Cancer. Nobody likes the word. It makes many cringe. Others run far away. No one has a good connotation of cancer.
Tell someone that you or a loved one have been diagnosed with cancer and the conversation immediately stops. People either don’t know what to say, or they trip over themselves saying the wrong thing. In either case, what they really want is to somehow make the conversation less uncomfortable.
That’s just it. There’s nothing comfortable about cancer. It invades. It quietly sneaks in unaware and permeates and infiltrates not just your physical body but every aspect of your life becomes affected by it. Cancer uproots the normal and exchanges it for broken, infested, and ravaged.
Cancer shakes our very foundation and leaves us scrambling for stability. Even after the cancer has been treated, there’s always the question and concern about its potential return.
Here’s something I’ve learned on the cancer journey: we can believe God for the healing, but we often still have to do the work of treatment—surgery, chemotherapy, and/or radiation.
Cancer steals. Cancer kills. Cancer destroys.
Scripture says, “The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy, but I have come that they might have life and have it to the full” (John 10:10). That thief, our enemy, might as well be nicknamed cancer.
Cancer is defined as 1) malignant tumor, 2) illness caused by tumor, 3) fast-spreading bad phenomenon, 4) gradual destruction. That sure sounds like the enemy to me.
Walking through this cancer journey has not been easy. In fact, often times, it has been down right hard. It’s been exhausting to fight to regain what has been stolen, killed, and destroyed within us, from our family, and in our day to day experience. It has brought more questions than answers, and tested us with a faith walk to trust like none other.
Yet, while I’ve been busy as a caregiver for a cancer patient on more than one occasion, I’ve watched others in their journey. Some fight and show cancer who is boss, while others resign themselves that “what will be will be.”
While I’ve sat and waited in doctor’s offices, hospital rooms, and chemotherapy infusion suites, I have reflected on the definition of cancer, it begs the question, “Who of us isn’t infected with ‘cancer’ of some kind?” Oh we may not call it that, but each of us has a “fast-spreading phenomenon” or “gradual destruction”: Bitterness. Resentment. Anger. Unforgiveness. Jealousy. Addiction. Selfishness. Etc.
Just as in the case of a medically diagnosed cancerous condition, we all need God to remove, restore, and make us clean but we still have to do the work: forgiving, repenting, renewing…
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us” (Hebrews 12:1).
As I go through today, and every day, my prayer is that He would create a new, cancer-free heart within me.
“Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10)
Because of Him,
Dr. Michelle Bengtson
(If you have a question you’d like Dr. B to answer, contact her here now. Your name and identity will be kept confidential.)
A short brief about Hope Prevails.
Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey through Depression
Dr. Michelle Bengtson
Speaking from personal and professional experience, a neuropsychologist unpacks what depression is, shows how it affects us spiritually, and offers hope for living the abundant life.
Neuropsychologist Offers Hope to Those Struggling with Depression
-By 2020, depression will be our greatest epidemic worldwide
- An estimated 350 million people worldwide suffer from some form of depression
- Helpful features include personal stories, biblical truths, prayers, and music recommendations
In Hope Prevails, Dr. Bengtson writes with deep compassion and empathy, blending her extensive training and faith, to offer readers a hope that is grounded in God’s love and grace. She helps readers understand what depression is, how it affects them spiritually, and what, by God’s grace, it cannot do. The result is a treatment plan that addresses the whole person—not just chemical imbalances in the brain.
For those who struggle with depression and those that want to help them, Hope Prevails offers real hope for the future.
Hope Prevails is available now wherever books are sold. To find out more, see: https://drmichellebengtson.com/hope-prevails-book/.