“Not everyone will understand your journey. That’s okay. You’re here to live your life, not to make everyone understand.” – Anonymous
There’s something so interesting about swimming upstream. Especially in the face of chronic illness, cancer, and disease. It’s a difficult hill to climb, with very few who are willing to hear you out or believe in your journey when you choose something different for your body, treatment plan, and healing.
My story is no less credible just because it’s different.
Initially, I had written this post from a place of anger and justification. It’s exhausting when you’re passionate about something so personal, but feeling the need to give yourself credibility to those who should know better. Finally, I came to the point where I needed to just let it go.
My story is no less credible just because I chose differently.
I used to be known as a singer/songwriter and worship leader. These days, I’m usually known as the stage IV cancer survivor who healed naturally. I’ll admit, the labels are hard sometimes. But I also know the intentional path that God has led me down, with health coaching and holistic treatment and research. Others may joke about it, pat me on the head as if I’m somehow less of a cancer patient because of what I decided for myself, or brush off my personal experience with a shrug. But I don’t need to justify myself to anyone.
My story is no less credible just because I am different.
God is using me in ways I couldn’t even begin to fathom prior to cancer. The amount of people I talk to DAILY who are searching for answers, the rise of AYA (adolescent and young adult) cancers, the dreams God’s putting on my heart for the future…
Yes, I’m a different person than I was two years ago. Two years ago, I was still sure my place was in full-time ministry within the four walls of the church. I was broken, feeling that my dreams had come to halt with circumstances I was facing at that time, dealing poorly with stress, and fighting through the pain and anxiety of trying to be someone I wasn’t, but who everyone kept telling me I should be.
And now? I wish I could wrap that girl up in a hug and tell her to hang on tight because the curveball was about to hit her straight between the eyes and change everything forever.
I am proud of who I’ve become through all of this, and I’m waiting on my God-given future with hope-filled expectancy. I know that my passions and dreams are deeply rooted with a Divine purpose, and the things that used to seem so important have become so small in comparison to this journey. Full-time ministry, as a follower of Christ, means you are called to serve WHEREVER you are; not just on Sundays or being employed by a church. Worship is how you live your life; not the music that you hear on a Sunday morning or throw on your Spotify account every now and then.
How I am choosing to live my life is distinctly MY CHOICE. I am no longer afraid to say no, to set boundaries, to stand up for myself, and to be my best advocate. Whether it’s my mind, my heart, or my body — down to the very cells that make up my being — I am making these decisions through prayer, personal experience, and trust that God knows exactly what He’s doing, even if I’ve had to walk through some horrific and dark moments to find the light on the other side.
And if I have credibility with Him, then that is all that truly matters.