The Bible says, “Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7 NLT)
I’ve read that verse countless times and even shared it with others, but that was before the challenges we’ve faced the past eleven months.
In March of last year, my husband received a stage four, pancreatic cancer diagnosis. This was a curveball we hadn’t seen coming and it felt like a punch in the gut! At the time, we had no idea what was to come.
Over the next 11 months, we dug deep into our faith. Throughout an extended hospital stay, countless tests and procedures, chemotherapies and a lot of doctor’s visits, we prayed, with a fervency unlike ever before. We read God’s Word and we declared God’s healing scriptures over my husband’s body. The result was that he began to experience miraculous results.
The doctors were shocked at how well he responded to the oral chemotherapy – all without any nausea, which is in and of itself a miracle (because nausea is the #1 side effect of these chemo drugs.) And just last week, we learned that the tumors have become dormant and therefore, they’re stopping the chemo altogether.
So how do you explain a guy who looks and feels better than he has in 10 years while being on two chemo treatments? You can’t…other than God.
Then, just a few weeks ago, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. My first thought was, “maybe the Oncologist can give us a “two-for-one” special.” I’m kidding! But then I began to receive reactions from friends and family. Many said this was too much for anyone to have to endure, and assumed I was mad that both my husband and I were facing cancer at the same time.
The truth is that I’m not mad, or sad, or afraid. I suppose some might feel those things if they felt this wasn’t what they had planned for their lives. But you see I gave up my life a long time ago; I gave my life to Christ when I became a Believer. And over the past 18 years, I’ve learned that whatever plans I come up with will always pale in comparison to God’s plans. I know that He wants nothing but the very best for me in all things.
I don’t believe for a minute that God gave me or my husband cancer, but I have no doubt that He can use it.
I believe (much like what my husband and I experienced on an airplane recently, in the midst of a storm) we’re experiencing some significant turbulence. However, we’re confident we can ride this out and eventually, rise above it.
Hence this is my prayer: “Father, use every bit of this experience; use it to draw others to know You and love You, so that when they face turbulence in their own lives, they too, can experience the peace that surpasses all understanding.”