it tough to believe that this time of distress of body and soul can reveal anything worth knowing? Is it difficult to imagine something worthwhile being born of your troubles? Is it hard to even stomach the thought that there could be a purpose behind your agony?
Of course it is!
Regardless, God promises to reveal himself and to produce good things from your hardship and pain. In fact, only in extreme times does one of the true beauties of the Christian faith come into play.
In the upside-down, inside-out, unexpected way of the Christian faith, suffering produces more than easy living ever could. Your pain has meaning! In the middle of intense affliction your spirit is more open than ever to the outpouring of God’s love into your heart.