I find writing has really helped me release how I’m feeling and just “get it off my chest” so to speak. It has helped me be able to express myself in a way that is very healing for me and I’m so thankful for that. My hubby came across a Christian writing contest and gently “nudged” me to enter. It was open to professional and amateur writers. How do you compete with professional???? But that was not the point…….I think the point was to keep being bold and stepping out of my comfort zone. The point was to do it to show a bit of my story and how God has helped me and kept me strong through it all. Did I win? Nope! But I learned to take whatever opportunity God gives you to share your story, because you never know who it will help. My good friend Jan Bonugli wanted me to share it on my blog, so with her gentle “nudging” as well, I will share, because again, maybe someone needs to read it. Here is what I submitted for the contest……
“And though my heart is torn, I will praise YOU in this storm..” from Casting Crowns. This is the song that I played over and over again when I was diagnosed with breast cancer on February 27, 2014. I couldn’t believe the words I heard. I was only 42, and my boys were only 2, 4 and 7.
I had already lost my brother to cancer, my Baba, my dad and my mom was in hospice in Canada with bone cancer. I would not be another victim, I would not let cancer win….
I played that song every morning after bringing my boys to school and I would walk, sing the words out loud and then pray to God for guidance, knowledge, wisdom and His strength to get through each day. I found strength in prayer. I found my joy in the Lord. I would wake up each day thanking God for another day, knowing that with Him by my side and walking on His perfect path that I could get through each day, even if it was only just a minute at a time.
I knew that He had chosen me for this journey and that there was a reason that I was to go through this. Maybe I would not know now or in a year or even ever, but I was to walk this with grace and joy so that I could show the true love and power of walking in complete faith.
“Every tear I cry, you hold in your hand, you never left my side…” I learned to trust and lean fully on God for every single need I had. It was okay for me to cry, and cry out to Him, that’s what he wanted me to do, that’s what He wants ALL of us to do. He already knows our burdens, our pains and our trials, what He wants from us is to go to HIM for ALL things so He can direct our paths and He can comfort us the way no one or nothing else can.
I was able to find joy in each day because I was open to being a yielded vessel for God. I wanted to show that you can be diagnosed with cancer and still smile, still be positive and happy and live life to serve others. The word cancer can stun so many people and immediately change their way of thinking and their faith. People think that they did something wrong if they were diagnosed with something. That is not the case. We are all to go through trials, tribulations and pain in our lives and how we handle it and where we go for help is what shapes and molds us as people and as Christians.
If you were to never go through anything in your whole life, who could you help? Who could you serve? How empathetic would you be to others? Think about it. When you have a problem, anything, do you go to someone who has experience, who understands and can relate? Of course! We all go through our own set of turmoil, problems, whatever you want to call it. But we don’t go through it alone. If we choose to accept His help, God is always there, we just have to ask for His help, accept it and then be yielded vessels to His word, His path and His ways.
I know I couldn’t have done this on my own, I know that the reason I am able to get through each day with grace, joy and a smile on my face is because I have submitted completely to God knowing that I can’t do it alone, but with Him I can do ALL things. I have laid all my burdens of worry, fear, sadness and anxiety at the cross for it is not my burden to carry. When people tell me they think that I am so strong or give me praise, I make sure that I give credit where it is due…..to God – for because of Him am I made whole.
Each day brings on new challenges and I am still facing my “storm” and that’s okay. Knowing that God is beside me through it all and holding me in His right hand when I need strength makes me know that I can get through it all and able to praise God through it all. Because through it all I do hear him “whisper through the rain, I’M WITH YOU…” and even though it may still be “raining”, I have found my joy and peace knowing that I am not alone and I will spend all my days Praising God in this storm and I will do so with a smile on my face.