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.
“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)
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!
Every day can be a good day when you trust the promises of God.
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Praying for you, my warrior friend! God will walk beside you.
Thank you so much for your prayers Anita. Prayers of friends like you lend strength in the weak moments.
Praying for you to get some wonderful healing through our Lord who strengthens us. Get better soon
I am so sorry to hear of this diagnosis and will be praying for you. I also remember the day I found out I had cancer, but it wasn’t over the phone. I’m sorry you found out that way with so many questions and the shock of it. May God carry you in His peace and strength through the days ahead.
I’m not sure there is a “good” way to hear. And it always seems the questions come after the doctor is no longer in the room or on the phone. But I do know God has all the answers and I turn to Him. Thanks for stopping by! I pray you are now in good health.
I am praying for you each time God puts you on my mind. You are so right. If we don’t fill our minds with the truth, when we have a crisis we will not be able to have peace. Abiding in him is the only place to be when the storms hit. Excellent post. I’m sure it will be a comfort to others who are facing difficult things.
Thank you Anne. When we know what we believe, we can fall back on that when the troubling times come. I know whom I have believed in and am persuaded that He is fully able to help us no matter what we face.
I am praying!!!!! I am so sorry you both have to battle this at the same time or at all. Thank you for your vulnerability, courage, and beautiful display of your faith.
Maree Dee, may we all be faithful to comfort others with the comfort He has shown to us.
Michelle, You share your story so gracefully. Thank you for sharing this. “Know what you believe before a crisis hits.” I think that is the most powerful works you could share. David, when facing the giant, knew who he was and knew who his Creator was. This is a powerful testimony. Praying for you. Praying your hubby received a good report.
Thank you Judy. Rather than telling God how big our giant is, let’s join David in telling our giants how big our God is.
Getting that diagnosis is not one I would wish on anyone. I know it is a day I will never forget. However, it was so refreshing to hear your faith through this difficult time. You are in my prayers.
Melissa, I’m so sorry you’ve experienced a cancer diagnosis as well. I appreciate your prayers. Walking with God will make all the difference.
Continuing to pray for you all and send love and hugs.
Thank you Melissa. We are grateful for you prayers.
Hi, Dr. Michelle, how well I remember, too, the day I heard the dreaded diagnosis! But God is faithful and I’m so grateful that was over 25 years ago now! I’ll be praying for you ,as well!!
Sarah, yes, it seems to be a “club” no one wants to be part of. But this is also another opportunity to watch work for good and for His glory. Your prayers are most appreciated.
Michelle, you are Christ’s mighty warrior bride on a new battlefield; yet, even in this new battle, you’re leading with a path of scriptures that encourages others where you have found strength. Seeing your beautiful face and hearing your gift of preparing others for future battles with taking hold of scriptures; I’ll be a praying warrior covering your back with added scriptures. May our weapons of prayer, scriptures, and love for you, Michelle, blow out the flaming arrows of the evil one. You’re the best, my friend. Battle own. Much love.
Carolyn, what a joy it is to welcome you into my little space here! Your words of encouragement never fail to uplift. Your prayers are very much appreciated, especially given that we know that when two or more agree, we can ask Him anything, knowing He will answer. Love and miss you much.
I’m so sorry, Michelle. “May the God hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 15:13)
Thank you Deb. This is another opportunity to stand on the truth that I profess–in Him, #HopePrevails!
I like how you pointed out that we need to know what we believe before we something happens. The verses you shared are so powerful! Prayers for you with this difficult diagnosis.
Katrina, I have found that to be true not only in my life, but for others as well. In those times of crises, we have but a moment to determine our attitude and our actions, both will largely be determined by what we’ve believed prior to that time.
Thank you for your prayers!
I am and will hold you in my prayers. I am so sorry for this news, and alongside your husband’s health. God is a God of mercy and grace. He is with you and He loves you. I thank you for the list of promises to hold onto. They are good for many circumstances. God is so faithful and His Word stands so strong while we barely can stand. Praising Him for His love for us.
I love what you said. God is so faithful and His Word stands so strong while we barely can stand! So very true! Thank you for your prayers. I am at peace knowing I’m in His hands.
