In the days that followed the ovarian cancer diagnosis, hundreds of worrisome thoughts rushed through my mind. Of course, I had to process many details of what was ahead of me. Faith doesn’t mean we ignore the doctor’s instructions or bury our heads in the sand. There were real issues to deal with. As I figured out many details, I made sure to view them through the lens of God’s promises. A thought came to my mind that became one of my mottos: I’m not worrying, but I am warring!
At all times, no matter what phase of life we are in or what we are going through, we need to practice having faith and being positive. I do this by reminding myself of the following:
Saturate my mind, soul, and heart with God’s promises
Settle in my mind that I can trust Him and His promises
Reframe my mindset from negative to positive
Give myself an attitude adjustment
Give myself a checkup from the neck up
Realize that my self-talk is the most important conversation of the day
Reframe my challenges through the Word of God
Refocus my future through the lens of God’s promises
Face my day “in-courage”
Not face my day “discouraged”—the absence of courage
Arrest and block the negative, downward spiral of doubt and fear
Release a positive, faith-fueled spiral of hope and courage
Remember I am more than a conqueror through Him who loves me (Romans 8:37)
Remind myself that I am not worrying, but I am warring
Despite all these things, overwhelming victory is mine because Christ loves me (Rom. 8:37–39).
What’s Your Story? – Joy and Smiles
As I mentioned, my daughters Katie and/or Anna always went with me to the infusions. One day when Katie was going to go with me, some of my numbers were not as good as the previous month, which raised some concerns. We covered it in prayer and headed to the cancer center.
The infusion treatment center was very crowded. We found an open chair, and the nurse hooked me up to the IV for infusion. As you can imagine, there are a lot of stressed faces in an infusion center, and it’s a pretty somber, quiet atmosphere. We always made a point to focus our attention not on those around us but on each other and keep our emotions and hopes high. We began calling these medical infusions my “faith infusions” because we used that time to build our faith, even sharing praise reports of people in our congregation. Sometimes we listened to new worship songs or faith-filled messages.
I felt nauseated that day and a bit shaken from the blood test results. I was battling a heavy heart, and although she didn’t say so, I knew Katie was too. As we settled in, Katie told me about several people in our church who were getting blessed or healed or having other good things happen to them. As we talked, we got excited—not loud, but happy.
After about a half hour, a woman got up from across the room and headed right to us. I thought maybe she was going to tell us to quiet down so we wouldn’t disturb other patients. Instead, she gave us a big smile, leaned down, and asked us, “What’s the story on you two? I’m here with my sister, who’s getting her infusion, and we’ve been watching you both. Your joy and spirit are lighting up the room! At first, we thought the sun was shining in from the window and lighting up your faces. Then we realized you are not in the sun. You’re in the shadows. The light is not shining on you. It’s shining out from within you! “