What a very strange title to have – a breast cancer survivor…
I never in my wildest dreams (or nightmares) would have thought I would be one! I was diagnosed at 39, and in the beginning I often wondered why I had to go through this?!
I always thought how amazing it would be to go into my first Oncology appointment and her give me the results of my MRI and her say there was nothing there. I actually prayed that prayer many times. But that didn’t happen. The cancer was in fact there and fast growing.
I often wondered why God didn’t miraculously heal me because I believed He could. I now know that I had to walk that tough, long, and scary road because it had a purpose. I went through 5 long months of chemo and lost all of my hair, which is very hard for a women. I was the weakest I’ve ever been in my life. I had a double mastectomy and several surgeries to follow – all around a pandemic!
In the beginning, there were times that I had crippling fear. Facing very scary tests, appointments, taking scary medicines, surgeries, and I had to face them – no one else could do it for me. No one but the Lord.
When I say that there was a peace that surpasses all understanding that came over me…it’s not just a scripture you read in the Bible, it’s a very real thing. A peace came over me that I can’t even explain. The Lord literally was leading, guiding, and holding me through it al. And when fear would creep in, He always calmed me down and gave me that peace back.
Were there times of doubt and fear? I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t. But, joy always comes in the morning! I believe I went through those things to be a light for Jesus to the women who are facing this terrible disease, too. To help them in their scary times and point them to a God who can give them that same peace and love He gave me.
“So what the enemy meant for evil, God turns to good.” Genesis 50:20
God can turn any of your circumstances you’re facing into a blessing as well, if you would only trust Him.
(And now my PSA- Ladies, get your yearly mammograms and do your self breast examinations monthly! It can literally save your life, it did mine!)💗
Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.”
Once upon a time we had one of those days. The unexpected happened. Ambulances, hospitals, surgery, life turned upside down. In the midst of the chaos a sweet friend sent me Deuteronomy 31:6, and it became an anchor in the midst of the storm.
That verse or some version of it is repeated many times throughout the Bible. God does not want us to be fearful or anxious. He wants us to put our faith and trust in Him. I know it is easier said than done, but we just need to take it one circumstance at a time.
What can you turn over to Him today? What step can you take to trust Him? He is big enough, His shoulders are strong enough, and He is faithful to come when we cry out for Him.
We need to turn down the volume of the world, quit trying to figure out every scenario, and focus on the truth of His Word. He is more than able to quiet any storm we are in. Thank you Jesus.❤️
Are you struggling with saying yes to God? I haven’t told this story in a long time, but I feel deep within my spirit that someone needs to hear it. Maybe it’s you.
Three years ago I was sitting on my floor folding laundry – minding my own business – and God came at me. He came at me with something that I thought was absolutely nuts.
He told me to start a non-profit.
That thought had never crossed my mind. It was not a dream I had ever dreamt.
I told Him I couldn’t.
I told Him I wouldn’t.
I told Him no.
And I didn’t tell a soul.
Now y’all know how close I am with my sisters, right? I tell them everything. But not this.
I wasn’t about to speak this into existence.
And then we wrestled. For three long weeks. I wrestled with God. I bet you can guess who won.
Rays of Sunshine Inc has been running smoothly for three years now. I wish I knew the number of kids we’ve helped, but I don’t. I just know it’s a lot. And I know it’s exactly what God made me for.
This dream I didn’t dream.
This thing I wasn’t equipped to do.
And then God.
So listen up – if God is telling you to do something – just do it. Don’t waste time. Don’t wrestle. Don’t say no.
It’s time to live out the life you didn’t know you would. It’s time to live out His dreams for you.
For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14
Have you really sat down and pondered this question? When someone asks “Who are you” what do you say?
A lot of us will say something like: I am a Christian, Child of God, wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, niece, granddaughter, teacher, and friend. Even though these tell the many hats we wear and who we are in these hats – they do not really tell us who we are.
For most of my life, through high school and beyond, I struggled with who I was. I never saw myself with value or of worth. In high school I really tried to be invisible and didn’t want people to notice or “see me”. I felt like I would not be of worth to them as a friend or person; therefore, I shut myself away from people. When you think you have no value as a human being you tend to shut down and not live life.