I still remember the day my now 18 year old daughter was diagnosed at 11 years old. I got the news over the phone. I had my husband get on the extension because I needed the nurse to repeat what she said since I honestly didn’t think I heard her correctly. My daughter went through surgery and radiation and praise God the cancer has not returned. I will keep you in my prayers as you walk through this journey with the Lord by your side.
Oh Regina, what a difficult trial that must have been to watch your little girl endure such treatment. Praising God with you that she is cancer free! What a great testimony. Thank you for your prayers!
You continue to be in my prayers, Michelle. I’m also praying for your husband and boys. ((( HUGS )))
Thank you for your prayers for me, my husband, and my boys. We very much appreciate them. Looking forward to what God wants me to learn in this season, and being able to testify to His faithfulness.
I have saved these passages for the rainy days I know are coming. Thank you. laurensparks.net
I’m so glad. May they encourage you through the troubling waters as they have me.
Michelle, you have been such a blessing and a source of inspiration for me! I pray for God’s strength, comfort, and protection for each part of this trial that is facing you. May you sense his comfort and presence more than ever. Thank you for using your struggle to point others to Christ.
Stacey, thank you for your sweet, encouraging words. My desire is to always encourage others and point them back to Christ. In myself, I have nothing of value to offer, but when I can share what He has done in and through me, I pray it lends hope to others. #HopePrevails
Thank you for sharing your story so openly and for pointing us back to Jesus! Your reminder about the importance of knowing what we believe before a crisis hits is so good! One of my favourite quotes: “Don’t give up in the dark what you know to be true in the light.”
Jana, thanks so much for visiting. It’s my desire to always point back to Jesus. I don’t know how others make it through such storms without knowing Him. He is my rock.
Thank you for this promise of hope. Praying for you as you face this new speed bump.
Mary, thank you for your prayers. I truly appreciate them more than you know in this season. May He be glorified.
I’ve been praying for you, Michelle! Asking God to meet every need in the days ahead. Blessings and hugs!
Deb, thank you for your prayers. I know it is the prayers of others that is lending me strength in the difficult moments. I pray that this will be another testimony of God’s faithfulness.
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1 NIV May the Lord continue to surround you with His loving presence and may His peace that passes all understanding prevail. Thank you for your strong example of what it means to follow Christ as well as your inspiration to so many of us… In my prayers, Carol
Thank you for your prayers. God will prevail in this. He has always been faithful, so I have no reason to doubt Him now. I know that the prayers others have offered on my behalf lend strength.
I’m so sorry you are facing this, Michelle! I will be praying for you and your family. I know what you mean about that dark, slippery slope into worry. I’m learning to stand firm against that, too. Hugs, and prayers!
This isn’t what I would choose, but I’m trusting God to use it for my good and for His glory. He has always proven Himself faithful, so I’m going to continue to trust He will be in this too. Miss you sweet friend.
Wow! God is enough, lean into Him!
Powerful scriptures and testimony, Michelle!
This message and blog brought back memories of this first call you received with the cancer diagnosis. The journey has been long as you continue to battle the little ‘c’ BUT your faith is stronger and you continue to share the HOPE that is within you. These scriptures are near and dear to all who have followed your sacred journey and have stood on God’s truth for your healing. Thank you for sharing this again as I know other people who are now either on a health, cancer or financial journey and need to hear this. I continue to faithfully pray for your healing and as you write other books to encourage and bless others. You never walk alone and my hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteous and my HOPE is for your total healing. I love you dear friend. I also love your new Today book too.
Michelle, thank you for sharing in transparency and vulnerability. I have to tell you, I was touched to read your story and it caused that lump in my throat and tears to come. Why? Because I have been praying for you daily for a while now. Because I care for the friends I have made in Christ here in the Christian blogosphere. This>”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.” Is so important and I didn’t think of this until you mentioned it. Continued prayers coming your way my friend. Blessings.
Visiting today from Let’s Have Coffee #20&21
Paula, thank you for taking the time to visit, read, comment, and pray. God is faithful and we cling to him!