“Jesus said, ‘Don’t be afraid; only believe.'” – Mark 5:36
I learned very quickly in this cancer journey round two that Google is my medical enemy.
The moment I was rediagnosed, I went on a mad search for doctors, holistic cures, and stories of hope. But what I found was a rabbit hole that sucked me deeper and deeper into despair.
Five-year survival rate from first diagnosis. High mortality. Many have tried…few (if any??) have succeeded in living beyond the five years without major risks and complications that came from the “only option” of surgeries, chemo, and radiation.
One late afternoon in early May of this year, before I knew what my plan would be or who would work with me from a medical perspective, I was laying in the hyperbaric oxygen chamber, anxiously waiting for my PET scan results, and doing another frantic search for answers on my phone. When I came out of the chamber, I was so overwhelmed by everything I had read that I could hardly process all the “bad news”.
I sat in the office area with the nurse and burst into tears.
“I just don’t know what to do,” I sobbed. “I’m so young, and I don’t want to deal with this again! I thought we were past all this and I had just gotten my life back together…and now I don’t know where to go or what to do…”
She gave me a big hug and let me cry it out, slobbering all over her scrubs (thank you, Tonya, xoxo). When I was able to compose myself, she gave me some very wise advice;
“Stay off your phone when you’re in the chamber. But more importantly, stop using Google to answer your medical questions.”
So, that’s what I did.
Instead, I was able to give myself more space to fill my mind with God’s Word and solid advice from actual practitioners. Slowly, I realized that having faith in my journey and allowing God to guide it rather than needing all the answers or solutions RIGHT NOW was actually freeing and gave me space to just heal.
Faith over Fear.
Fear will do crazy things to us. It’ll keep us up all night worrying about situations out of our control. It will cause us to think and act irrationally. And it actually affects us physically as we are constantly living in “fight or flight” mode, hiking up our stress hormones and causing inflammation in the body, which leads right into illness and disease!
Faith, on the other hand, allows you to rest. Faith says, “Yes, this situation is scary, and by human standards, things might look pretty bleak. But GOD says not to fear, and to trust Him. So, I’ll trust Him, because He’s never failed and He’s always faithful. He knows what He’s doing with my life, and my job is simply to listen and obey.” From a physical standpoint, having faith brings a sense of calm and peace that allows your body to produce the hormones that bring healing and restoration to your body!
You never hear about inspiring people who overcame their challenges by acting out of fear. But you DO hear miraculous, victorious stories all the time about people who listened to God and acted out of FAITH.
I also realized early on that declaring my hope and faith for a miracle wouldn’t be met with resounding applause. Not everyone would be standing with me in that declaration. In fact, the longer my journey takes, the more sympathetic and doubtful some people have been — that look they give that says, “Poor thing, you’re out of your mind…but good luck.”
That’s okay. This is why it’s my faith journey, and no one else’s.
Fear likes to keep us sick, or terrified of becoming ill. I’ve learned to change my language when I speak about cancer and disease, because as a society, we have hyped it up to be the scariest, deadliest illness you could ever have (sidenote, diabetes type 2, 100% caused by diet and lifestyle and completely reversable, is the number one killer today…think about that!) — and if it “runs in the family”, you’ll be screened earlier for “prevention” and closely monitored…which amps up the fear factor and that “fight or flight” response in the body that I mentioned. (And by the way, less than 5% of cancers are actually genetic, and some of the “preventative” testing is now proven to CAUSE cancer. *facepalm*)
Listen. This is a very important truth that we all need to hear;
Just because your mother’s friend’s sister’s brother died of the same cancer you have, or just because a particular illness or disease “runs in the family”, or doctors claim there’s no cure or you have a set amount of time left on this earth, and the statistics show it’s impossible, doesn’t mean anything for your story.
If you have trusted your life to Christ, and you believe that God is a miracle-working God, then you have access to His promises. Open His Word. Speak it — OUT LOUD. The verse I started this post with today is one of many that I speak over myself DAILY.
Faith is bold, expectant, and thrives in the darkest places where everyone has given up hope. Faith opens prison doors, protects in the fiery furnace, walks across the Red Sea. Faith brings life to the seemingly dead.
Faith is our anchor.
There is such a difference between “healthy” fear, and fear that keeps us a prisoner in our own bodies. Healthy fear keeps us from running out into oncoming traffic or putting our hand on a hot stovetop. Crippling fear keeps us from experiencing God’s mercy and grace in our lives.
It holds us back from God’s best for us, and that’s exactly what the Enemy wants! Fear says, “Yes, I believe God could __________ (whatever you’ve been praying for), but I’m still going to spend all of MY resources to “fix” this problem because if I don’t have control, the worst might happen.”
I choose faith.
Eight months of illness is a long time — but I’m not giving up on my miracle. I know it’s coming, and I’m speaking life over myself every single day. People may think I’m delusional, too positive, or in denial of my illness. But I don’t care. God’s opinion and guidance is all I want. This journey has not been easy by any means, and the past two months have been especially “challenging”, but even so, I’m confident. My hope is secure.
I know my God will come through.
Today, I challenge you: believe God for the impossible things. Worship Him for His miracle-working power. And if He has spoken to you, placed whispers of a hope-filled promise in your heart, and given you a glimpse of what’s yet to be…your story isn’t over yet, no matter what things look like right now from the human perspective. Pray for courage and strength to kick that spirit of Fear straight back to Hell where it belongs — and allow Faith to direct your steps.