This is the value I saw in myself. “I’m ugly, not worthy, dumb, not smart, etc….” When you dwell on these things they take root in your life and you believe them and can’t see past them. These words were like a tape running over and over in my mind.
In 1995 I accepted Christ and only then did I begin to see my life as valuable and that I mattered to people. I saw that I mattered to Christ and that He died for me, so maybe I could matter to others.
All the years of the negative had to be rooted out, and I had to regrow the positive. One verse that helps me know who I am is Ephesians 1:3-7.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, 5 having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He [a]made us accepted in the Beloved. 7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace
There are 6 key words that stand out in the passage. Blessed, Chosen, Adopted, Accepted, Redeemed, and Forgiven.
I am Blessed through Christ with every spiritual blessing.
I am Chosen by Christ.
I am Adopted and receive the inheritance by being a Child of God,
I am Accepted just as I am by the work of Christ on the cross.
I am Redeemed. Christ paid the ransom for me and plucked me out of the miry clay.
I am Forgiven. God’s limitless grace is given to me.
So now instead of the ugly tape that runs through my mind – this tape runs instead. I am blessed, chosen, adopted, accepted, redeemed, and forgiven,
So know when you are asked who you are you say: I am blessed, chosen, adopted, accepted, redeemed, and forgiven.
“Though the fig tree does not bud and there is no fruit on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though the flocks disappear from the pen and there are no herds in the stalls, yet I will celebrate in the Lord; I will rejoice in the God of my salvation! The Lord my Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like those of a deer and enables me to walk on mountain heights! For the choir director: on stringed instruments.”
What do you do when things are hard? I’ve seen people in trying times get so down that they ask the question, “If God is so good, why does He let this happen?” This is a question of doubt. Things don’t go our way, so we pout and question God and find ourselves turning away. Have you been there? I have!
Habakkuk 3:17-19 actually gives us the proper response to difficult times. I remember when God used this so vividly in my own life. Hurricane Harvey had caused us to evacuate our home as it began to take on flood waters. We were staying with family and had absolutely no idea the extent of our loss, but we knew it was great. During this time, my husband was also without steady employment. It was hard! We were so dependent on the help of others, and that is not a place we had ever been.
One morning, while having a pity party and crying session, God led me to these verses. It was a refocus moment. Habakkuk knew that if he lost everything, He still had God. His strength and joy were not dependent on what he had or his circumstances. He found strength and joy in celebrating and praising God. He didn’t ignore the circumstances, He chose to focus on God.
God clearly said, “Quit asking why and start looking at Me!” In that moment, my questions of why became statements of “I will praise You in this.” In praising, I found peace, strength, and joy. I still had moments of despair, but every time, God brought me back to refocus on Him and replaced despair with His goodness. Praise leads us out of despair. No matter what, God is still worthy of praise
“Afterward, a Jewish religious leader named Simon asked Jesus to his home for dinner. Jesus accepted the invitation. When he went to Simon’s home, he took his place at the table. In the neighborhood there was an immoral woman of the streets, known to all to be a prostitute. When she heard about Jesus being in Simon’s house, she took an exquisite flask made from alabaster, filled it with the most expensive perfume, went right into the home of the Jewish religious leader, and knelt at the feet of Jesus in front of all the guests. Broken and weeping, she covered his feet with the tears that fell from her face. She kept crying and drying his feet with her long hair. Over and over she kissed Jesus’ feet. Then she opened her flask and anointed his feet with her costly perfume as an act of worship. When Simon saw what was happening, he thought, “This man can’t be a true prophet. If he were really a prophet, he would know what kind of sinful woman is touching him.” Jesus said, “Simon, I have a word for you.” “Go ahead, Teacher. I want to hear it,” he answered. “It’s a story about two men who were deeply in debt. One owed the bank one hundred thousand dollars, and the other only owed ten thousand dollars. When it was obvious that neither of them would be able to repay their debts, the kind banker graciously wrote off the debts and forgave them all that they owed. Tell me, Simon, which of the two debtors would be the most thankful? Which one would love the banker most?” Simon answered, “I suppose it would be the one with the greatest debt forgiven.” “You’re right,” Jesus agreed. Then he spoke to Simon about the woman still weeping at his feet. “Don’t you see this woman kneeling here? She is doing for me what you didn’t bother to do. When I entered your home as your guest, you didn’t think about offering me water to wash the dust off my feet. Yet she came into your home and washed my feet with her many tears and then dried my feet with her hair. You didn’t even welcome me into your home with the customary kiss of greeting, but from the moment I came in she has not stopped kissing my feet. You didn’t take the time to anoint my head with fragrant oil, but she anointed my head and feet with the finest perfume. She has been forgiven of all her many sins. This is why she has shown me such extravagant love. But those who assume they have very little to be forgiven will love me very little.” Then Jesus said to the woman at his feet, “All your sins are forgiven.” All the dinner guests said among themselves, “Who is the one who can even forgive sins?” Then Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith in me has given you life. Now you may leave and walk in the ways of peace.”” Luke 7:36-50 TPT
• The woman had caught a glimpse of Jesus.
