The day I was diagnosed with cancer…

Yes, you read that right.

I’m fairly certain I won’t ever forget the day I was diagnosed with cancer.

About a week earlier, I had shared what I thought was a very mild concern with my doctor. She then determined a biopsy was in order.

“A biopsy? Oh I hardly think all that is necessary,” I implored.

Still she insisted.

“Okay—do as you like but I don’t think we need to make that big of a fuss over it. It’s more of an annoyance than anything.”

Honestly, I put it behind me and didn’t consider it again, until…

The cancer diagnosis

My husband and I were in the car, headed to his appointment with his oncologist. My cell phone rang in my lap, startling me. I looked at the caller ID, which displayed in big capital letters the name of my doctor’s office. I assumed they were just calling to remind me of my follow up appointment.

I answered with a cheerful hello.

“Dr. Bengtson?”

“Yes, this is she.”

She shared her identity and asked if it was a convenient time to talk. After I added my consent, she proceeded, “I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but you have cancer.”

I sat stunned for what felt like minutes, but could only have been a second or two before responding, “Excuse me? What did you say?”

She repeated the words no one ever expects or wants to hear, “I’m sorry, but you have cancer…We will need to schedule surgery.”

This couldn’t be. We were on our way to my husband’s oncologist to learn of his health status after his three-time war on cancer.

Thoughts raced through my head. “I wouldn’t have been surprised if we had received a bad report from his doctor, but me? I’m healthy. I just went in because it was a nuisance. This can’t be. I have things to do. How can they be sure?…”

My thoughts were abruptly brought to a halt when she interrupted, “Could we schedule that now?”

Honestly, I was in such a state of shock that I couldn’t think, much less navigate a phone and a calendar at the same time. “Um, I’ll have to call you back…”

After we hung up, my husband looked at me. “Everything okay?”

In a voice that sounded foreign to my own ears, I relayed what I had just been told. He had questions I couldn’t answer. I had even more questions. We would have to just sit with them and make it through his appointment.

We sat waiting to see his doctor, holding hands and drawing strength from each other. At one point, I realized I had been holding my breath, and had to intentionally remind myself to breathe.

We sat in silence, neither one of us saying a word, and yet knowing the others’ thoughts. The conversation with the doctor replayed over and over in my mind. “Where do we go from here?” I wondered.

Exchanging worry, fear, and anxiety for peace

It was then that I realized I had a choice. I could slip down that slippery slope into worry, fear, anxiety, overwhelm, and catastrophe, or I could claim His peace. I had just turned in my manuscript for Breaking Anxiety’s Grip about exchanging our worries, fears, and anxieties for God’s peace. I guess the enemy wanted to know if I believed my message.

When facing a cancer diagnosis, I decided I would stand firm on God’s truth.

As I considered this storm, I wrote down 18 scriptures that I would hold on to as I battled hard times.

18 Scriptures for Hard Times:

1. Even though I was stunned, this did not take God by surprise. (Jeremiah 29:11)
2. God is still on His throne, and He is still in the miracle making business. (Psalm 47:8)
3. I will not die but live, and proclaim what the Lord has done. (Psalm 118:17)
4. Jesus warned that we would have trials in this life, but He has overcome them all. (John 16:33)
5. When I am weak, He is strong. (2 Corinthians 12:10)
6. No weapon formed against me shall prosper. (Isaiah 54:17)
7. By His stripes I am healed. (Isaiah 53:5)
8. God has always been faithful before and I have no reason to doubt Him now. (Deuteronomy 7:9)
9. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18)
10. God’s plans are to prosper me and not to harm me, they include a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)
11. He promised that He who began a good work in me will see it through to completion. (Philippians 1:6)
12. I do not need to be afraid, because He will be with me wherever I go. (Joshua 1:9)
13. Greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world. (1 John 4:4)
14. God will fight this battle for me, if I will only be still. (Exodus 14:14)
15. God will use even this for good and for His glory. (Romans 8:28)
16. God has not given me the spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)
17. God will be my comforter through this, so that I can then comfort others with the comfort He has given me. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
18. Ultimately, my hope comes from God. Because of Him, #HopePrevails! (Psalm 62:5)


When facing a cancer diagnosis, I decided I would stand firm on God’s truth. As I considered this storm, I wrote down 18 scriptures that I would hold on to as I battled hard times. Read more for motivation if you’re facing a crisis.


Know what you believe before a crisis hits

Through this experience As I thought through these various truths, I realized the importance of knowing what we believe before a crisis hits, so that when it does, our core beliefs will sustain us during the difficult times. Within a minute I had to decide whether or not I was going to believe all the lies swirling around in my head, and cave to worry, fear, and anxiety, or I was going to find comfort in my long-standing beliefs. I chose to stand firm on truth.

Even today, there remain many questions that I don’t have answers to. Ultimately, there remain many questions that I don’t have answers to yet, but ultimately, I’m going to stand on these truths and rest in the knowledge that God is in control and that I am safe in the shelter of His wing.

What scriptures sustain you in hard times? I’d love to hear in the comments below.

Because of Him, #HopePrevails!

Hope-Filled Perspective: It helps when we know what we believe before crisis hits



Every day can be a good day when you trust the promises of God.

Today is Going to be a Good Day

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My newest book, Today is Going to be a Good Day: 90 Promises from God to Start Your Day Off Right is now available!

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When life conspires to drag us down with all of its troubles, it can be hard to keep our spirits up. In times of severe illness and depression, I learned that when I stand on God’s promises, despite my circumstances, every day can be a good day.

Each reading includes Scripture, reflection, prayer, and a recommended playlist song designed to help you live out Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”


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I was completely stunned the day I was diagnosed with cancer. As I listened to words of the doctor, I knew I could cave to worry, fear, and anxiety, or I could battle with the truth of God’s word. I wrote down 18 Scriptures that I could stand on during the hard times. Read more.