I remember the first time I attended church during my chemo treatment receiving compliments from friends on how great I looked, how I radiated! Of course, I glowed, I had chemicals racing through my veins killing everything in its way. As my skin darkened and my hair fell out as a result of the treatment, the compliments continued to come. My answer or reply beyond “Thank You” was “It was God in me!” I decided early on to make God my ally in the journey.
There are many approaches to cancer treatment available to Sojourners. They are as varied as the types and stages of cancers. My approach combined western medicine with spiritual medicine. In addition to agreeing to chemotherapy, I surrendered my life to God.
Childlike surrender and trust, I believe, is the defining spirit of authentic discipleship. -Brennan Manning
Along the Cancer Journey, there is a place we all at some point find ourselves – the pit. It is considered the lowest point in the journey, probably the place of most suffering and dispair. Hopelessness, helplessness, fear lives there, as does anger and grief. The depth of the pit depends on your personal situation. What is common to all that fall into the pit is the way out. We must form new allies and we must give something up. I gave up control of my life to God – my new ally. I surrendered to God and trusted that God would sustain me. I trusted that God would use the doctors as instruments of healing.
God’s word became the source of inspiration to me. The truth of God’s Word – I am a child of God (John 1:12), He loves me (Jer. 31:3), He is my shepherd (Psalm 23:1), I am a temple in which God dwells (1Cor. 3:16), He is my healer (1Peter 2:24), He is my refuge (Psalm 46;1), He is my way maker (Isaiah 43:16-19), He is my provider (Phil.4:19), He gives me peace in the midst of the storm (John 14:27), He gives me strength (Isaiah 4:29) – all became words of truth and guide posts when I found myself lost. I reminded myself that I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me (Phil.4:13). My daily practice included prayer, reading of healing scriptures and meditation. I listened to spiritual music and eliminated all negative influences from my life. I infused myself with the Holy Spirit.
“We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williams, A Return To Love.
As the chemotherapy began to ravage my body, I let the light of God shine through. As I surrendered my fear to God, I liberated myself. I found peace and joy. I came to terms with the mortality of this body and the immortality of my soul. I found comfort. I was able to rest knowing that my God would sustain me in ay situation.
I found strength for the journey.