• It’s easy to pour out our love when we’ve caught a glimpse of Who He is!
• When we know how much we’re loved, when we know how much we’ve been forgiven, it’s EASY to waste it all!
• Knowing the level of forgiveness we’re walking in gives us access to be close to Jesus.
• Knowing how forgiven she was, broke the wall of shame & brought her face to face with the King.
• The Father is excitedly waiting on you in the secret place. He can’t wait to be with you!
• Her lavish costly devotion brought her close.
• Pure & true worship should & will cost you something. It’ll cost time, or friends, or sleep, or hobbies, etc.
• Worship is giving God glory. Worship is loving Him for who He is.
• Those who know they’re loved & forgiven can push past the mockery of others & get close to the King.
• “When the disciples saw this, they were offended. “What a total waste!” they grumbled.” Matthew 26:8 TPT
• Not everyone will appreciate your worship and love to Jesus.
• Some people will see you giving your whole life, your whole yes to Him, as foolish & as a waste. They won’t understand because they’ve not encountered Him like you have.
• Don’t hold it against them! Bless them & be an example.
• Let your life or worship to God be defined by His pleasure & not by other’s mockery.
• “Every single moment you are thinking of me! How precious and wonderful to consider that you cherish me constantly in your every thought! O God, your desires toward me are more than the grains of sand on every shore! When I awake each morning, you’re still with me.” Psalms 139:17-18 TPT”
• Because she knew how He felt about her, his voice & opinion of her outweighed the mockery of others.
• Now I want you to ask the Father this question: “Father, what do You say about my worship to You?” Write down His response.
Welp, I got mad at my pastor a few Sundays ago. He was just stepping on my toes left and right. Every once in awhile he would even stomp.
Just joking. Bet I got your attention, though. I’m not mad. I’m actually glad.
Here’s the thing – when it comes down to it – it wasn’t really my pastor that was stepping on my toes. It was the word of God. I’m thankful for a pastor that is in tune with God. I’m thankful for a pastor that seeks God’s guidance through His word. And you should be, too.
Don’t let conviction convince you that your sin is cause to be mad at anyone but yourself. Instead, I hope that through conviction you gain confidence. Confidence to do the right thing. Confidence to stop whatever mess you’re messing in. Confidence to call out to God for help.
Don’t be mad at your pastor because he is speaking the truth.
Pray for your pastor.
Pray for his wife.
He’s got one of the toughest jobs in the world.
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6:18
Sometimes it feels like my prayers go straight to God’s voicemail instead of Him picking up and answering right away. I have concluded this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. He always hears my concerns and desires, but it takes some humility on my part to realize that He has something better in mind.
We don’t always know what God is doing behind the scenes. God’s history reveals that He is going to answer those prayers in a way that you never even imagined. The Lord loves you and cares for you. Admittedly, it takes a great amount of faith to trust Him during those times we feel unseen and ignored. Keep praying through the silence; God is moving in mighty ways that are beyond our human comprehension.
Seek comfort in the truth that our Heavenly Father is sovereign, the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness, and that Jesus sympathizes with us. The King of Heaven wants to use each and every one of us for His greater purpose.
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28